Teeth grinding, known medically as bruxism, can lead to serious consequences since it damages the enamel that coats each tooth. Unfortunately, children can sometimes pick the habit up without realising how bad it is for their oral health. There are a number of reasons childhood bruxism can develop, including irritation as the baby teeth come through, but it's always best to stop the habit as early as possible.
Here are just five ways to prevent the habit.
1. Know the Signs
Before you can work to stop childhood bruxism, you need to be able to recognize that it is even happening. Unfortunately, children will often grind their teeth at night rather than during the day, so the habit can frequently pass parents by. If you notice your child grinding once or twice during the day, try listening while they sleep to see if the same thing is occurring. You may also find that a child who grinds frequently complains of a sore jaw, especially while chewing.
2. Consider Whether Your Child Is Stressed
Though children can grind their teeth for a number of reasons, many adopt the behaviour while feeling stressed. You may also notice signs of moodiness, lethargy, or a poor temper. If you do notice such issues, try talking to your child about what might be the matter and then working to eliminate their triggers. You should also do your best to create a relaxing bedtime routine. Play to use up any energy and then watch TV, play games, or read a storybook together.
3. Reduce Your Child's Intake of Caffeine
Okay, few children will be drinking mug after mug of coffee throughout the day, but caffeine can sneak into their diet in other ways. The most common offender would be soft drinks; these commonly contain sugar and caffeine, both of which can stimulate a child and cause them to start grinding their teeth thanks to the increased energy.
4. Eliminate Other Forms of Chewing
Children can easily form oral fixations after being stripped of their pacifiers, so it isn't uncommon to see one chewing on a pencil, a pen, their own nails, or some other such object. Unfortunately, this can only make grinding more likely when there is nothing else to chew on, so try to curb the behaviour.
5. Consider Using a Mouth Guard
If your child's bruxism becomes serious, you can always visit your dentist and ask for a custom mouth guard to be made. These can be worn during the night to prevent grinding, and eliminating the habit at night, when the worst grinding tends to occur, is a great first step towards eliminating it completely.
Make an appointment with a dentistry such as The Happy Tooth Kurri Kurri to get started.
There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.