Understanding & Preventing Child Teeth Grinding

Contemporary dentist bending over little patient with cavity while drilling tooth with dental drill-machine

Many children grind their teeth, particularly at night while they are sleeping. Teeth grinding or bruxism may result in joint discomfort, headaches, and other symptoms in addition to dental health issues. Its reasons may range, and several various things might set it off. Treating tooth grinding as soon as possible and using preventative measures is critical. Be careful to take your kid to a Children Dental Center Indianapolis IN if you think they may be grinding their teeth.

How can I determine if my kid is teeth grinding?

As many as three out of ten youngsters under five are thought to grind their teeth, which is more prevalent than you may believe. It might be challenging to detect teeth grinding in children since it often occurs when they are sleeping. Common indications of grinding include the following,

  • Chipped teeth: If your child has chipped teeth, teeth grinding may be to blame. Teeth might chip away in little fragments due to the stress.
  • Fracture lines: Tiny hairline fractures known as “craze” lines may develop due to tooth grinding.
  • Worn enamel: Grinding your teeth under stress may wear away your enamel much as eating meals high in sugar or acid might.
  • Increased sensitivity: Your kid may grind their teeth if they complain of toothaches while eating hot or cold foods.
  • Unexplained headaches or earaches: If other reasons have been checked out, teeth grinding may be to blame. Headaches and earaches may have many different origins.
  • Jaw discomfort: Grinding your teeth may sometimes cause jaw pain. If your kid complains of jaw discomfort, they may be clenching or grinding their teeth.

Even though many of these symptoms might indicate teeth grinding, the only method to be sure is to listen for yourself. Wait until your kid is sleeping before listening for teeth grinding. It may make a squeaking, crushing, or scraping noise. If they make popping or clicking noises with their jaw, the action has inflamed their jaw joints. Your youngster has probably complained of jaw aches, if that is the case.

Why do children grind their teeth?

There are several reasons why both toddlers and adults grind their teeth. It may be difficult to pinpoint the reason since it often occurs when someone is sleeping, but one or more of the following problems frequently set it off.

Anxiety and tension

In older teenagers, stress and worry may cause jaw clenching or teeth grinding during sleep (and adults too). Because anxiety raises adrenaline levels, which mobilize energy throughout the body, this occurs. Studies have shown a link between anxiety levels and the propensity to grind one’s teeth.


In a similar vein, teeth grinding, and hyperactivity may go hand in hand. It may be connected to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in some instances (ADHD). The two often coexist, but not always. A child’s teeth grinding does not always indicate that they have ADHD. Please contact your physician if you think your kid may have ADHD.

Certain medicines

Antipsychotic drugs, in particular, may contribute to bruxism. Your toddler or adolescent may grind their teeth if they take an antipsychotic or another antidepressant. There may also be other movement problems, such as tongue rolling or lip-smacking. Consult your doctor if you believe there could be a relationship.

A physical hurt

The discomfort of developing or misplaced teeth in youngsters is a typical reason for teeth grinding. Similar to massaging a painful muscle, grinding might momentarily ease the pain. Children who have developing teeth may grind their teeth for this reason.

Can tooth grind lead to issues?

Teeth grinding regularly might be problematic. It may cause cracks and fissures and weaken the enamel of a child’s teeth. Cavities may be more likely to form along fracture lines. The effects of tooth grinding might extend beyond dental health. Sometimes it causes difficulties with the jaw joint and causes discomfort in the jaw or face.

Additionally, tooth misalignment brought on by bruxism may need orthodontic treatment. However, tooth grinding, particularly in younger patients (toddlers and children in elementary school), may not result in any issues at all. Many kids grind their teeth without any negative consequences.

How to handle my child’s teeth grinding

There are a few steps you can do to address the issue and eliminate teeth grinding in the future if you’re wondering how to stop your kid from grinding their teeth at sleep. Take them to a Childrens Dentist Indianapolis IN immediately if you think they may be grinding their teeth so they may be examined for any tooth damage. They could also be able to provide another alternative, like a nightguard.

Here are some actions you may take to stop toddlers and teenagers from grinding their teeth:

  • Avoid caffeine: Caffeine should be avoided since it may cause hyperactivity, which can lead to teeth grinding. Reduce the amount of chocolate and caffeinated foods and beverages your youngster consumes.
  • Try some relaxation techniques: Before going to bed, a youngster may use relaxation techniques to release stress and tension. Before going to bed, try some stretching or meditation.
  • Promote activity: Getting lots of exercise throughout the day will help reduce hyperactivity if your child’s teeth grinding is due to it. Ensure your kid practices proper dental hygiene by having them wash their teeth twice daily and floss at least once daily.
  • Request a nightguard: Your child’s Kids Dentist Indianapolis IN may provide a mouthguard as a barrier between the rows of teeth to avoid tooth damage. It’s crucial to remember that teenagers who have lost all of their baby teeth are the ideal candidates for nightguards.
  • Research orthodontics: Some kids grind their teeth because of discomfort from misaligned teeth, or the misalignment might result from the grinding. To avoid your child’s teeth grinding and hurting their smile, look into corrective orthodontics for children.

How to deal with the repercussions

Your kid may have jaw discomfort, migraines, or other side effects if they grind their teeth. You may take care of these signs as necessary. Face or jaw discomfort may be relieved with a cold compress. Before using painkillers, see your doctor.

Avoiding items that make the jaw work hard, such as jerky meat or raw carrots, may also be beneficial. Your child’s Pediatric Dentist Indianapolis IN will care for any tooth damage caused by teeth grinding. You may relax knowing that most of the time, teeth grinding is self-limiting, meaning it will stop on its own without any interventions or therapies.

Schedule a dental appointment

Make an appointment with a dentist if you believe your kid is grinding their teeth. Their pediatric dentists and orthodontists are experts in treating children, resulting in a pleasant and caring experience. DENTISTS place a high priority on patient confidence and trust. Their handy pediatric dentistry and orthodontic office will provide a tailored treatment plan for your child’s teeth grinding. Make an appointment with the Pediatric Dentistry Indianapolis IN right away.