A lot happens in the first year of your baby’s life, from intellectual to physical growth and development. One such is teething.
Seeing those first set of cute little teeth in your baby’s mouth is simply thrilling. This development causes a new sensation and discomfort in your little one, which could result in Grinding.
If it happens often, I can see why you’d ask, “why does my baby grind his teeth?” In this article, I’ll tell you all you need to know about babies and teeth grinding.
Firstly, you shouldn’t panic when your little one starts grinding. It’s quite common to find it among babies who just started teething, and several factors can cause it.
If your little one is unable to communicate yet, then you’ll want to pay rapt attention to see if they’re experiencing any of these.
- Discomfort – If your baby’s teeth are misaligned, this could cause a lot of discomforts, especially since the teeth are likely a new development.
- An Unstable or slippery bite – Your little one starts with a few; as they erupt, they may not be enough to contact each other, which can affect your baby’s bite.
- Pain – This pain may come from stress, a headache, or earache. And if your little one is still teething, they may turn to grind as a coping mechanism.
The only way to tell that your baby is grinding their teeth is by hearing the sound at night, especially since it typically occurs while they sleep.
Not to worry though, as this condition is likely to go away by itself, but of course, there are some ways for you to prevent this or help them stop.
So, I’ve told you that babies grinding their teeth is quite normal, and it’s not just your child. It usually isn’t a cause for worry, at least not until it gets way too frequent.
Habitual grinding or bruxism can be an issue and merits your worry. You can always talk to a doctor when you feel concerned about your baby grinding their teeth.
Bruxism is a condition that affects people of all ages, so it is not out of the ordinary if your little one has bruxism. (1) It is a medical condition where a person grinds, clenches, or gnashes their teeth. (2)
Bruxism can occur at any time of the day. At night, it is referred to as “sleep bruxism.” Most of the time, the symptoms of bruxism are mild and won’t require any treatment. (1)
The loud sound of teeth grinding may be bothersome at night, but in any case, your baby is likely just fine.
The causes of bruxism may be unknown in some cases, but several factors have been proven to increase bruxism in babies and adults.
One of the major determining factors is age, as it has been found that bruxism is more likely to occur in young children. You don’t have to panic, though, because bruxism typically fades out in your kids’ teenage years.
Stress or medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) can also result in bruxism for your little one.
For adults, personality type, anger, or exposure to certain stimulants like caffeine or tobacco could increase the occurrence of bruxism.
It’s a bit hard to miss bruxism in your babies because it can be quite loud regardless of whether it happens in the day or night. Well, here are some signs that your baby may be experiencing bruxism.
- Worn-out or damaged teeth
- Grinding loudly
- Jaw-clenching or teeth grinding
- Jaw pain or soreness
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Headache near the temples or earache
Since babies will lose their first set of teeth later on, you won’t have to worry about complications, especially since they tend to outgrow teeth grinding as they age.
The real cause for concern is when your older kid is still grinding theirs. At this point, these are their permanent teeth, and constant grinding can damage them severely. They may even develop the temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) for constant jaw clenching.
Now that we’ve discussed the causes of teeth grinding and complications that may arise let’s talk about helping your baby stop it. Even though it isn’t much of an issue at this young age, it’s quite uncomfortable.
Luckily for you, I’ve found some effective natural remedies you can try to stop your little one from constantly grinding their teeth.
Bruxism is not always related to baby teething, although they can intertwine in the first year.
One natural way to help your baby stop grinding its teeth would be to give them a teething toy to chew on instead. There is a variety, so you can test each one to see which works.
- Natural rubber baby teethers, like the caaocho teether, contain no phthalates or bisphenol A (BPA). They are soft and comforting.
- Wooden teethers, like this maple teether, are naturally antimicrobial. They are chemical-free and soft.
- Ice teethers, like the Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys, hold a small amount of liquid. When chilled, these teethers offer a cooling sensation to ease a baby’s discomfort.
- Silicone teething necklace allows your little one to do hands-on chewing when you’re out and about.
You can also make some teething aids at home. These take many different forms. Try wetting a washcloth and folding it into quarters before placing it in the fridge. When chilled, let your baby hold the dry quarter while the cool ones relieve them.
If your baby’s bruxism is caused by anxiety or stress, you may want to address that as a remedy. Try a soothing bedtime routine and see if it helps.
If your baby doesn’t stop grinding as they age, you should check with a dentist. They may prescribe custom mouthguards to prevent your kid from damaging their teeth.
Although most teeth grinding is mild, you should call your pediatrician if you ever get concerned. This is especially necessary if you notice changes in your baby’s health.
Be sure to report any irritability caused by jaw pain, earaches, or other soreness that may result from clenching.
Bruxism will likely cause no trouble when your little one is a baby and will require no treatment. But if it gets worse as they get older, reach out to your dentist, who will perform any necessary treatments to help.
Teeth grinding is quite common in babies, but it can worry parents. If so, you can simply get some teething toys to help your baby or make some yourself. Regardless, there should be nothing to worry about.
Bruxism goes away as your baby gets older, but if it doesn’t, ring the dentist’s office and possibly get a special mouthguard for them.
Has your baby ever ground their teeth? What did you do to help? I’d love to know, so let me know in the comments section.
- Ashley Marcin, (2016, Jan 19). Healthline. Causes of and Natural Remedies for Baby Teeth Grinding https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/baby-teeth-grinding
- Mayo Clinic, (2017, Aug 10). Bruxism (Teeth Grinding) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bruxism/symptoms-causes/syc-20356095