BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Advice about Teeth Grinding
Berkeley Parents Network >
Advice about Health >
Advice about Teeth Grinding
Our 8 mo. old sometimes grinds his teeth, he has six- four on top two on bottom. Is
this anything to be concerned about or is he just doing it because he can and it will
Babies do that sometimes - I think they are experimenting with the new sound.
I wouldn't worry about it.
From what I've been told by doctors, people either grind or
they don't. As it was explained to me, there is a grinding
switch that is either turned on or it's off. I don't recall
grinding as a child but I definitely do as an adult and have
cracked numerous teeth and have had two crowns and now wear a
customized night guard. If your little one is grinding in
another 6 - 12 months, you should consider discussing it with a
My one year old has been grinding his front teeth for a little
while now...I thought he was just getting used to the newness
of his teeth, but since he's still doing it, I am worried that
this is becoming a habit for him. How does one break a habit
like this for a toddler?
My daughter went through a teeth-grinding phase at around 11
months. One of the other babies at her day care did the same
thing - much to the surprise of the center's director of 20
years who had never seen it before. I too was worried about the
impacts it would have, but they both grew out of it on their
own. I don't recall exactly how long it was before she stopped -
but at least 1 month. I would wait a couple of months before
getting too worried about it.
Just wanted to let you know that our [now 4-year old] daughter used to grind her
teeth, too. Drove me nuts--not because I cared about hearing it, but because I cared
about what it meant, and whether she was ruining her teeth. Somewhere along the
way, it stopped, between the age of 1 and 2. I remember feeling like she was going to
grind her teeth forever, because it lasted so long. Her teeth have been fine at her
dental checkups. I never found any info indicating that grinding at such a young age
was going to cause problems down the road.
I don't know if you can get them out of the habit. Our dentist
and our doctor told us some kids just do it. I did it as a kid
too. Just try not to listen to it if you want to sleep yourself.
Mine does it less now that she's a little bigger. Also, try to
have a stress-free evening before bed. Sometimes it helps.
My 16 month old grinds his teeth. The sound is terrible and I am
concerned he is doing harm to his teeth and who knows what else.
It seems like a bad habit to have so young. Have I driven him to
this (just kidding, sort of)?
Any ideas to get him to stop grinding would be great. The
pacifier doesn't do it. I can distract him with food but I'd like
to find other ways as well.
Our son too did the same thing for a while once a bunch of teeth were in. It seemed
more like an exploratory exercise than anything else. After a couple of weeks, he
moved on to other things. You might not be so lucky though if you let on that you find
Hi! My Dad is a veterinarian and he's sure that a lot of teeth
grinding in children (and adults for that matter) comes from
worms!! If your toddler plays in sand at the park or dirt of
any kind really, there's a chance that they are in contact with
worm eggs from pet defecation. The most common kind of worm to
cause teeth grinding is apparently the pin worm (they live in
the intestine and crawl outside the body at night to lay eggs
causing itchiness). There are many de-worming medications
available at the pharmacy - it's definitely something to check
out with your pediatrician! The teeth grinding could obviously
be caused by something else, but this is a quick and easy thing
to try. I know it's worked for some!
Daughter of a Vet
mine did, to the point that her front teeth are half as tall as
they were when they first came in. it started (along with
fingernail biting) when i night weaned her at 28mos. it seemed
worse on nights where her eczema was also worse. i've recently
heard that the homeopathic remedy ''cina'' can help, but she'd
already stopped by the time i heard this (she's almost 6), so i
haven't tried it to know if it would have worked. her dentist was
not concerned, and felt she wouldn't be likely to continue to
grind when her adult teeth came in, from his experience.
signed: mama of a former grinder
My two-year old son started grinding his teeth about a month
ago. I had a really poor reaction to it initially, and
overdramatized my request that he stop. I was just so shocked
that my mommy-veneer lapsed momentarily. Since then, it seems
to be an attention getter for him. I've been flat-out ignoring
it, which seems to work ok when he's doing it to actively seek
attention, however, he also will start grinding his teeth when
we tell him no, or inforce discipline. We've always been very
gentle and respectful of him; however, there has been a great
deal of tension between my husband and me starting a few months
back. We've done our best to keep explicit arguments out of
earshot and view, but I know the implict tension is impacting
I know that this could be damaging to his teeth, but I'm most
concerned about addressing the underlying causes of this
behavior. I did think it might be teething related for awhile,
as he was cutting molars, but if it ever was, it has definitely
progressed beyond that.
Any thoughts or suggestions or experiences would be helpful.
