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Toddler Grinding Teeth? How to Deal with Teeth Grinding Sleep Problems

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The sound of a toddler grinding teeth is up there with annoying noises like rubbing balloons or nails on a chalkboard, but it can also be an alarming development for a parent.

No parent wants to hear their child grinding down their pearly whites so early in life. If a child’s teeth grinding sleep habit keeps you up, or you have concerns about your child’s oral health, it’s always good to know more about why it’s happening and what you can do about it.

Read on to learn more about:

  • Why toddlers grind their teeth
  • If it’s safe for toddlers to grind their teeth
  • What you can do about a toddler grinding teeth

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 Why Do Toddlers Grind Their Teeth?

Teeth grinding, or bruxism at it is technically known, can manifest at any time during life, and it’s pretty standard in young children and toddlers. For example, the University of Michigan Health Services reports that teething grinding can develop as early as 6-months when teeth start to come in and start up again at 5 when their permanent teeth begin to come in.

Teeth grinding sleep habits for adults is usually a symptom of anxiety or stress. However, toddler teeth grinding is often due to a child testing out a new set of teeth.

Experts say an estimated 2 to 3 children out of 10 will develop teeth-grinding sleep habits, but they may also do it while awake.

A few other reasons a toddler will start grinding their teeth include:

  • Teeth are misaligned
  • Medications or a medical condition like cerebral palsy
  • Pain relief, such as from an earache or teething discomfort

In general, toddler grinding teeth is a temporary issue that will quickly resolve as they get used to the new sensations in their mouths.

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Is Toddler Teeth Grinding Safe?

As mentioned, teeth grinding habits in children usually disappear on their own before they can do any damage. The fact they don’t yet have their adult teeth also helps. You should monitor the teeth grinding, but it’s unlikely to cause the child any harm during their early years.

Toddler teeth grinding habits usually disappear on their own
Toddler teeth grinding habits usually disappear on their own

 What Can You Do About a Toddler Grinding Teeth?

Never wake a teeth-grinding toddler up; this is more likely to exacerbate the problem rather than give you any relief.

Older children can wear night guards to protect their teeth against grinding, but these don’t work in smaller mouths with constantly changing teeth. In addition, the guards won’t fit well, and it’s understandably challenging to get a toddler to wear one.

Parents who suspect anxiety may be why the toddler teeth grinding could introduce routines like extra snuggle time or reading before bed to comfort and calm the child.

If your child is six years old and shows signs of teeth grinding, you should consult with your dentist or doctor to try and determine the source and discuss what you can do to protect their teeth.

Rest assured, your toddler’s teeth grinding habit will likely disappear after they lose all their baby teeth. So, you may not need to provide any treatment, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the situation just in case.

 

 

 

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