We love back to school season at Advanced Dental Care — but we also know kids’ dental health can get a little out of whack during August and September. Bruxism, or nighttime teeth grinding, may occur as your child starts to adjust their sleeping schedules to wake up early again. As your child gets back into the figurative grind, make sure their teeth aren’t getting into one, too. Learn more about preventing stress and associated bruxism in this week’s blog post from your dentist in Costa Mesa, Dr. Jeremy B. Jorgenson!
Why Does Bruxism Occur?
Bruxism is more common in children than you might think. It usually happens when kids are stressed out or getting used to a new routine, like around the start of the school year. Unfortunately, the habit can be really damaging to a young smile — maybe even worse than it is for your own teeth. A child’s tooth enamel isn’t fully developed until they are in their middle teens, so jaw clenching and teeth grinding can really wear away at those softer little teeth.
It’s important to know what to look out for so your child can get the proper treatment, even if they haven’t gotten any of their secondary (permanent) teeth yet. The warning signs of bruxism in children may be easy to miss. They include…
- Worn tooth enamel
- Chipped teeth
Getting on a Stress-Free Sleep Schedule
After a long summer of staying up and sleeping later, it may not be easy to get your child back into a good sleep schedule — but it couldn’t be more important to protect their oral and overall health and help them enjoy a great school year. Remember that school-aged kids and early teenagers should be getting from 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night. It seems like a lot, but that’s what they need during these crucial developmental stages! Adolescents need 9 hours of sleep every night.
You don’t have to wait until the first day of school to get your child back on schedule. Waking up a little earlier in the days leading up to school’s start can make it easier when the big day finally comes. To help make it easier for your little one to fall asleep earlier at night, make sure they stay away from caffeine and sugar in the late afternoon and evenings. Try to limit screen time before bed, too. The bright lights from phones, televisions, and computers can make it harder for the brain to shut down at night.
In addition to helping your child get into a solid sleep routine this month, you can take their oral health and hygiene one step further by bringing them in for a back to school checkup and cleaning to start the school year off right.
Schedule a Back to School Dental Visit Today
With that last point in mind, we encourage you to schedule a back to school checkup and cleaning for your little one this August! Dr. Jorgenson is the children’s dentist you’re looking for when you search for a “dentist near me,” so go ahead and request an appointment today!