Signed, About to start grinding my own teeth
I did a paper on bruxism because of its occurrence in my own family and a new
nutrition client. Certainly stress can predispose one to do it, as you seem to have
observed. Since that may the ultimate underlying cause, perhaps it could be a focus
for solving the problem. Nutritional support for stress include nutrient dense foods
that are high in vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) and vitamin C complex (ascorbate and
bioflavonoids). Some herbs that can help include camomile and lemon balm. At
night, a few useful minerals (as a liquid) might be calcium and magnesium,
appropriate to his age and weight.
My 26 month old grinds her teeth a lot. I am worried about the
effects this could have on her--e.g., tooth damage, headaches.
have any ideas on how to get her to stop or if this is harming
her in any way? thanks.
I just read an article on babycenter.com about this that said
tooth grinding is perfectly normal and nothing to worry about
with baby teeth.
When checking on my toddler late at night, I've found him
grinding his teeth while he sleeps. Could it be a sign of
stress? We have a lot going on... a new ''big boy bed'', a 5-
month old baby and a new work schedule for dad that takes dad
away from the house a lot. What can I do to get him to stop? I
checked the archives but I didn't see anything on this topic.
Thanks so much, oh wise parents!
A concerned mom
My 5 year old also grinds his teeth, and when I mentioned it to
his dentist, she said it was fairly common in young kids, who
eventually outgrow it. The theory is that they dream more
actively at that age. You might mention it to your dentist when
you take your kid in, but I wouldn't worry about it.
Our dentist told us that toddlers grind and it isn't a cause for
I'll be interested to here what others have been told.
I also grind my teeth. I never knew I did until two different
dentists told me I did. So your child's dentist may be a good
resource for advice and whether any treatment is necessary.
I was just at the dentist yesterday discussing this very topic.
My six year old son is also a night time teeth grinder (and it
gets loud!). Apparently this is very common in children. Still, I
would point it out to the dentist on your next visit. They need
to monitor it for wear and tear on your child's teeth and to make
sure it isn't causing any problems. It isn't stress related, the
dental assistant told me as their jaw grows they often grind at
Mom of night time grinder
The new theories of grinding are that it is a neurological
disorder that you are either born with or not and that there
also may be a hereditary factor. Stress can definately cause
it to happen more. There really is no treatment for it for
children. Most kids who are heavy grinders ( I was one also)
wear their baby teeth down to nothing. When the permanent
teeth come in, they are usually fine until after age 20 when
they can use an appliance to protect them from premature wear.
I wouldn't worry about it, it is very very common.
This is an odd one, and I'm not even sure I should be
worried, but here goes: After his molars arrived (later than
average), my two-year-old started to occassionally grind his
teeth. At first I thought it was just experimentation, another
interesting thing to do with the new teeth. But he has started
doing it more lately. Now he frequently walks around with
his lower jaw jutting out, with a forced underbite. If I suggest
he stop doing either thing, true to toddler nature, he just
does it more. Should I be worried about any of this? Any
advice about how to help him stop before these behaviors
become bad habits?
There's a reassuring article about teeth grinding in toddlers on
Read it and stop worrying!
Teeth grinding or bruxism is fairly common. 30% of children often exhibit
tooth grinding, particularly before the age of 5 [
writer proposes that bruxism in children may function as part of the
tooth-losing process [http://caca.essortment.com/bruxismtoothgr-rysu.htm],
although only at
age 5 do children begin to lose their milk teeth. Possible causes, for my
own research, include food allergies/sensitivities/intolerances, parasites
particular), stress, illness, nutrient deficiencies, and malocclusion. If
your child has not been seen by a dentist, this may be a good time to go,
particularly to rule
out anatomical/physiological factors. Further, you may wish to avail
yourself of the help of a nutritionist to determine if foods (or lack) can be
playing a role.
Good luck! It is a tough habit to break.
Any one out there with experience with teeth grinding in toddlers?
I just noticed that my three and a half year old son grinds his teeth
while he sleeps. The sound is really terrible! I tried to gently pry
open his mouth without success so I ended up turning him over, which
didn't really help.
Any ideas? His dentist said to make sure he quits grinding before it
becomes a habit but how do I help him quit? Thanks!
My kids' dentist, Vivian Lopez, said NOT to worry about kids grinding
their teeth--that it's not a predictor of adult teeth grinding.
My 4 1/2 year old daughter is grinding her teeth at night -
something horrible! As she sleeps with us, it is driving my
husband and I crazy, and we worry that it is a dental risk. We
would like to try many options before taking her to a dentist.
My son, also 4 1/2, has been grinding his teeth ever since they
appeared, and does it so enthusiastically that he has woken me
up in the middle of the night from across the hall. His dentist
assured us that this is very common in kids, and that most
outgrow it at some point. He checked my son's teeth to make
sure they looked okay, and told us not to worry about it. So
far, we have not discovered any way to dissuade him from
I have been grinding my teeth since I was a child and using a
mouth guard for 3 years, but I feel the facial tension is
getting worse recently. I also have developed a facial tick and
it seems they are related. I read the earlier postings on the
subject and they were helpful, but I would love to hear more
about alternative treatment (such as biofeedback) and
exercises. Thank you for any information you might have on this.
