Child bruxism: what to do if my child grinds his or her teeth

We tell you the keys to child bruxism, and how to stop it.

I'm sure you've heard of the bruxism and how teeth grinding can end up being tremendously devastating for our teeth.

And although it is a disorder usually associated with adults, it also occurs in children.

However, the childhood bruxism is not considered a pathology, but tends to disappear by adolescence.

What is infantile bruxism

It is considered that there should be normal physiological wear and tear or attrition of the temporary teeth between the ages of 3 and 5 yearsto allow for the growth and development of the jaws.

Considering furthermore that the prevalence of bruxism decreases with age in all research around the world, it is not surprising that the prevalence of bruxism decreases with age in all research around the world. 9 to 10 years old.

Bruxism is characterised by clenching the teeth, especially at night but also during the day, and is a natural way of stimulating teething and promoting bone and muscle formation in the face.

The habit will decrease with the appearance of permanent incisors and molars, coinciding with the onset of adolescence.

However, if it does not and the habit continues over time, the child may have some other problem.

Among the most frequent are the dolores in the muscles of the face, migraines, ear pains and wear and tear of parts.

In such cases, it is advisable to contact the paediatric dentist to determine that there is no psychological or physical cause behind the bruxism.

Possible causes

In addition to the teething process, and as mentioned above, there are a number of other factors emotional reasons why our child may be grinding his or her teeth.

Stress is one of the most common and is related to an excessive workload at school, separation from parents, possible bullying, moving house, hyperactivity, the birth of a sibling, and other changes in their life. Sleep disturbances also play a role.

With regard to other physical reasonsFor example, malocclusion, the result, for example, of misaligned teeth that prevent them from closing their jaws properly, and intestinal parasites. In the latter case, however, these are temporary episodes.

Diagnosis and solutions

For diagnose In the case of child bruxism, we must take into account the situations mentioned above, that is, if the child is in a situation (physical or mental) that is causing him/her anxiety; and also if the bruxism occurs occasionally or permanently.

The paediatric dentistYou will also have to assess the damage not only from the point of view of the teeth, but also from the point of view of muscle tension and the like.

At Velez and Lozano we have an excellent solution which consists of using a gel splint called Aqualizer.

This splint will help the child to alleviate the damage during the night. However, the idea is to get them to relax, so it wouldn't hurt to work with anti-stress therapies or similar.

Physiotherapy is also recommended in the most severe cases to reduce the strain on the musculature and oral and dental muscles.

What we can do at home

And since the idea is that our child to relax, we can put a number of tricks into action before we go to bed.

A warm bath, a glass of warm milk (after brushing your teeth), reading a story, and listening to soothing music will help you calm down.

Try to put aside devices and screens at least for the time being. two hours beforeand prevents them from going to sleep worried or angry.

Giving him a little massage (play drawing on his back, for example), avoiding heavy dinners and sugar after five o'clock in the afternoon, as well as encouraging him to do sport during the day are other tips that will be of great help.