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What should I do if my child grinds his teeth at night? (Bruxism)

Parents are often concerned about teeth grinding at night- called bruxism, but the majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment.

If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be needed.

Mouth guards can assist in preventing the teeth getting shorter, but they can also can interfere with the growth of the jaws and, in some cases, cause choking if it becomes dislodged during sleep.

The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding diminishes between the ages 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between ages 9-12. If you suspect teeth grinding, either from noise during sleep or that your child’s teeth are getting shorter, discuss this with your pediatrician or dentist.

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