Pediatric dentists know that bruxism, the act of clenching and grinding the teeth, is a common affliction among younger children. It is seen so often in fact, that dentists don’t usually recommend therapy. Most kids just outgrow the habit, but if parents worry that it is continuing for too long a time, or if the child experiences any pain that can clearly be associated to bruxism, a pediatric dentist should be consulted.
The reasons that some children grind their teeth and others don’t are up for debate, but there are several things that parents can do to discourage it and keep it from causing any damage to permanent teeth.
Some theories suggest that children grind their teeth as a reaction to some sort of stress in their lives. It’s hard to relate stress to childhood, but even things like knowing a school project is due or a test is coming up can bring on the anxiety that is expressed by clenching and grinding. Since these actions are subconscious and often occur during the night while the child is asleep, a muscle relaxing massage will often encourage a more peaceful slumber.
Your pediatric dentist will check for any obvious harmful effects from bruxism during your child’s regular visits. She may suggest that your child wear a mouthguard for overnight protection.
Parents will find the highest quality care and technology at Kaelin Pediatric Dentistry in Parker. Call 303-805-8266 to consult with Dr. Kaelin.