Teeth grinding is not just restricted to adults; kids, especially toddlers, are more prone to this condition. According to study, this activity is happens mostly when the toddlers are asleep. The good news is that bruxism, as it is termed medically, does not deteriorate the teeth in kids and will go away naturally. Various researches conducted on bruxism in babies suggest that 30% of the kids experience this condition. Read on to know about what triggers this condition and how you can do away with bruxism.
What Causes Teeth Grinding In Toddlers?
While there are no evidences that pinpoint to the underlying causes of teeth grinding, dentists and pediatricians point out to the following factors.
- Stress that arises from a change in routine, birth of sibling, or entering a playgroup
- Malocclusion where the bottom and top teeth are not properly aligned
- Temporomandibular joint issues
- Discontinuing breastfeeding
- Ending the use of pacifier
- Medical conditions such as allergies, pinworm infections, or endocrine conditions
- Nutritional deficiencies
You should visit a doctor if the baby displays one or more of the below outlined conditions:
- Enamel starts wearing out
- Teeth gets chipped or fractured
- Exposure of the pulp
- Increased sensitivity to temperature
- Facial pain
- Inability to move the jaws
How To Ease Bruxism In Babies?
Diagnosing the root cause of teeth grinding is essential to handle the condition in an efficient way. Here are a couple of tips that can come handy while managing such a condition:
- Put your baby to ease before she sleeps. Read out her favorite story or turn on some lullaby she loves to ensure that she is well relaxed.
- Massage her legs and back to ensure that she is calm and peaceful.
- Indulge her in some form of physical activity to help the muscles to relax.
- Include water and juices in her food to increase the fluid intake.
- If she expresses pain in the jaw or facial muscles, give her a hot fomentation. Dip a clean washcloth in warm water and foment her face with the same to ease the pain.
- If your toddler has already started going to school, talk to her about teeth grinding. You can use playful intervention to make her understand the situation.
How To Treat Bruxism In Toddlers?
There are no solutions available to cure this condition. It vanishes naturally by the time the kid turns 11. However, if you feel that the teeth grinding is beyond acceptable limits, then you can always take your baby to the dentist. Here are some of the methods that are generally used to treat teeth grinding.
- The dentist will prescribe a teeth guard if he feels your baby is having an excessive teeth grinding habit. It is a mouthpiece that is custom designed to fit in your child’s mouth. This saves the teeth from chipping off due to bruxism.
- If the child is suffering this condition to any underlying infection such as ringworm, the doctor prescribes an antibiotic to treat the infection and thus ease teeth grinding.
- If the child is grinding the teeth due to any nutritional deficiencies, supplements are prescribed.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are quite often advised to ease the pain and inflammation that might accompany teeth grinding.
Natural Ways To Ease Bruxism In Babies
Here are some natural tips to handle bruxism in toddlers:
1. Warm Compress:
Soak a washcloth in hot water and squeeze to remove excess water. Place the moist cloth around jaw region. Do this twice or thrice a day to ease stress-induced bruxosm in kids.
2. Massage With Sesame Seed Oil:
Sesame seed oil has innate muscle relaxant properties. Massaging the back, shoulders, neck, limbs, and face of the baby will help in relaxing the muscles and easing bruxism.
Does your baby grind her teeth while sleeping? How do you handle the condition? Share your views and tips with us.