March 21, 2013
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How to Stop Teeth Grinding in a Child


While bruxism, or teeth grinding, is very common among children, and often disappears by itself over time, it can cause several long-term issues, such as chipped teeth, jaw pain and severe headaches. Follow these steps to help your child to stop grinding his teeth.


1.  Stay alert. Most kids who grind their teeth do so in their sleep, and therefore don't even realize they have a problem. If your child complains of a sore jaw in the morning, sucks his thumb, bites on the inside of his cheeks, or makes a harsh noise with his mouth while sleeping, he may have bruxism.

2  Discover if there is an issue that's bothering your child, as teeth grinding is often brought on by stress. Try and resolve the issue, and the grinding may stop.

3 .Take your child to see Dr. Doyle if he complains of pain in his jaw, or has damaged his teeth. We may fit him with a night guard, such as those worn by professional athletes, to protect him from further harming his mouth.

4. Tell your child not to chew on pens, pencils, straws or toothpicks, and avoid giving him chewing gum. These habits are harmful because they allow your child's jaw muscles to become accustomed to clenching, which will make him more prone to bruxism.

5.  Place a warm cloth on your child's cheek, near his ear to relax his jaw muscles before he goes to bed for the night.

6.  Provide your child with water throughout the day. Teeth grinding often occurs when an individual becomes dehydrated.

7. Start a soothing bedtime routine with your child, so he is relaxed and comfortable before bed. Start with a small snack with a warm glass of milk, followed by a warm bath and a story to transition him into a restful sleep. Do not give the child chocolate or flavored milk. The caffeine in the chocolate and the sugar in the flavoring can keep him up or make him restless.


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