You asked

Why does my toddler grind her teeth?

Once your toddler starts teething, it’s quite likely that he or she will start grinding their teeth. In fact, nearly 40 percent of toddlers will grind their teeth at some stage.

According to experts, there are plenty of reasons why your toddler may have started grinding their teeth. Children who drool or talk in their sleep are likely to grind their teeth, for instance, as are those who have malocclusion or teeth that don’t line up quite right. Then there is anxiety, as well as pain, both of which are known causes of teeth grinding, or they could just be getting used to having teeth in their mouth!

The good news is that teeth grinding, or bruxism, is unlikely to affect your child’s teeth in the long term. Most children will also outgrow the habit on their own, eventually.

If you are worried, you can have your dentist check your toddler’s teeth, for signs of wear and tear, which might include cracks or fractures, pulp exposure or cavities.

Although there’s not, much you can do to stop your child from grinding her teeth, you can look out for common causes like ear infections, and if there is an underlying cause of pain that’s causing the teeth grinding, then you could try a painkiller like ibuprofen. Older children who have not spontaneously outgrown their teeth grinding habit may be fitted with a night guard, but this usually only happens when the secondary teeth appear, at around age six.

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