Teeth grinding in children is very common. 30% of kids grind their teeth for a variety of reasons.
The good news... almost all of them stop when they get their permanent teeth at around age 6.
Ear aches, headaches, jaw aches or sensitive teeth are all possible symptoms. But most often there are no symptoms.
The result is worn teeth that look flat on the chewing surface and shorter or smaller than normal.
Possible causes include pain, stress, or an uneven occlusion (the way teeth fit together)
Some kids just grind their teeth for no apparent reason and quit just as suddenly as they start.
Babies are constantly sucking in their sleep. Even if they don't use a pacifier or suck their thumb they are always sucking and dreaming of their next meal.
If babies get their teeth early (before 6 months) they are likely just getting used to having teeth and may eventually stop on their own.
Age 3 1/2 is when most children start to grind their teeth. Toddler teeth grinding can be caused by ear aches or teething pain.
If your toddler grinds her teeth, ask your dentist to check for wear or fractured teeth from grinding. Baby teeth have thinner enamel than adult teeth that wears and decays faster.
Damage from grinding usually does not require treatment. Just wait for the permanent teeth to come in.
The loss of a few baby teeth and arrival of the first few permanent teeth makes it impossible for kids to continue to grind their teeth.
If your child has an ear ache or teething pain, follow your physician's advice.
A nice relaxing bedtime routine can be helpful.
Teeth grinding guards are not normally recommended for children because of their constantly changing dentition.
Don't worry, childhood teeth grinding is one problem that almost always goes away on it's own.