Teeth grinding, or bruxism, is common in children. You may notice the noise created by your child grinding on their teeth during sleep or you may notice wear (teeth getting shorter) to your child’s dentition.
Although teeth grinding is often the result of stress in adults, the same is not always true with children. If your child’s teeth grinding is not the result of stress, other possible causes include irritation in the mouth, development of the jaws and teeth, eruption of teeth, inner ear pressure, allergies, or misaligned teeth.
The good news is that, because your child’s teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly, teeth grinding is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence. However, if excessive wearing of the teeth is present, your child’s dentist may recommend restorative treatments. If the grinding extends past adolescence, your dentist may recommend a nightguard or orthodontic treatments.
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your child’s dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.