Given the potential to affect their oral health for a lifetime – especially once the permanent dentition starts to erupt – this is an issue that needs to be tackled as quickly as possible.
Signs and symptoms associated with bruxism in children might include changes to their facial symmetry, inability of the lips to form an adequate seal, pain in the area of the masseter or temporalis muscles upon palpation, headaches and earaches, dentine sensitivity, and temporomandibular disorders, as well as anterior and posterior cross bites and tooth wear.
If a child presents with warning signs that may be attributed to bruxism, it will be helpful to ensure he/she is brushing effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste that is low in abrasivity, as well as suggesting they do something relaxing before bed such as reading or having a bath.
In addition, a soft mouthguard to be worn at night may be customised to prevent further damage to the dentition, which will need to be changed regularly for younger patients as the child and their teeth develop.
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