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Bruxism- How It Affects Your Child

Bruxism is common in children. It is the teeth grinding and jaw clenching that happen during sleep. It can also take place when your child is under stress. 2 out 10 kids experience this, but most of the affected kids outgrow it.

Causes

Experts are quite unsure about why bruxism takes place. There are cases when grinding of the teeth is caused by misalignment of the teeth, while some kids do it when they are teething or have earache. However, parents must be aware that grinding of the teeth may also be caused by anger, tension, or stress. Your child may feel stressful during examination periods or when something in their routine has changed recently.

Moreover, bruxism may also appear on hyperactive kids, as well as children with medical conditions like cerebral palsy or those who are taking certain medicines.

Bruxism Treatment

Most kids with bruxism simply outgrow it, and until they do, it may help to visit the dentist regularly. The dentist may prescribe using a night guard to keep the child’s teeth from getting damaged. The night guard is a protective mouthpiece similar to what athletes use. It may take time for your child to get used with the night guard, but with patience, it can provide positive results.

How to Help Kids with Bruxism

Regardless of the cause, your child may possibly control bruxism by doing relaxing routine before bedtime, such as a warm bath, soothing music, or even reading a short story to your child. If the teeth grinding is caused by stress, it may help to ask your child about what’s upsetting him, so you can help. If the issues bothering your child are complicated, try to ease his fears by discussing them with your child and reassuring him that everything is going to be fine. In some cases, these stress-relieving methods may not work and may require medical or dental intervention, especially if your child is experiencing sleeping difficulties or is acting unusual.

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