Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry

Logo - Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry - in Bozeman, MT
child smiling while laying on grass


Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching. According to research, about 2 to 3 out of every ten kids develop this habit at some point or another. It is not uncommon for kids with bruxism to develop dental problems. These dental dilemmas can range from chipped or loosened teeth to jaw pain and even broken teeth.

At Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Justin and Dr. Joni, and our dentists can help your child overcome this habit and treat any problems it may have caused already.

Here are some basic things parents must do if their child has bruxism.

Dietary Changes

To prevent teeth grinding, try to keep your child from chewing gum and biting down on any non-food item such as toys and pencils. This is because it makes their jaw muscles more used to clenching. Consequently, they are more likely to grind their teeth as well.

Moreover, cut back on your child’s daily consumption of sugary foods, including artificial fruit juices and chocolate. Avoid giving them soft drinks and other drinks or food items that contain caffeine. Stress is often the primary contributor to bruxism, especially in older children. An unhealthy diet only makes it worse.

Oral Hygiene And Jaw Muscle Care

In younger kids and toddlers, in particular, teeth-grinding usually stems from irritation in the mouth. Sore gums due to erupting teeth can force kids to clench and grind their jaws for relief. For this, you can give them frozen treats like watermelon and cucumber sticks to soothe oral inflammation.

Another reason behind teeth-grinding can be tension in the jaw muscles. Since their jaw bone and muscles are also continuously growing, grinding teeth is a natural response to control any associated discomfort. To relax tensed jaw muscles, place a warm washcloth against your child’s cheeks for a few minutes, especially before bedtime.

It’s essential to remember that most kids outgrow their teeth-grinding habit by adolescence. Nonetheless, it can cause severe damage to their teeth by then.

If you are worried about your child’s teeth grinding, visit Dr. Justin and Dr. Joni, and our dentists at Gallatin Valley Pediatric Dentistry. We can help you figure out the best way to treat this problem and maintain your child’s dental health. For more information, call 406-587-2327 today.