Why does my child grind their teeth? Should I be worried?
dental hygienist showing her young patient a photo of her family

Does your baby or toddler grind their teeth? Should you be concerned about it?

Babies begin to explore the world around them through their mouths. That’s why you notice them tasting and putting everything in it, including their tiny feet.

If they grind occasionally, chances are they’re only exploring. Toddlers also grind their teeth for similar reasons. They may be testing their pearly whites but worry not as this habit usually goes away as they grow older.

However, if you see your little one grind their teeth often, it helps to consult with a pediatrician or children’s dentist in the Red Deer area.

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is a medical condition that involves grinding or clenching the teeth.

It can happen to little children and adults. You may see your baby or toddler grind their teeth while sleeping or during the day.

Don’t ignore their clenching if they do it often and loudly and if they’re experiencing pain in their jaw, ears, or head. Most of the time, though, little children are just fine and outgrow the habit.

Common teeth grinding causes among children

  • Babies and toddlers usually grind their teeth while teething. It may be their way of dealing with discomfort or pain.
  • Toddlers may also clench their teeth due to alignment issues or poor bite.
  • Teeth grinding among young children may also be due to medications they’re taking or medical conditions.

Effects of bruxism

Bruxism often goes undiagnosed and isn't serious either. Some, however, experience headaches, searches, and jaw pain. There are even cases when family members or people around feel more concerned due to the loud grinding sound.

Young children often outgrow teeth grinding without any treatment. The effects can be more damaging for older children. If the bruxism persists and worsens, it can cause premature wear to the teeth. You may notice chipped enamel or broken teeth in your child. Severe cases may also cause jaw problems.

While often not harmful, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist if you're concerned about your child’s clenching.

When to contact your doctor or dentist

You may find the sound that your child makes when clenching their teeth disturbing. But, remember, this is usually temporary and there’s nothing to worry about.

But then again, if you feel that their clenching is happening more often and may already be causing them pain, it’s okay to consult with your doctor or dentist.

Here are some signs to look out for:

  • Excessive noise when grinding
  • Pain in their jaw, head, or ears
  • Difficulties when chewing
  • Chipped enamel
  • Unusual damage on their teeth

Your dentist will examine your child’s mouth to find out the cause of the clenching and from there recommend the next steps to take.

Your family dentist in Red Deer, AB

Here at Image Dental Care in Red Deer, we welcome young children, including babies.

If you have more questions about teeth grinding in children or would like to schedule your child for a dental checkup or exam, please get in touch with us at .

Let’s protect your child’s teeth by staying proactive. They need your help so they can enjoy a lifetime of confident smiles. We’re right here as your partner.