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Managing Your Child’s Bruxism

A large number of children will suffer from bruxism at some point. Somewhere between fifteen and thirty-three percent of American children are thought to exhibit some degree of tooth-grinding. It is common for this to occur as new teeth come in, since the pain caused by this experience leads to grinding. Most kids will quickly stop grinding after this passes, but the habit will occasionally persist. Should you observe this activity in your own child, try the following:

Stress is a major cause of bruxism. Is your child going through major life changes? Look for potential stressors, and find ways to help manage them.
Dehydration is another big cause of bruxism. Be sure that your child is getting enough water, especially if he or she is an athlete.
Show your child how to massage the muscles around his or her jaw, or try applying a warm washcloth to relax the muscles.
Does your child chew a lot of gum, or other objects? You may want to put an end to this.

Bruxism is a serious problem, and can lead to costly dental issues if allowed to persist. Talk to our Bellingham dentist for help identifying the cause of your bruxism and find a way to manage it.