Grinding your teeth can be very harmful to them, causing grooves and gullies to form which can allow bacteria to congregate and cling to the teeth. It is especially harmful for children whose teeth are still developing. Up to 30% of children experience teeth grinding, known as bruxism. Pediatric dental specialists in Houston can help your child overcome this potentially harmful involuntary habit.
When a child grinds their teeth, whether knowingly or involuntarily, it can be because of a few reasons.
Pediatric dental specialists in Houston have found that children with misaligned teeth, hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or stress may grind their teeth. In some instances, it can also be the result of an expression of pain or a reaction to certain medications.
In any case, teeth grinding can cause headaches, earaches, general facial pain, jaw problems, and teeth damage.
Damage to the teeth can allow bacteria to grow in areas that are hard to clean, and this can cause cavities or gum disease.
Most children outgrow the habit, but some do not. Identifying the habit and guiding the child to stop can prevent a lot of damage and unnecessary pain.
Besides seeing a pediatric dental specialist in Houston, you can take some steps at home to identify bruxism. It’s not always easy to spot, as most children don’t realise they do it, or they do it while asleep.
During the course of the day, keep an eye on them and watch for repeated jaw movements that could signify grinding. If the child complains of sudden headaches, earaches, or facial pain, it could be a result of grinding.
If the child seems particularly stressed about something, talk with them and take steps to ease their fear.
Overnight, check on the child periodically to see if they are grinding their teeth.
The best way to identify and treat bruxism is to see a pediatric dental specialist in Houston. They can use several treatments to help the child reduce grinding.
Custom mouth guards can be used to prevent teeth grinding, even during overnight hours.
Dental procedures that change the alignment of teeth can prevent involuntary grinding that results from misalignment.
Behavioral therapy and stress management techniques may be needed to address psychological reasons for grinding, though these are not as common.