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.
"My son is 6 and has autism, so he can get nervous in these kinds of situations or struggle to cooperate sometimes. The hygienist who worked on him, Tabitha, was patient and kind, explained everything to him so he knew what to expect, and made it a great experience for him! The dentist, Dr. Ross, is great and did a wonderful job on my son’s in-hospital dental procedure last year. The no cavity club is so exciting for the kids too, he loved getting a token to get a prize, and couldn’t wait to show his teacher his certificate! We use that at home as an incentive to brush good (“remember, you want to stay in the no cavity club right?”) When we left my son said he wishes he could go to the dentist everyday haha."- L.G. / Google / Oct 21, 2021
"Tabitha was so awesome at getting my 4 year old comfortable! She was dreading the appt. Thank you for being so sweet!"- E.O. / Google / Oct 01, 2021
"My kids have been coming here since the beginning, and I've always been so impressed by not only the care they have received, but how patient and kind every single person in the office is. Highly highly recommend LPDA"- C.D. / Google / Sep 21, 2021
"I love coming here with my daughter . They are so patient and are very relatable to my daughter by telling her stories and making her comfortable while cleaning her teeth ! Made me feel like I made the best choice choosing them to care for my child teeth! They also explain to me very well how to care for her teeth and recommend some steps while doing so ! Couldn’t be any better! Great experience!"- D.L. / Google / Sep 10, 2021
"From the friendly ladies at the front desk to the spacious waiting rooms and sweet hygienist and dentist, LPDA was a great choice to bring my kiddo."- S.R. / Google / Aug 14, 2021
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.