Why Is My Child Grinding Their Teeth At Night? What Can I Do About It?

Did you know that more kids grind their teeth at night than adults? Around 14-17% of kids grind their teeth at night. While most kids will grow out of this behavior and won’t continue to have serious grinding issues, you may have cause for concern if it seems like your child is grinding their teeth frequently. 

Why do kids grind their teeth at night, and how do you know if they need treatment? Find out what you need to know from We Care Dental Care now! 

Contributing Factors To Childhood Teeth Grinding  

Dentists and doctors are not 100% sure what causes teeth grinding in either kids or adults. However, there are some factors that are known to contribute to a higher frequency of teeth grinding. 

  • Poor teeth alignment – Poorly-aligned upper and lower teeth can contribute to a higher risk of grinding.
  • Stress – Stress, tension, and anger are all associated with a higher risk of teeth grinding in both kids and adults.
  • Pain response – Kid with an earache, sore gums, or who are teething may grind their teeth. The pressure can help ease the pain and make them feel better temporarily. 

Other less common factors include hyperactivity, some medical conditions like cerebral palsy (CP) and some medicines like SSRIs. 

How Can I Stop My Child From Grinding Their Teeth? 

There are a few steps you may be able to take to reduce the prevalence and intensity of teeth grinding in kids.

  • Follow a consistent bedtime routine that helps your child relax and prepare for sleep.
  • Make sure your child’s bedroom is a comfortable, relaxing place to be.
  • Interact with your child before bed by reading them stories, listening to them talk, and hearing about their day. 
  • Monitor your child’s use of screens before bed, and ensure they have at least 1-2 hours of screen-free time before they sleep.
  • Avoid giving your child any kind of stimulants like tea, coffee, or chocolate, which contain caffeine, or medications like decongestants and cough medicine before bed. 

However, note that you should still see a dentist like Dr. Benjamin Burkitt to have your child’s mouth examined. Dr. Burkitt can examine their teeth, look for signs of wear & tear on their enamel, and diagnose the severity of their grinding. In some cases, he may even recommend treatment with a night guard, which will prevent direct tooth-to-tooth contact while your child is grinding their teeth. 

Come To We Care Dental Care & See If Your Child Needs Treatment For Teeth Grinding! 

In most kids, teeth grinding causes no permanent damage to the teeth, and will stop on its own over time. Still, some kids grind their teeth frequently and intensely, which is definitely a cause for concern.

To get peace of mind, the best option is to see Dr. Benjamin Burkitt at We Care Dental Care. Dr. Burkitt will assess your child’s oral health, determine the cause of teeth grinding, and let you know if any further treatment, such as a night guard, is necessary for their condition. Contact us now at (540) 427-7274, or stop by our office at 3433 Orange Ave, NE Suite A1, Roanoke, VA 24012 to get started. 


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