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Your baby is doing plenty of exploring during the first year of life. The world around them is exciting; therefore, infants are curious and will test different things out. That is the reason that once babies begin to crawl, it is imperative that you baby-proof the home. That is why they put objects in their mouths so that they fulfill their curiosity. Another thing that infants can do after their baby teeth begin to emerge is grinding their teeth.
When babies grin their teeth, more often than not, it is another way that they explore. However, if it gets to the point where it is happening so much, it could result from bruxism.
What Is Bruxism?
If you ask yourself, ‘why does my baby grinding his teeth’ or, ‘why does my baby grind her teeth’ too many times, then your infant may have bruxism. Bruxism is a condition characterized by the frequency of teeth-grinding during the day and night. Infants, older children, and adults can have the situation, and it can happen in your sleep as well. When you grind your teeth while you are asleep, that is sleep bruxism.
The signs of bruxism in your infant are that you not only notice plenty of teeth grinding, but your baby may clench their jaw too. The grinding they do is loud, and you can hear it well. You also notice as well that they have worn or damaged baby teeth. Your infant could be cranky because of pain in their jaw, ears, or a headache. You hear teeth grinding as a problem for adults more often than in babies. What causes bruxism in infants?
What Causes Babies To Grind Their Teeth?
The average infant has their first set of teeth emerging from four to six months of age. However, some infants cut their first set of teeth younger than four months, and others cut their teeth by the time they are older than six months. Therefore, infants begin to grind their teeth about two to three months after their first tooth emerges.
Therefore, if a baby had their first tooth erupt at four months, it is not uncommon for the infant to begin grinding their first set of teeth at seven months. The common cause of infant bruxism is teething pain and discomfort. Causes of teeth grinding from stress will not affect infants the same way it affects older children, teens, and adults.
Hyperactivity in children can also cause bruxism; however, they tend to outgrow that during their teen or adult years. And there are some unknown causes for the condition as well. Hearing and watching your infant or child grind their teeth is unsettling. However, just remember that in the majority of cases, complications do not result from it, and babies will outgrow it as well. The thing to keep an eye on is any evidence of significantly worn-down or damaged teeth. Extreme irritability in your infant is another cause for concern since they are in pain from grinding their teeth. That will warrant a trip to the pediatrician. The good news is that there are methods to help encourage your baby to stop grinding their teeth.
How Can You Stop Your Baby From Grinding Their Teeth?
The solutions for bruxism are easy as specific teething rings can help discourage your baby from teeth grinding. Natural and rubber teethers free of BPA and phthalates can help the baby stop grinding their teeth as it offers soothing comfort. Ice teethers are another good option since a small amount of liquid is in the teether ring, which remains chilled. The coldness from the teether offers them comfort as well.
Wooden teethers are also an option as they are naturally antimicrobial and free of chemicals. You can also give your baby a silicone teething necklace in your presence, as that will give your infant something to chew. However, never put your baby in the crib with the chain on, as that is a hazard. Monitor your baby at all times if you give them a silicone teething necklace.
Home-made remedies for infant bruxism include wetting a clean cloth, folding it, and placing it in the freezer. Give your baby the dry part of the fabric to hold as they chew on the cold and wet piece. The hard part of the cloth isn’t only chilled but also firm, which will provide the infant with teething relief.
Remember that your infant will outgrow bruxism and likely will not experience any complications from it. However, if you think your infant is affected negatively by the teeth grinding, then you can always talk to your baby’s pediatrician. A pediatric dentist can also determine if the teeth grinding caused any damage to your infant.
You never think about a baby having bruxism as you hear about stressed-out children‘, teenagers, and adults suffering from it. However, it is prevalent for infants to grind their teeth. Babies need to explore as they evolve and grow, as their curiosity also grows. That is why they put objects in their mouths, and they will also grind their teeth for the same reason. However, teething pain can also be the culprit for bruxism.
Fortunately, there are ways to stop the problem from worsening. Different types of teething rings can help discourage teeth grinding in infants in addition to other home remedies. Babies eventually outgrow this phase. However, monitor your baby for potential and rare complications that result from teeth grinding as well.