Teeth grinding, also known as sleep bruxism, is a disorder that is quite common among kids. It is estimated that 3 in 10 children involuntary clench and gnash their teeth while sleeping.
Even though teeth grinding might not be harmful at first, the long-term effects of the condition could be devastating to the dental health of your child. Some of the most noticeable effects include cracked or broken teeth, thinning of enamel, enlarged jaw muscles, wear and tear on the teeth, and tooth loss.
The good news is that you can help your child to overcome teeth grinding issues. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
Check your child’s stress levels
The causes of teeth grinding remain unknown. However, various studies suggest that stress could be a possible cause of bruxism. With this in mind, it could be that your child is experiencing a stressful situation. Hence, they cannot help but gnash or grind their teeth, albeit unwittingly, as a way of relieving stress.
If you notice that your child is grinding their teeth regularly, then it is high time you check in on their stress levels. Helping your child to cope with a stressful situation can go a long way to reduce the frequency of teeth grinding.
Teach them not to chew foreign objects
Kids have a tendency of chewing at foreign objects such as pens, and pencils, particularly when they are idle. This might seem harmless, but it actually encourages the habit of teeth grinding.
The ideal way to keep them from chewing these objects is to teach them how to relax their jaws by placing the tip of their tongue between their teeth.
Reduce their caffeine intake
Allowing your kids to drink too much coffee or soda could rev up their bodies and trigger teeth grinding. The caffeine content in these beverages could be too much for your kid to handle, subsequently increasing the risk of teeth grinding.
Instead of giving your kids caffeinated drinks, you are advised to encourage them to drink plenty of water. This will help reduce teeth grinding and improve their overall wellbeing. Coffee and soda should only be given as a treat on rare occasions.
Consult a kids dentist
If your child’s teeth grinding issue seems to be growing out of control, then it is high time you take them to a kid’s dentist. The pediatric dentist will examine the child at their next visit and provide recommendations on how to deal with the problem. The examination includes checks to see whether the condition has caused any long-term damage.
The best part is that most pediatric dentists are approachable and highly trained to interact with kids. With this in mind, you can always be sure that your child will receive the best advice on how to stop this bad habit.
So what are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment with a kid’s dentist today to help your child overcome teeth grinding problems today!