Human teeth are meant to work in harmony with each other. Unfortunately, in some cases, they can damage one another, particularly in individuals who grind and clench their teeth at night. If your child has this habit, what can you do to preserve their precious smile? Contact our practice. As a pediatric dentist, we may recommend that your young one starts using a nightguard for bruxism. This simple oral appliance can protect the teeth and promote long-term oral health.
Bruxism is the habit of grinding and clenching the teeth. It typically happens during sleep, so the person doing it may be unaware of their actions. It can afflict people of any age, including children and teens. Often, stress is a major contributing factor to bruxism. However, other issues, such as a misaligned bite or even an inner ear problem, can also play a role in its development.
Most young patients stop bruxing on their own eventually. In the meantime, though, this habit could have dire consequences for their oral health. For example, it can cause serious wear and tear on the tooth enamel.
If you observe your child while they are sleeping, you may notice grinding noises coming from their mouth. That is a major indicator that they are bruxing. If you do not have the opportunity to watch your child sleep, you can look for other signs of this problem. For example, your child might complain of:
A nightguard is a small, custom-made oral appliance. It resembles a mouthguard that your child would wear for sports. However, it has a different purpose. It places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth so they cannot cause mutual harm to one another. As a result, your child could enjoy:
Depending on your child’s age, they might need some help and reminders to care for their nightguard. Here are few best practices to keep in mind: