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Does your child clench their teeth at night? Many kids grind their teeth during sleep, leading to dental problems, headaches, and joint pain. This condition, known as bruxism, has various causes.

It’s important to address teeth grinding early and use prevention methods to protect their health. Taking early action can significantly impact your child’s dental health.

9 Ways to Prevent Teeth Grinding in Children

Below are effective strategies to help your child stop grinding their teeth at night:

1. Reducing Pre-Sleep Anxiety

First, address any extra energy or worries your child might have.

Second, too much caffeine can make some children feel jittery, so try cutting back on sodas, chocolate, and other caffeinated drinks and snacks.

Relaxation techniques like gentle stretches or short medications before bed can also help them unwind and drift off to a peaceful sleep.

2. Physical Activity

If your child is full of energy, engaging them in physical activities during the day can help burn off that extra energy and prevent teeth grinding at night. Consider bike rides, playing tag, or joining a sports team—anything to keep them active and moving.

3. Maintaining Optimal Oral Hygiene

Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day are important for everyone, but it’s especially important for children who grind their teeth. Good oral hygiene keeps their teeth healthy and strong, which can help prevent damage from grinding.

4.  Night Guard Therapy for Developed Dentition

For older children who no longer have baby teeth, dentists can create special mouth guards they wear at night. These night guards act like a shield, protecting their teeth from the grinding and clenching.

5. Stress Management and Sleep Hygiene

Stress and worry can definitely contribute to teeth grinding. Help your child unwind before bed by creating a calming bedtime routine. This might include reading a book together, brushing their hair, or listening to calming music.

Talk to your child about anything that might be bothering them, and let them know you’re there to listen.

6. Staying Hydrated

Dehydration might be linked to teeth grinding in children. Make sure your child drinks plenty of water throughout the day.

7. Eliminating Non-Nutritional Chewing Habits

Chewing on pencils, pens, or other non-food items can put extra stress on the jaw and lead to teeth grinding in children. So, encourage your child to keep their jaw relaxed, with their tongue resting on the roof of their mouth.

There should be a small space between their upper and lower teeth when their mouth is closed.

8. Discontinuation of Gum Chewing

The constant chewing motion of gum can actually make teeth grinding more likely.

9. Orthodontic Intervention

Sometimes, misaligned teeth can cause pain or discomfort, leading to teeth grinding. In these cases, orthodontics (braces or retainers) can help straighten your child’s teeth and potentially reduce grinding.

In Summary

Following these tips can help your child relax, unwind, and prevent nighttime teeth grinding. A healthy sleep routine, good oral hygiene, and managing stress are key to keeping their smile healthy and happy.

For more information, contact Dr. Mussadiq Iftikhar, DDS, MSD, and his expert team at Sair Dental Group. As a Stallard Award winner, Dr. Iftikhar is here to help. Call us at our clinics – Fondren Road (832) 924-2666 or Club Creek Drive (281) 558-1199. We’re here to answer all your questions and support your child’s dental health.

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