Grinding and clenching of teeth, also known as bruxism, can cause significant problems for a child’s oral health. This issue is often related to orthodontic concerns and can be addressed through early intervention and treatment. By seeking help from an orthodontist, children can receive the necessary care to protect their teeth and prevent long-term damage.
What is Teeth Grinding & Clenching?
Bruxism, or teeth grinding and jaw clenching is a common problem in children that can cause a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Children may grind their teeth while asleep, during the day when feeling anxious, or even while chewing food. While most children will outgrow this habit as they lose their baby teeth, some do not. Physical symptoms of bruxism can include jaw pain, worn down or chipped teeth, and damage to tooth enamel that can lead to future oral health issues. It can also cause earaches, facial pain, headaches, and issues 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?
Early orthodontic intervention is key to addressing any existing issues and preventing new ones by guiding jaw growth and development in children. By taking a two-phase approach, we can work with your child’s jaw growth to avoid bigger problems in the future and address symptoms that may not be immediately linked to orthodontic issues.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, can sometimes be related to airway issues caused by constricted airways or breathing problems. To determine if this is the case, we will conduct a functional orthodontic exam to look for common signs of restrictions or blockages. We will then focus on intercepting negative habits and exploring options to guide the growth of the jaw and face, potentially including palatal expansion.
With early intervention and treatment, we may be able to correct bruxism and related issues, potentially reducing the amount of time your child needs to wear braces or Invisalign clear aligners as a teenager. While bruxism can be concerning for parents, it is a problem that can be corrected with a customized orthodontic treatment plan designed specifically for your child.
Is your child grinding or clenching their teeth? We can assist. Please contact York Mills Orthodontics in North York for more information.