Why Do Kids Grind Teeth at Night? 6 Reasons + 5 Tips to Stop Teeth Grinding

Most kids grind their teeth while asleep. In medical terms, teeth grinding and jaw clenching during sleep are termed bruxism. Often, this condition isn’t noticeable. Interestingly, it is an involuntary action, and kids don’t know that they are grinding teeth. At the same time, It can be too irritating for parents and siblings because of the grinding sound.

So, why do kids grind teeth at night? Kids grind their teeth due to anxiety, stress, breathing discomfort during sleep, teeth problems, face, ear, or jaw pain, or just as a habit. Most kids outgrow this problem once permanent teeth replace their milk teeth. A regular visit to the dentist and a tooth guard can help solve the problem.

If you are worried about your child’s teeth grinding habit, this post is for you. Read it till the end and know how to stop a child from grinding his teeth.

6 Reasons Why Do Kids Grind Their Teeth in Their Sleep?

Kids might grind their teeth due to many reasons. Let’s discuss them in detail.

Stress: Kids might have stress due to workload at school, fear, sleep apnea, insomnia, or any problem at school. A routine change and worry about the test can also cause teeth grinding in kids at night. You might have noticed that kids clench their jaws while arguing with parents. The same thing happens during sleep since your kids’ brain recalls the events of the day.

Hyperactivity: Often, kids with a psychological disorder such as cerebral palsy, ADHD, ASD are hyperactive. They grind their teeth due to hyperactivity while asleep.

Pain: Occasional teeth grinding might be due to pain such as headache, toothache, earache, or any type of body pain.

Intestinal worms: Teeth grinding is also a symptom of intestinal worms in a child. These worms travel to the anus and cause itching. As a result, your child faces disturbed sleep and grinds his teeth to express the anxiety.

Medicines: Certain medications to treat psychological disorders increase jaw clenching and cause teeth grinding in kids.

Teeth problems: If your child’s teeth are misaligned and sensitive, he’ll be more likely to grind his teeth at night.

Is It Normal for A Child To Grind His Teeth?


Yes, it is normal for a child to grind his teeth. However, it can be alarming if your baby crushes his newly erupted milk teeth. Also, if your child has sore, bleeding gums and loose teeth due to grinding habits during sleep, you should consult a doctor. Severe jaw clenching may damage teeth enamel and result in tooth loss.

What Deficiency Causes are Teeth Grinding?

According to research, severe teeth grinding is related to vitamin D and calcium deficiency. If your child is not taking enough calcium and vitamin D through diet, he’ll be more likely to show calcium deficiency symptoms, including teeth grinding. Therefore, make sure that your child’s diet should have enough vitamin D.

How To Stop a Child from Grinding His Teeth?

kid smiling

In most cases, school-going kids don’t need any intervention, and they stop teeth grinding once they lose baby teeth. However, if you want to stop your child from grinding his teeth in severe cases, follow the mentioned tips.

Find the reason behind teeth grinding: Firstly, you should find the actual cause behind teeth grinding. If your child has intestinal worms, ask him about itching near the anus. Reduce the sugary intake before bedtime. In case of academic stress, try to solve the problem.

Consult a dentist: Consult a dentist if teeth grinding is due to a dental issue. Most dentists recommend a mouth guard similar to those boxers use during boxing. It helps prevent the teeth grinding habit. Your dentist will advise treatment options for misaligned teeth.

Drink plenty of fluids: Dehydration may also cause teeth grinding. Make sure that your child drinks plenty of water.

Avoid unnecessary chewing: Some kids have habits of chewing hard things like pens or pencils. Discourage these habits since it makes your child more likely to grind his teeth.

Stress-relieving activities before bed: A warm bath and reading a story can release your child’s stress. Plus, patting the jaw with a warm washcloth can relax the jaw muscle before sleep. The relaxation of jaw muscles helps stop your child grind his teeth when asleep.

Final Thoughts

Teeth grinding is too irritating for siblings and parents who sleep near a grinder. The post includes all reasons why kids grind teeth. If your child is also a grinder, the mentioned tips will really help to stop him from teeth grinding.

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