Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry

The ABCs of Baby Teeth Grinding: What Every Parent Should Know

The ABCs of Baby Teeth Grinding: What Every Parent Should Know

Reviewed by Dr. Henry Martinez, DMD

Reading time: 5 minutes.

Did you know that it’s common for babies to grind their teeth? It’s called bruxism, and it can be worrisome for parents when they see or hear their little ones doing it. But don’t worry, it’s normal!

In this blog, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and potential problems associated with teeth grinding in babies. We’ll also provide natural remedies, treatment options for chronic bruxism, and tips on how to prevent teeth grinding in infants.

Why Do Babies Grind Their Teeth?

Bruxism is a medical condition that is also known as teeth grinding. It is commonly linked to stress, missing teeth, misalignment of teeth, or issues with the jaw joint in adults. Parents are often left scratching their heads about why their little ones grind their teeth, as the usual reasons that apply to grownups don’t always hold for babies.

We don’t know the exact reason, but experts think it might be a self-soothing mechanism for pain. It could alleviate discomfort during teething or from allergies or ear infections.Some experts believe babies might grind their new teeth to get accustomed to this new sensation. It’s like they are exploring this new addition to their mouth and learning how to use their teeth. So parents, take comfort in knowing it’s a common habit in little ones!

Key Takeaway

Teeth grinding in babies is a common habit that is not usually harmful. Babies often grind their teeth when they experience discomfort during teething or when they are adjusting to their new teeth. Parents can rub their baby’s gums, provide teething toys, and create a calming environment to help relax their infant. However, if the grinding continues into the toddler years, seek advice from a pediatric dentist.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

It might be a sign of bruxism if you notice your little one grinding their teeth during sleep or naps. Sometimes, you may also notice signs of jaw clenching or teeth grinding while they’re awake, although it can be tricky to spot.

If teeth grinding goes unnoticed, it may not cause any trouble for your baby. However, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Noticeable clicking or grinding noises, particularly during sleep or nap times.
  • Consistent clenching movements or tenseness in the jaw.
  • Tooth sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods, potentially leading to crying during meals.
  • Tooth damage or wear.
  • Swelling of the gums.

Problems Bruxism Can Cause

Usually, bruxism in infants isn’t a significant concern. It’s mainly associated with discomfort, mild pain, or teeth sensitivity. Most infants and children stop grinding their teeth on their own, so you may not have to worry about extra treatment. Complications are very rare at this stage.

However, older children experiencing bruxism should be monitored to prevent potential damage to their permanent teeth. Persistent jaw clenching could lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This condition causes pain and stiffness in the jaw and other complications.

For more information on how TMJ can affect your child, read our blog TMJ in Kids: What Parents Need To Know.

How To Stop a Baby From Grinding Their Teeth

It’s not always possible to stop infant tooth grinding entirely. However, parents can try a few things to help alleviate the issue.

  • Rub your baby’s gums or provide a teething toy to help ease teething pain.
  • A simple DIY solution is to give your baby a cool, moist washcloth to gnaw on.
  • Reduce stress in your baby’s environment by playing calming music or dimming the lights before bedtime.
  • Massage your baby’s jaw muscles to relieve facial tension.
  • Make sure your baby’s diet is balanced and healthy.
  • Avoid stimulating activities or foods before bedtime.

How Chronic Bruxism Is Treated

It’s usually not a concern when infants grind their teeth, but consult a pediatric dentist if it persists beyond toddler years. Your child’s dentist will suggest treatment based on the severity of their condition. Some common bruxism treatments include:

  • Dental appliances such as mouth guards or splints to protect the teeth from damage.
  • Pain relievers or medication to reduce jaw tension and alleviate any discomfort.
  • Orthodontic treatment if misaligned teeth are causing the issue.

When To Contact a Pediatric Dentist

If you have concerns about your baby’s dental health, don’t hesitate to contact your pediatric dentist. While tooth grinding is usually not a big deal and won’t cause any long-term issues, it’s still important to watch for any changes in your baby’s teeth.

Also, if your baby shows signs of irritability, it might be because of jaw pain, an earache, or some other discomfort caused by clenching. If you notice any of these symptoms, tell your pediatric dentist. They’re always happy to help and want to make sure your baby’s smile stays healthy and happy!

Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry – Your Pediatric Dentist in Phoenix

It’s pretty common for babies to grind their teeth. Though it’s usually not a cause for concern, it’s important to keep an eye on it, as it can cause discomfort or damage to their primary teeth.

If your little one is showing signs of teeth grinding, it’s not something you have to face alone. At Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry, we’re here to help and provide the best possible care. Our experienced dentist, Dr. Martinez, is committed to protecting your baby’s precious smile.

Schedule a consultation with us today to ensure a healthy dental future for your child. Call (602) 935-7427 or complete the online booking form. Let’s work together to keep those adorable baby teeth shining bright!If you are searching for the ‘top pediatric dentist near me,’ contact the experts at Big Apple Pediatric Dentistry.