What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism, or the habit of clenching or grinding the teeth, is an everyday issue that affects patients of all ages, including children. Though it often occurs during sleep, bruxism can occur in response to stress, teething, and other childhood concerns. At Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates, our board-certified pediatric specialists routinely screen for evidence of bruxism and can help you determine if this condition is affecting your child's oral health. As a comprehensive pediatric practice, our team can also customize a night guard to help protect your family member's teeth against the effects of this common dental concern. If you believe your son or daughter may be grinding their teeth or would like to learn more about custom night guards, schedule a consultation at our Lancaster, PA pediatric dental practice.
"Dr. M and Nicole, the hygienist, were so very patient with my 4yo, mild ASD daughter. She had a lot of anxiety surrounding the appointment but they were both so kind and took their time explaining each thing. Thank you so much for a great appointment!!"- M.T. / Google / Jan 15, 2021
"My 5 year old had a bad experience after months of fantastic visits, since switching staff. However, after explaining the situation they were more than accommodating in their response, and did everything they could to help my daughter gain her faith back in the dentist. Especially the patient care staff and Dr. Moriarty, who is incredible."- C.S. / Google / Jan 14, 2021
"I'm so thankful for a dentist office that is so easy to work with, they are kind and caring, and we enjoy going there!!! We trust them and their care. Dr. Ross is so amazing with my special needs son and the staff treat him so nicely! I'm so grateful to them and so happy we found this office!!"- K.U. / Google / Jan 05, 2021
"My youngest son, five years of age, required extensive work under sedation. Dr. Ross was very kind and patient focused. He took his time answering our questions and explained each step of the process to me and my son, even while he was sedated. His bedside manner is excellent, and his staff were polite and professional."- J.K. / Facebook / Dec 30, 2020
"We have been going to Lancaster Pediatric Dental for a few years now and absolutely love them! All of the hygienists and dentists have been fantastic with my children and have made them feel at ease each visit. Even when my oldest needed fillings, they performed them quickly and expertly while minimizing my daughter's discomfort. My children just went again today and said they love the dentist!"- C.S. / Google / Nov 17, 2020
Bruxism Signs and Symptoms
A number of symptoms may indicate that your child is grinding the teeth and/or clenching their jaw. While the most obvious sign is evidence of wear on the chewing and biting surfaces of the teeth, your child may also wake up in the morning with a headache, pain in the jaw, or other discomforts. You may also hear your child grinding the teeth at night during sleep. Bruxism in children may be brought on by a number of factors, including teething, change in dentition (as baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth emerge), stress, and a misaligned bite. Certain medical conditions and medications can also contribute to a bruxism habit. Since teeth grinding and clenching increases tension in the jaw and can damage the teeth and temporomandibular joints (TMJ), we recommend that you schedule a visit with one of our experienced pediatric dentists if your child is showing symptoms of bruxism.
How Is Bruxism Treated?
Our team will evaluate for signs and symptoms of bruxism during each of your child's routine dental exams. In some cases, we may simply monitor the condition and offer suggestions on how to decrease the habit through a palliative approach, such as relaxation techniques before bedtime or taking a warm bath. Some patients may benefit from simple therapies, like a bite adjustment or need more involved care, such as with orthodontic treatment. A custom night guard appliance may be recommended in other instances, which is a special type of mouth guard worn comfortably in the mouth at night to protect the teeth and jaw against damage from grinding and clenching. To make a custom night guard, we take an impression of your child's upper and lower teeth and send these molds off to a special dental lab. Once it is complete, we have you bring your child back into our office for a quick visit to receive the appliance and allow our team to make any necessary adjustments to enhance its comfort. Special instructions on how to clean and care for it will be provided to you. Custom night guards are made with high-grade materials to fit comfortably in the mouth and help improve the nature of your child's sleep by diminishing jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Your child's bruxism condition and treatment results will be monitored from visit-to-visit. In many cases, patients grow out of childhood bruxism; however, we will continue to closely evaluate the need for follow-up care as your son or daughter progresses through adolescence and into the teen years. For night guard therapy to be effective, your child will need to wear it each night. If you find that your child's night guard is not diminishing or alleviating the discomfort and dental problems created by bruxism, please inform our office so that we can consider additional issues or try other therapies. In order to help keep your child's mouth and night guard in pristine condition, we recommend that you assist them with their oral hygiene and caring for the appliance following each use. Your child's night guard should be brought in to all future appointments so that we can evaluate its fit and adjust the guard as needed. A new night guard may be required to accommodate jaw development as your child grows.
Insurance coverage for bruxism treatment may vary according to the type of care recommended and among various dental insurance plans. Before beginning your child's treatment, our team will review your insurance benefits and let you know of any anticipated out-of-pocket expenses. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates is pleased to accept a range of affordable payment options, including low-cost financing, to help you give your child lasting oral health and a happy smile.
Protect Against Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding and clenching can lead to discomfort and a number of dental concerns for your child's smile. Lancaster Pediatric Dental Associates is proud to offer custom solutions, including night guard therapy, to help target the source of your child's bruxism and protect their present and future oral health. If you think your son or daughter may be clenching or grinding their teeth, get in touch with our child-centered pediatric dental practice in Lancaster, PA today and schedule a bruxism consultation.