1.) Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is normal for a lot of young children. Most children do not even realize they are doing it, and it usually does not cause any discomfort. Often times parents say they can hear their children grinding their teeth from down the hall at night.
Teeth grinding usually stops as children start to develop adult teeth, and for that reason, we generally monitor this. However, if the grinding is getting worse over time, or if we start to see wearing down of the adult teeth, Dr. Mona may recommend treatment.
Over time teeth grinding can cause wearing away of the chewing surfaces of teeth. This can lead to teeth that look shorter than normal or have dents, jaw pain, as well as headaches. Some older children and adults grind their teeth because of stress or anxiety. In older children that have all of their adult teeth in, Dr. Mona may recommend a special mouth guard that can be worn while sleeping.
3.) Thumb or Finger Sucking and Pacifiers
Thumb and finger sucking or even pacifiers after the age of four is not recommended because it could lead to changes in the way your childs facial bones are formed.
This can cause narrowing of the upper jaw, crooked teeth, bite problems, the upper front teeth may start to tip out, or your child may develop an open bite (front teeth do not touch when biting down completely).
These habits can be very difficult for some children to break, and for that reason, it is very important that we work together to figure out what will work best for your child. For some children, a mouth appliance can be a very effective reminder to help get them through breaking the habit.