Does Your Child Grind His/Her Teeth At Night (Bruxism)?

Parents are often concerned about their child Grinding Teeth habit (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the child grinding on their teeth during sleep. Or, the parent may notice wear (teeth getting shorter) to the dentition. The majority of cases of Pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be needed. The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding decreases between ages 6-9 and children tend to stop grinding between ages 9-12. Please let Dr. Kilby and his staff know if you suspect your child has a grinding teeth habit.

X-ray of a child grinding teeth


Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked.

In a September 2020 report, the ADA Health Policy Institute found that more than half of dentists surveyed saw an increase in patients with dental conditions often associated with stress: clenching, chipped, and cracked teeth, and symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder such as jaw pain and headaches.


If you’re worried about child’s teeth grinding, we can help. Your dentist can fit them with a mouth guard to protect their teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause of your teeth grinding, we want to help you find a way to relax.

Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence. Contact Kilby Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. For more information, check out articles written by the American Dental Association.