Teeth grinding or bruxism is a normal occurrence to babies starting from 10 months until seven years of age. This may be related when they start to develop teeth and until they grow their permanent teeth. However, don’t be overly worried as this habit ceases earlier over time when the set of permanent teeth is settled which is after the toddler stage. If you’re wondering how to stop baby from grinding teeth, continue reading.
Bruxism is normal for children if it happens once in a while. But it’s a different scenario if he does it constantly. You should learn how to stop the baby from grinding his teeth because if you can’t exercise measures on your child’s bruxism, it could lead to some discomfort. Though the symptoms are dull, a baby is not overly used to feeling pain. What the baby might feel from too many teeth grinding includes headaches, jaw pain, tooth misalignment, and even tooth damage.
Why Do They Grind Their Teeth?
One out of three babies develops bruxism as a response to a new sensation of having teeth. Most likely, a baby’s teeth grinding commonly occur at nighttime when he sleeps. There’re some occurrences that he also grinds his teeth when he’s awake, but it is more so at night. Doctors can’t explain exactly why it is so, but they have some causes as to why.
Babies tend to grind their teeth when they are in pain like sore gums, teething, or ear infections. Some others grind their teeth because the top and bottom part of their teeth are improperly aligned. Other medical conditions like allergies, nutrition deficiency, worms, etc. are also possible causes for bruxism.
Not only the physical aspect, but the psychological aspect can also make your child do this nasty routine. If he’s stressed or anxious about something, his immediate reaction is to grind his teeth. Notice the possible causes of his stress and that could be a change of routine schedule, new sibling, arguing parents, new environment, etc.
How to Stop Baby from Grinding Teeth
Although as previously stated, bruxism among children is pretty normal and will be gone after some time, it’s still best to distract children from grinding their teeth so they won’t be in pain. After identifying the causes as to why a child does it, determine the seriousness of his condition if he needs to be taken to a dentist or pediatrician. Though experts don’t consider bruxism as a serious illness, it’s a way to know other conditions that your child might be suffering. Some dentists can prescribe a teeth guard for your child to impede bruxism during nighttime.
If you notice that your child is grinding his teeth, it’s an ill advice to tell them to stop doing it. Telling him off or scolding him can make him more anxious and he will tend to grind his teeth more. That’s why you should distract him subtly. Offer him snacks or get him to drink water. Dehydration is also one of the causes of bruxism. Hydrating your child should keep it at bay.
If your baby is grinding his teeth again but it’s still daylight, and he’s wide awake, relieving him of his stress can work. Activities aside from eating like relaxing his muscles through massage, stretching exercises, and also drawing. If something is bothering your child that you may think out of fear or nervousness, having a parent-child talk that assures him that you’re always with him can alleviate his confusion.
Since teeth grinding happens most at night, helping your baby relax before he goes to sleep could stop him from doing it. A nice warm bath, reading bedtime stories, cuddling, smooches, listening to soothing music, and comfortable beddings should do the trick. Make these as the bedtime routine every night and your child will familiar with his habit during some time.
The above tips could eventually help you on how to stop baby from grinding teeth. At the first stage where you notice your child’s starting to grind his teeth, ignore it as it’s perfectly normal for their age. You only have to start intervention if he keeps at it longer than it should that could cause you worry.