S.M. asks from Brea, CA on August 20, 2007
Teeth Grinding - Brea, CA
My 14 month old daughter is grinding her teeth. She only has 7 teeth so I am suprised to hear this. Before I call a dentist, does anyone have any advice? I am really worried. She isn't big enough for a mouth guard (not that she would keep it in anyway lol).
H.I. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2007
My 10 month old is doing that! He has 6 teeth. My 6 year old did that too. I think it is because they are learning about those new teeth. My 6 year old stopped doing it after a short time. I wouldnt worry to much unless it keeps going for a while.
S.P. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2007
Actually, you may want to talk to your ped. first. Teeth grinding can be a sign of worms. It doesn't always mean that but that was the warning sign when my son had them. It is really easy to treat. It just takes two pills. And sometimes they do it once and then keep doing it because of the "silly sound" it makes. My 13 month old son does it and the doc. treated him for worms (he said it would do no harm to him even if he didn't have them).
L.M. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2007
My daughter did this for a while too. But it seemed to be a phase only; she liked the noise it made. I gave her ice to chew during this "phase" and I found toys that made similar noises. I do not recommend that you make it a big deal by saying things like "don't do that" as it just seems to encourage the behavior more (any attention positive/negative re-enforces the behavior). I also recommend that you get her a tooth brush that she can use herself, replace the behavior with a good one (if you haven't done so already). I think that your daughter is probably doing this because of the sound it makes, as with any chewing she can hear it in her head (different from normal noises that are exterior auditory sounds) which is why I recommend ice or tooth brush, so she can still explore the new form of hearing that she has discovered without damaging her teeth.
S.D. answers from Los Angeles on August 26, 2007
Older children grind their teeth because they are stressed or because they need to get more air. Sometimes the adenoids and the tonsils are obstructing the airway, so the parents of older children should consider a trip to the ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) doctor if it's a problem. With babies, sometimes it can be stress too. I've read to make sure they have some "relaxing time" before bed, like lullabyes and/or gentle touches/massage from mom, dad or a caregiver, to help them transition from playtime to sleep time. My 11-month-old did it for a few weeks but just stopped on his own. I think the other parents are right when they suspect that they just "discover" it one day while feeling their new teeth. It makes a noise or a different sensation, so they just keep doing it until they get bored with it. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it because as another parent mentioned, it seems the more attention you call to something like that, the more they want to do it. It just depends on the child's personality.
L.D. answers from Salt Lake City on August 22, 2007
My baby girl did the same thing as soon as she had 5 teeth (3 on top an 2 on bottom) But after a couple of weeks, she stoped. By then she had 8 teeth. I would just give her a little pat on her mouth whenever I heard her grinding. Not really sure if that is what stopped her or if she just got used to having so many teeth.
If she continues, I would talk to her doctor about it, but its probably just one of those semi-normal things that freaks us out!
S.S. answers from Los Angeles on August 21, 2007
My son is 5 and grinds his teeth at night as well. Its called "bruxism" and is very common in small children. As their mouth grows, children do it as a way to align their teeth with their jaw. It does wear on the enamel a little bit, but it doesn't do serious harm to the baby teeth or permanent teeth as this little habit usually stops around the age of 6. If she hasn't outgrown it by then, you may want to ask your dentist. But being she is just a wee one, there isn't need for any immediate concern. I hope this helps!!!!
L.S. answers from Los Angeles on August 25, 2007
Grinding at that age is a sign of teething. It is very common for kids to grind their teeth up to the age of 6 when their 6 year molars erupt. Grinding usually halts then. They grind to create airway space for them to breath at night while sleeping.
K.F. answers from Los Angeles on August 22, 2007
I wouldn't worry just yet. She's just exploring the new "things" she feels in her mouth. She's not hurting her teeth. My daughter did that as well early on when her teeth started coming thru. But she quickly got bored with it and stopped. Maybe give her something rubbery or soft to chew on for now, maybe she's just bored - but again, I think she's just fascinated by the sound she can make by grinding them, and that she is in control of it. :-)