Walking past your child’s bedroom late at night, have you poked your head through the door and heard what sounded like a saw cutting wood. Taking a closer look, you may have seen your child’s jaw sliding back and forth, grinding his or her top and bottom teeth together. A sight like this one is not easy to forget, especially when the teeth in question belong to the smile you adore so much. However, before you get too panicky, you may be interested to know that in the majority of cases, teeth grinding (bruxism) is not treated in children. Below, your Erlanger dentist, Dr. Darlene Henry, explains why.

Bruxism in Children

A recent study showed that 38 percent of children grind their teeth. Yet very few of them receive treatment for their bruxism. This lack of treatment may seem like an oversight, but rest assured that it is not. Many children grind their teeth between the ages of three and six. However, because bruxism often ceases around age six, treatment isn’t often necessary. At this age, the threat of damage is not significant enough to warrant treatment.

Treatment for Bruxism

In a few cases, treatment may become necessary for bruxism in kids. Pay attention to your child, and keep an eye out for any recurring sensitivities in teeth. Sensitive teeth may be the result of bruxism, but they could just as easily be a fleeting sensitivity or the result of tooth decay. However, if you notice recurring sensitivities, contact your Erlanger children’s dentist, Dr. Henry, for dental assistance. Also keep an eye out for a sore jaw as jaw soreness can point to problems with the temporomandibular joint (jaw joint).

Bruxism in Older Children and Adults

A bruxism habit that does not fade away during childhood requires treatment. As the forces of grinding become greater, teeth are at an increased risk of cracking, chipping, or breaking. However, teeth can be protected by wearing a sleep guard prescribed by your Erlanger dentist.

Schedule a Visit with Your Erlanger Children’s Dentist

When was your child’s last dental visit? If it was more than six months ago, the time has come for another checkup. Contact our 41018 dentist office at 859-344-8500 today to schedule an appointment with your Erlanger children’s dentist, Dr. Henry. We serve patients from Erlanger, Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Fort Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, and Taylor Mill.