I have had the same problem since I was 10 yrs old. I have worn
a night guard for years. No help to the facial pains until I
tried a new way that my massage therapist had told me. He use
to work at a Dental Spa and now at Spa de Esperanza. He said to
do these excercises on my jawline and worked on my jawline
during my massages. It has helped. Ultimately I have been told
by my uncle, who is a dentist that it is stress caused. Having
the night guard is one piece of the puzzle and you have to have
the right one. One that doesn't allow your teeth to flex back
and forth. The other part is self massage to relax the muscle
movements. Oh, and chewing gum makes it worse (just found that
out from another dentist) It sounds strange, but I had serious
pains in my face and headaches that got worse. Now I have
relief and my husband says I don't grind at night like I use
to. I can't describe the massages, but go to the Spa and ask
for Paul. He is better at showing you. I hope you find relief.
Have you ever tried CranioSacral Therapy for your TMJ and facial pain? CST is one of
the most effective therapies for TMJ pain. CranioSacral Therapy treats the whole
person. So during treatment we would be working improving the tight muscles and
tissues of the head, neck and facial bones and we would also be working with any
related emotional issues that are held in your body and impeding your healing.
Check out this link below, which speaks about this wonderfully (or do your own
google searches for Craniosacral Therapy and TMJ).
I would not be surprised in many people reply to your post. I know how you feel--
though my main problem was TMJ. What I discovered was that, even though the
symptoms are on the face, it is not just happening there. Unless you have some rare
congenital condition or illness, the discomfort you described is related to overall
patterns from head to toe. That is why medicine and mouthguards might give some
relief but will do little for long term change. Acupuncture can definitely help
the symptoms, perhaps even give long term relief, but I'd recommend lessons in the
Alexander Technique because it teaches you how to transform your movement and
tension habits in a way that you will be able to work on yourself without a need for
doctors or mouthguards. Five lessons is probably a good start. I really enjoyed and
learned a lot of things I didn't expect to learn about myself. There are a lot of
good teachers in Berkeley and Oakland. Check out www.alexandertech.org for
teachers. I've been to Fay Putnam (who is also a voice teacher) and Marcus Hewlett.
Both are excellent.
One other thing I did which was also very helpful was do the Rolfing ten-series
which, maybe on the seventh or eigth session, did a lot of deep tissue work inside
the mouth in the jaw area. This was a bit uncomfortable but gave a tremendous
relief. It's more expensive though! I went to Audrey Mei in Berkeley. She was
good luck. you can change these habits!!
g in B
If you're clenching and grinding - make an appointment with Dr.
Mitchel Corwin - 845 3246. My husband and I wore mouth guards
for years. (and hated the night time mouth guards) Reducing
stress and yoga has also helped tremendously by relaxing the
shoulders. Try the Berkeley Yoga Room in the Julia Morgan Center
- great teachers
no longer clenching
As you saw on the earlier postings, many people grind their teeth at night, and are
helped by nightguards. Nightguards stop the teeth from getting worn down, and
can make clenching tightly less easy. While night guards deal directly with the
symptom, your question implies that you want to look at alternative approaches to
deal with the cause as well. Most clenching is from a reaction to stress-it's a
contraction that affects the head/neck relationship as well as the whole face. As an
Alexander Technique teacher, I teach students how to consciously un-do
contraction and allow more feedom and mobility throughout the self. My students
who have had TMJ have had great success applying the Alexander practice to their
jaws, so it's worth an experiment. I have little experience with biofeedback, but it
seems like another great resource for self care.
Facial pain and twitching can be a very common symptom of
grinding. I am an acupuncturist and have treated this in my
office many times (In fact, this must be a big issue right now
because I saw 6 people with TMJ pain this week alone). Anyway,
the tick is most likely a more advanced symptom of the chronic
muscle tension and lack of oxygen to the affected muscles.
Acupuncture works in the way that it encourages much needed
oxygen and blood circulation to the facial muscles, which allow
them to relax. It also helps to restore your nervous system and
the biochemistry that is keeping your teeth in a grinding state.
The effect should be felt rather quickly and have long lasting
results. Biofeedback is also a wonderful option because it can
help you to learn how to relax your facial muscles. Hypnotherapy
could also be an option. I know a wonderful hypnotherapist in
Berkeley if you are interested. In addition, a dentist with whom
I network was just telling me about a small insertion piece the
size of an eraser (not a mouthgaurd) that encourages your muscles
to relax. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have
this page was last updated: Aug 17, 2010
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network