Grinding Teeth - Lake in the Hills,IL

Updated on March 08, 2011
R.B. asks from Barrington, IL
8 answers

My 5 1/2 year old son is constantly grinding his teeth in his sleep at night. Any ideas on how to stop him from doing this? I've tried waking him up & telling him to stop but he cries & goes back to sleep.

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answers from Chicago on

He is grinding because his jaws are growing and he is unconsciously trying to find the right fit. If you get a mouthguard, it will fit for such a short time before he grows out of it, or loses a tooth, that it is not practical. Stress is the usual reason adults grind, and then a mouthguard is recommended. His teeth will probably show a little wear, but he should lose them before it becomes a problem with sensitivity.

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answers from San Luis Obispo on

Waking him up and disrupting his sleep is only going to make him fussy the next day. You couldn't even wake up an adult and tell them not to do something in their sleep. When someone is sleeping they don't have control let alone a 5 year old. That is like telling him to stop having nightmares.
Talk to his dentist or pediatrician about it. He could outgrow it or perhaps it may stem from something else. I know I wake myself up with my jaw clenched and am sure I grind my teeth! But I have bills and the regular adult type of worries! Your son doesn't have bills yet but maybe something is bothering him that might require more digging.
Good luck! But please stop waking your baby up! I would cry too! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I'm a nighttime teeth grinder for some reason - I have no idea why, and I don't know I'm doing it - I'm asleep! So is your son...waking him up to tell him to stop will do nothing, trust me. I wear a mouth guard at night to protect my teeth. Not a big deal.



answers from Chicago on

Hi there~
My 7 year old has done this for about 2 years now. Everything I have read says that it's not really an issue right now. I also talked to my dentist and he said that it's ok, for now. I think it becomes an issue when they are grinding their "adult" teeth.
I sometimes will just rub my son's back if I am near him and hear him doing it. Otherwise, I just leave him and he stops on his own.
Hope that helps.



answers from Louisville on

i do it and so does my 7 year old daughter. talk to his dentist he can tell you if a guard is necessary



answers from Chicago on

Check with his dentist to see if he needs a mouthguard or for strategies on how to stop. My son (3-1/2) occasionally grinds his teeth. When I asked his dentist, he said that he doesn't have the jaw strength at his age to damage or wear down his teeth. If it's still a problem as he gets older and gets his permanent teeth, we'll revisit the issue with the dentist.



answers from Los Angeles on

My sister and I were teeth grinders, she still is! She has a mouth guard now because it was rounding her teeth. I wouldnt worry about it so much.



answers from Chicago on

That isn't something that he can control. My son does the same thing. Fortunately he still has his baby teeth. I asked my dentist what to do and she said "Leave it alone, we cannot use a bite guard because it will prevent the movement necessary to lose these teeth someday to be replaced by the adult teeth". So , leave it alone!

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