Updated: Jun 5
A popular question I ask during some of my consultations is -
Does your child grind their teeth?
As with all my consultations I like to look at the full picture and piece everything together to help parents find a solution to their child's challenges.
Why children grind their teeth.
Nobody knows for sure why children grind their teeth.
There can be a number of reasons.
Lets explore some possible reasons:
Their top and bottom teeth aren’t lined up. A dentist can double check this.
They have pain somewhere else in their bodies.
They’re stressed/ anxious. Feeling unwell or have a change in routine.
Child may have a negative experience with illness -so tense their body.
They may be deficient in minerals or vitamins (possibly zinc)
It can be sensory related -looking at a child's environment to check it is not over stimulating may help
Teeth grinding can occur as a result of a clenched jaw. Child becomes disorganised and shuts down and limits their jaw.
Teeth grinding can be medical. (Child may have oral motor delay). An OT can assess for this.
Some child teeth grind in their sleep. If your child grinds their teeth and snores loudly, breathes with their mouth open, or chokes or gasps while they’re asleep, it’s a good idea to see your GP. This can help rule out issues like sleep apnoea.
Some children grind their teeth during the day because they enjoy the feeling.
In most cases, it’s likely to be just a childhood habit your children will grow out of.
I have known many who just stop one day.
Try and be a detective -work out when your child is doing it -what he's doing ?, and how often ?, what is he doing when he's not doing it? We can then support them when we know more.