Teeth Grinding and Teeth Clenching in Kids

Grinding and clenching of the teeth, or bruxism, can have significant negative effects on a child’s oral health. Alliston Orthodontics & Oral Surgery notes that this problem is often related to orthodontic issues and can be effectively managed through early intervention and treatment. By seeking help from an orthodontist or dental professional, children can receive the necessary care to protect their teeth and prevent long-term damage. Don’t hesitate to seek help if you suspect that your child is experiencing bruxism. Early treatment can make a big difference in their oral health.


What is Teeth Grinding & Clenching?

Bruxism, which refers to the grinding and clenching of the teeth and jaws, is a common problem in children that can lead to a range of physical and emotional symptoms. Children may grind their teeth while sleeping, when feeling anxious, or even while chewing food. While many children will outgrow this habit as they lose their baby teeth, some do not. Physical symptoms of bruxism can include jaw pain, worn or chipped teeth, and damage to tooth enamel that can lead to future oral health problems. It can also cause earaches, facial pain, headaches, and problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Emotional factors such as tension, stress, anxiety, and depression can also contribute to bruxism. Early orthodontic intervention may be able to prevent or reduce stress-related grinding in some cases.


How Can Orthodontics Help??

At our practice, our goal with early intervention is to address any existing orthodontic problems and prevent new ones by guiding jaw growth and development. By taking a two-phase orthodontic treatment approach, we can work with your child’s jaw growth to avoid bigger issues in the future while addressing symptoms that may not be immediately associated with orthodontic issues. For example, teeth grinding or clenching may be related to airway issues caused by constricted airways or breathing problems. To determine if this is the case, we will conduct a myofunctional orthodontic exam to look for common indications of restrictions or blockages. From there, we will work on intercepting negative habits and considering options to guide the growth of the jaw and face, which may include palatal expansion.

With early orthodontic intervention and treatment, we may be able to correct teeth grinding and clenching and related issues, and potentially reduce the amount of time your child needs to wear braces or Invisalign clear aligners as a teenager. While teeth grinding or clenching can cause many problems and be a concern for parents, it is also a problem that can be corrected with a custom orthodontic treatment plan developed specifically for your child.

Is your child experiencing teeth grinding or clenching? If so, Alliston Orthodontics & Oral Surgery can help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. Dr Shapiro and our team can address any orthodontic issues your child may be facing and help them achieve a healthy, straight smile.