Is my Child’s Night Time Grinding Normal? Ask our Highlands Ranch Dentist

Clenching and grinding most often occurs during the night and is also know as Bruxism. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders in America. Most people are not aware that they, or their child, grind their teeth until our Highlands Ranch Dentists notice signs of tooth wear, fractured tooth structure or filling material, or damage to their jaw joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ.

Is Bruxing Common in children?

It is estimated that 80-90% of children grind their teeth at night. Girls tend to brux more than boys.

What causes my child to grind their teeth?

Although the exact reason for bruxism is unclear, possible reasons for grinding include: genetics, stress, allergies, ear infections, common colds, and growth spurts.

What should I do if my child bruxes their teeth?

In general, most children grow out of bruxing around ten years of age without causing any permanent damage to their permanent teeth. If your child has baby teeth only, we usually recommend to monitor. Primary (baby) teeth will eventually fall out as they grow and permanent teeth come in.

What about a night guard like I have?

You may have read in one of our previous blogs that we recommend custom made night guards for clenching and grinding. However, we do not recommend night guards for patients under that age of 14 because of the possibility of the night guard coming loose and the potential choking risk associated. There is also the consideration of costs as replacements will be required as the child grows and permanent teeth shift and come into place. As your child grows and becomes of appropriate age, if bruxism is still an issue, we may recommend a custom made occlusal/night guard to wear.

Our Highlands ranch dental team are happy to answer any questions you have about bruxism. Please feel free to call our office at 303-694-9740 and speak with one of our outstanding team members. You can also schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons to discuss any concerns you may have.

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