Top 3 Causes of Teeth Grinding in Toddlers
While the exact cause of teeth grinding in toddlers is unknown, there are several potential causes for this behavior. Here are the top 3 causes and possible solutions:
1. Cause: Stress
Just as in adults, toddlers and children experience different stresses in daily life and can sometimes take it out on themselves in a physical manner unknowingly. Additionally, toddlers can adopt behavior that they witness in their parents, meaning that if you grind your teeth, your child is more likely to grind as well.
Solution: Make sure to spend extra time with your little one before bedtime to try and ease possible anxiety from their day. Perhaps begin with a warm, scented bath using calming circular scrubbing motions. Follow it up with a mini-massage to ease any remaining tension and then be sure to spend plenty of time cuddling and relaxing in a calming environment.
2. Cause: Pain
Teething is an uncomfortable experience at best and teeth grinding in toddlers could be their way to cope with the pain. If you’ve worn any orthodontic equipment in your lifetime then you are probably familiar with the type of oral pain that feels better when you clench or bite down. This most likely feels good for babies as well, leading to grinding.
Solution: Try and ease your child’s discomfort by administering the proper dosage of Tylenol or other age appropriate pain medications. If it seems like they are in an unreasonable amount of pain, perhaps schedule an appointment with your gentle dentist to make sure everything is proceeding normally.
3. Cause: Familiarizing themselves with their new body part
The new additions to their oral cavity could be strange to your baby. It’s hard to imagine at this point in life, but just try and picture what you would do if something new appeared on your body. Most likely you would want to investigate it and see what it’s all about. Grinding can be your child’s investigative actions.
Solution: This type of behavior will go away over time most likely. As soon as the teeth are no longer a novelty, the grinding should stop. Older children can be fitted with a night guard to help with the grinding.
While teeth grinding in toddlers is most likely not causing any damage to their teeth, it is always best to have their mouth checked out by a dentist. To be on the safe side, you want to make sure that their teeth aren’t showing any wear and tear or fractures.
Photo Credit: Muffet