Isn’t bliss to hear the sounds of smooth breathing and lovely dreams when you gaze in on your sleeping child? But, some parents get to hear the harsher noises of clenching and teeth grinding in kids, which is known as bruxism.
What is teetH grinding in kids?
Teeth grinding in kids, also known as bruxism is more common. This usually occurs in children before the age of five. It’s normally nothing to be concerned about, and most kids outgrow it by the age of six. Teething or poor tooth alignment are the most common causes of teeth grinding in kids. However, some children only grind their teeth during the day, but teeth grinding when sleeping is more common. (Impact of sleep disorders in kids brain development)
Causes of teeth grinding in kids
The cause of bruxism or teeth grinding in kids isn’t always clear to experts. However, some of the reasons include:
- Poor teeth alignment
- To ease the discomfort caused. Often, it’s a reaction to pain, such as an earache or teething, that causes them to do it.
- Another cause is stress, which usually manifests as nervous tension or anger. For example, a child may be concerned about a school test or a change in routine. Even arguing with parents and siblings can be stressful enough to cause jaw clenching or teeth grinding when sleeping. (Ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety and promotes better sleep)
Are there any signs and symptoms to identify if your child grinds teeth?
Most parents may usually hear a lot of sounds of teeth grinding in kids, especially if it happens late at night. Apart from this, general symptoms of teeth grinding in kids include:
- Frequent complaints of headaches
- Sore jaw
- Injured teeth and gums (Oral health of kids : Tooth decay)
- Tightening or clenching of the jaw muscles
- Complaining of jaw muscle ache
- Sensitivity to hot and cold foods and beverages
In some cases, even the teeth and tooth enamel may be worn away. As a result, if the problem is not addressed, children may experience future dental difficulties.
Effects of teeth grinding in kids
Many cases of teeth grinding in kids go unnoticed and have no negative consequences, while others result in headaches or earaches. Chronic tooth grinding can cause fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth in some kids. Teeth can be worn down to roots as a result of constant grinding. Bridges, crowns, root canals, implants, partial dentures, and even complete dentures may be required when these events occur.
Clenching and teeth grinding when sleeping can also damage teeth, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity and create significant facial discomfort and jaw disorders like temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. It might also change the appearance of the face.
How to prevent teeth grinding in kids?
Bruxism is a common reaction among children as they grow and develop. These incidents are unavoidable. Stress-related teeth grinding can, however, be avoided in both children and adults. The first step in avoiding teeth grinding when sleeping is to establish a relaxing nighttime routine. The following are some tips to help your child sleep better at night.
- Before going to bed, turn off the television and other electronic devices.
- Allow them to listen to soothing music.
- Give them a warm bath or shower.
- Allow them to read or listen to what you’re reading.
Stress management is important. Discuss your child’s feelings on a daily basis. They need help coping with stress. Your child’s stress can be relieved by talking to a family member, or a therapist about what’s bothering him or her. And if possible, try to eliminate your child’s sources of stress. (Anger management in kids)
Foods to AVOID FOR teeth GRINDING IN KIDS
You might probably be familiar with your child facing sore jaw muscles as a result of teeth grinding. Chewing foods that further exhaust those muscles can cause them to become even more tired and achy.
It’s best to avoid foods that promote jaw clenching and necessitate a lot of chewing. You should also avoid foods that damage the teeth as part of the bruxism diet because weakened teeth is another common symptom of bruxism.
Some of the most important foods to avoid if you have bruxism are:
- Chewing gums
- Chewy candies
- Hard candy
- Crunchy foods
- Chewy food like steaks
- Hard foods like nuts
Best diet TO PREVENT teeth grinding
A diet consisting of mostly soft foods will help minimize the tension on your kid’s jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. This could involve the following:
- Apple puree
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
You might also improve your bruxism diet by including more anti-inflammatory foods. Because bruxism and TMJ are linked to inflammation, these foods may help alleviate symptoms.
- Fatty fish, salmon
- Green leafy vegetables
- Berries like strawberries and bluberries
Vitamins that help TO PREVENT teeth grinding
It is ideal to acquire all of the vitamins and nutrients from a balanced diet. Here are a few vitamins and minerals that might help teeth grinding in kids. Supplement your child’s regular regimen with these vitamins and minerals.
Magnesium relaxes the neurological system and can aid in the relaxation of muscles in the jaw. Clenching and teeth grinding when sleeping is reduced as a result. Stress is regarded to be one of the most common causes of bruxism, and low magnesium levels are linked to high stress levels. The foods that are rich in magnesium include:
- Nuts such as almonds, cashew, peanut
- Seeds such as pumpkin , flax and chia
- Whole grains like wheat, oats, barley, buckwheat and quinoa
- Vegetables like carrot, potatoes, broccoli, avocado
- Fatty fish
Deficiency in calcium, which causes bone deterioration, has been related to teeth grinding and teeth clenching. Make sure your child receives adequate calcium, too. Calcium-rich food sources include:
- Milk and milk products
- Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, lady’s finger
- Seeds such as sesame and chia
- Lotus seeds or makhana
3) Vitamin B and vitamin C
Dietary supplements of vitamins B and C have been linked to better sleep quality and deeper sleep. Sleep bruxism, which is categorized as a sleep-related movement problem, is significantly helped by these vitamins. (Foods with B vitamins)
Dietary sources of vitamin B include:
- Whole grain cereals
- Nuts and seeds
- Green leafy vegetables
- Milk and milk products
Dietary sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, papaya, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower.
Changing your child’s diet all at once may be challenging, so consider making one or two changes at a time. In this way, you will be able to determine which meals have an impact on your bruxism symptoms.
Living with teeth grinding
Clenching or teeth grinding in kids is not harmful. The majority of kids will outgrow it. However, it might induce unpleasant symptoms that can make daily life difficult. You can take efforts to alleviate and prevent discomfort. The following are some home care suggestions:
- Use wet heat or ice for sore jaw muscles
- Massage the neck, shoulders, and face muscles.
- Avoid foods that are hard, dense, or chewy, such as nuts, bagels, or steak.
- Avoid chewing gum
- Stretching activities for physical rehabilitation can be learned.
- Relax the facial muscles.
- Reduce the stress levels.
- Practice relaxation techniques.
If self-care measures don’t work after a few weeks and your child is still having problems, consult your family doctor.
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