Why It Is Normal And Safe For Kids To Grind Their Teeth

Do you often hear your small child grinding his or her teeth while sleeping? If so, you probably have concerns about this issue, as many parents do. The good news is that most pediatric dentists do not feel that this is an issue to worry about, but you may still want to talk to your child's dentist about it. Here are several things to understand about why kids grind their teeth while sleeping and why it usually is not something you should be concerned with.

Why kids do this

While not every child grinds his or her teeth while sleeping, it seems that most do. Some kids may grind their teeth every single night and for hours each night, while other kids may only do this sometimes. While experts are not completely certain why young kids do this so frequently, many dentists feel that it is due to the uneven growth of teeth on the upper and lower arches in a child's mouth. There are also times when children may do this from stress. If there was a big change in the child's life, this might be a natural response the child has to the stress he or she is dealing with.

Most kids outgrow it

The positive thing to understand about this problem is that most kids outgrow it. Grinding of the teeth is such a common issue with very young kids, but the majority of kids who do this will end up stopping the habit on their own. Because of this, you could talk to the dentist if you have concerns; however, he or she is likely to tell you that there is nothing to worry about at this time.

When it becomes a problem

When children continue grinding their teeth nightly after getting their permanent teeth, your dentist might start showing some concern. Baby teeth cannot be damaged severely through tooth grinding, but permanent teeth can. If your child has reached the age of 8 or 10 and is still doing this, you should discuss the problem with your dentist to find out if this is a problem you should consider addressing at this time.

If your child has this habit, you could talk to the dentist about it. In most cases, dentists do not worry too much about this condition until a child has his or her permanent teeth, but you can still discuss this issue at your next pediatric dental visit.