Does your child grind their teeth so loudly at night you can hear them from another room? No worries, you are not alone! Turns out many children grind their teeth during the night. While grinding is not the healthiest or most appealing noise to come from your child’s mouth, there is generally little to be concerned or worried about.
Why? Well – it is actually very common for younger children to grind their teeth at night. As a rule of thumb, if a child is young and has baby teeth present, grinding is considered typical behavior and no treatment needs to be done. Before the 6-year-old molars are fully established, a child’s teeth and bite are very flexible and subject to change as the child grows. Once the 6-year-old molars erupt the bite becomes more solidified and grinding tends to lessen. Some grinding may persist while the child loses the remainder of their baby teeth, which happens between 10-12 years of age. Grinding typically disappears naturally once all the baby teeth have fallen out and been replaced by permanent teeth. If grinding persists into adolescence, after all the permanent teeth have come in, intervention may be necessary. The goal of treatment is to protect the permanent teeth without negatively affecting the child’s normal growth.
Be sure to ask an Alligator Dental doctor if you have questions about your child’s teeth grinding. We track excessive wear and bite patterns and can make recommendations for treatment when appropriate.
Dr. Sarah Severson