Although most kids get all their adult teeth by the onset of puberty, a child who is grinding & cracking teeth can develop serious problems as well as habits that persist long after baby teeth are gone. As with most issues, the best treatment is prevention. Protect your children's teeth by teaching them good habits from the beginning. Not only will they be spared unnecessary pain and suffering, but you will also save on the expense of tooth repair.
Teach Your Children Well
There are a number of reasons why grinding & cracking teeth occur among children. Most of these are relatively simple to address.
Beware of Hard Foods
Chewing on seeds, corn kernels, nuts, fruit pits, and ice can all lead to tooth damage. Children should be made aware of the risks involved when selecting foods such as peaches, cherries and unpitted olives and how biting down on the pit can lead to dental injury.
Teeth Are Not Pliers
Nearly everyone has been guilty of using their teeth as a tool to cut or grab onto something. Using teeth in this manner is very unsafe; even biting on leather thongs and similar materials can result in extreme premature wear.
Children playing contact sports must always have a mouth guard in place, preferably one that is fitted. Even solo sports such as gymnastics and skiing can pose a risk of dental injury. Ask your dentist about custom mouth guards.
Other Reasons for Grinding & Cracking Teeth
Tooth grinding in one's sleep is not unusual among adults but can occur with children as well. Most often, this is a symptom of stress and anxiety. Even worse, tooth grinding can lead to headaches and jaw pain. Your dentist may recommend a night guard and can offer some insights on how to prevent this type of grinding & cracking teeth.