Bruxism is the medical term used to describe the habit of grinding teeth and some times clenching and gnawing as well. This habit is observed in many children and may go away with age.
Here are some things to know about Bruxism in children :
Causes of Bruxism
There is no definite cause of bruxism. Children may develop this habit under stress and anxiety. If the child is in the age of teething, this can be another reason. Hyperactive children are also diagnosed with bruxism.
It is possible that your child has a habit of grinding teeth while sleeping so you may not have seen it happening during the day. Here are some things that may indicate that your child has bruxism:
- Constant grinding noises from your child during the night
- Complaining of pain in the jaws
- Unable to chew food properly
Mostly, children grow out of this habit but if not diagnosed at an early stage, they may carry this habit well into their adulthood. You can consult with a dentist and they will decide the course of treatment. There can be other reasons as well so keep a check on their daily routine to understand if they are stressed.
You can also help your children relax if you think stress is the reason behind this habit. Help them unwind by engaging them in conversation. If your child has trouble sleeping at night due to this issue, consult with a doctor and understand why this might be happening.
Other tips to help you stop teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks such as colas,chocolate and coffee.
- Do not let your kid chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- If you notice that you child clench or grind during the day then ask him to position the tip of his tongue between the teeth. This practice trains the jaw muscles to relax.