Habits FAQ

Habits FAQ

My childs grinds his teeth when he sleeps
Parents are often concerned about nighttime grinding of their child's teeth (bruxism). Most children do grind their teeth and there is no cause for concern. The majority of cases of pediatric bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be indicated. This is rarely suggested for children since their teeth are in transition and the night guard will not fit for long. Dr. Meggan will evaluate your child and if there is any cause for concern, she will inform you.
Will he always grind his teeth?
The good news is most children outgrow bruxism. The grinding lessens between the ages of 6 to 9 years old and children tend to stop grinding between the ages of 9 to 12 years old.
When should my child stop sucking his thumb?
Thumb sucking is natural and a normal reflex utilized by infants to soothe themselves. They generally lose interest once they develop other coping skills. Ideally, children should stop thumb sucking before the age of 4. Up until the age of 3, children are too young to actively try to get them to stop. See if they will stop on their own with positive reinforcement. Focus only on daytime thumb sucking first. Once your child has stopped daytime sucking, then you can work on nighttime.
What about Pacifiers?
Pacifiers are not a substitute for thumb sucking. They, too, can affect the teeth in the same way as sucking fingers and thumbs. However, you can control and modify the pacifier easier than the thumb or finger habit.
How does Thumb Sucking affect my child’s teeth?
How hard a child actually sucks on their fingers or thumbs will determine whether or not dental problems will result. Some children rest their thumbs passively in their mouths, making them less likely to have problems than those who vigorously suck their thumbs.