It is rare that a child had never grinded with his teeth and it is one of the most annoying noises. At first, you may hear it just when you check on your little one while he is sleeping, later, while reading him a bedtime story. But you can stay calm because there is certainly no need to panic. Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, is quite common in toddlers and not an important reason to be concerned.
Main reasons why little ones grind their teeth
There are some things you should know about your child's first molars, like the fact that there are some kids who grind because their upper and lower jaws are growing at a different rate, resulting in an overbite. By the way, the pain from teething or an ear infection, might also easily lead to grinding their teeth. If you are not capable of finding an obvious physical reason for your little one’s grinding, then there is a possible chance he is doing it as a reaction to stress. If there has been a lot of change in the home or perhaps he is experiencing something in his daycare, child might react to any of it by grinding his teeth in his sleep. At the end, there are also some children who grind their teeth simply because they have figured out that they can do that and it is fun for them to experience this new thing they found. Kids are intrigued by the new sound and feeling, so they try it out. Sometimes even over and over again. But in this case, you can sit down and let it pass by itself. This type of grinding rarely lasts, child should quite this new hobby quite quickly.
What you should do about teeth grinding?
To be honest, as a mom or a dad, there is not much you can do about teeth grinding, or to avoid it in the first place. If it happens, it happens. You cannot prevent a teeth grinding habit, it just appears or not. Mostly you might notice grinding at the night time. The motion you need to do with your teeth and jaw to grind is not very comfortable and that is why toddlers usually stop doing it on their own. But if you do hear them grinding during the day and this habit is continuing to happen, it is quite fair to talk about it with your little one and ask them stop doing it. The good news is that children do not usually need any treatment for grinding and typically, they grow out of it just by the time when their adult teeth is starting to come in and their bite evens out. Of course, there are some cases, severe grinding in toddlers can lead to chipped or worn down teeth. If your child has not seen a dentist yet, this is the right time to make that first dental appointment. It will help you to relax if everything is okay, and if not, dentist will surely be able to see if there has been any damage to the teeth from grinding.
What if teeth grinding does not go away
Usually children, who are not lucky to grow out of grinding by age six are likely to grow out of it by age 10 or 12. By the way, you should know that grinding later in life is probably reaction to some kind of stress. If your child is still grinding, you should definitely spend some time figuring out if there is something bothering him or is he feeling okay emotionally. Perhaps there is a bully at school or maybe some problems appeared recently with his friend. Grinding and teeth clenching as an adult can lead to some pretty severe jaw pain and headaches and that is why it is worth to keep tabs on this habit as your kid gets older.
The point is that there is no better cure than time. For now you will likely just have to take it together and wait till the grinding stops.