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Child Teeth Grinding: Bruxism Symptoms and Tips

Smile Reef

Child bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common habit among children and is usually first realized by parents who hear a strange noise from their child’s room after bedtime. Most parents are surprised when they realize the noise is coming from their child’s teeth grinding. It can be a loud gritting sound that echoes through the house while everyone else is trying to sleep. The most common age for bruxism in children is under eleven, and it is considered normal behavior. However, when bruxism causes severe tooth pain, wear and trouble sleeping then it is something that needs to addressed and not brushed aside as just a phase.

Excessive Teeth Grinding

Just like nail and cheek biting, teeth grinding can become a habit that requires no conscious effort. If the child is aware of the problem, they can effectively stop the bruxism throughout the day, but at night, it is impossible for them to consciously quit teeth grinding in their sleep. Bruxism can start as early as one year old when teeth have begun to grow in a child’s mouth. Bruxism is also more prevalent in children who snore during their sleep and children who breathe through their mouths while sleeping rather than their nose.

Dental Effects of Bruxism

Teeth that are worn down and damaged due to teeth grinding are more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. If your child’s teeth have been considerably worn down, their nerve endings could be easily exposed to feel more pain and more sensitivity in their teeth. If your child is complaining from tooth pain, foods being too cold or too hot, this could be a result of bruxism, especially if you notice that their teeth are worn down. Soreness of the jaw is also an indication that your child may be struggling with bruxism.

Tips to Help Stop Bruxism

If not tended to promptly, child bruxism can lead to tooth fracture, tooth loosening and even loss of teeth. There are a few tips that will help your child to stop grinding his or her teeth. Try to decrease your child’s stress levels before bed time. Bruxism is often correlated with stress and even if your child is asleep, they will still feel the effects of anything that may be causing them stress. Try stretching exercises to relieve stress. Make sure that your child’s diet includes a healthy amount of water. Dehydration is also another common cause of bruxism. Older children may need temporary crowns to help with bruxism and in some cases a night guard is worn by a child to help protect their teeth. If you suspect that your child has a problem with teeth grinding, come in to Smile Reef for a checkup and we will assist you in protecting your child’s teeth and keeping them healthy and strong.
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The Value and Safety of Dental X-Rays in Detecting Cavities

Smile Reef

Taking a visit to your child’s pediatric dentist due to a sore tooth usually means that you are aware of a possible cavity or other problem that is going on with your child’s tooth. Sometimes tooth issues are easily seen with the naked eye and easy to detect exactly what is wrong. When visiting the dentist for a regular checkup, you may not be aware there are any serious problems going on with your child’s teeth, but the dentist has the ability to see the beginning of a potential problem by utilizing dental x-rays. Dental x-rays allow your dentist to detect any dental problems before they turn into serious concerns.

Detecting Traces of Oral Health Problems

A crack in a tooth or puffy gums can easily be detected without an x-ray. However, dental x-rays can detect any trace of oral health problems at their earliest stage. Cavities, gum disease, oral infections and some types of early tumors can all be successfully detected through the use of dental x-rays. Dental x-rays provide the dentist with early detection of potential oral problems and now your dentist can give your child the proper treatment they need before those problems have a chance to develop into something more major.

Minuscule Radiation from Dental X-Rays

A common concern that patients often have when discussing dental x-rays with their dentist is the amount of radiation they are exposed to during the process of the x-rays. There is no need for concern when considering dental x-rays. Modern technology has reduced radiation levels to minuscule amounts. In addition to the extremely low amount of radiation, dentists take extra precautions like safety aprons and collars to protect the patient from any possible radiation. Most dentists today use digital x-rays, which are much faster and expose the patient to a much smaller and shorter amount of radiation.

Early Detection of Oral Health Issues

Dental x-rays are a great benefit to the dentist and to the patient. Early detection of any oral problem gives the dentist a head start on any problems and protects the patient from experiencing a more serious oral health problem in the future. Dental x-rays allow the dentist to see if there is any decay on the inside of the tooth, even though the outside may look like everything is perfect. Early cavity detection can be the difference between a simple filling and a major root canal. If you have not yet had your child’s teeth x-rayed by your dentist, it is a good idea to get it done. Give your dentist every advantage in assisting you with excellent oral care. Contact Smile Reef today!

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