Parents observe a lot of physical and developmental changes during the first year of their newborn. One such notable change is baby grinding new teeth. For many parents, it is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed. However, teeth grinding is a common issue that every child experiences at a certain point of their growth cycle, and not an emergency phenomenon. Is it normal for babies to grind their new teeth?
As per medical experts, it has been observed that 20 to 30 percent of babies grind their teeth during the day and sleeping hours, a condition known as bruxism. While the majority of children come out of this problem naturally, few may require treatment to handle it as it may cause tooth damage and decay at a later stage. Is it normal for 1 year old to grind teeth?
Why Babies Grind their Teeth?
Although, there is no real cause of tooth grinding in infants the major factor behind is the teething process when babies outgrow their teeth. As each tooth emerges, it causes discomfort and sensational pains, consequently, making babies clench their jaws and grind their teeth.
Tooth grinding may also occur due to growth and development phenomenon in babies. However, children automatically learn to overcome this problem with time. baby grinding new teeth, improper alignment of teeth may also promote grinding.
This usually happens when babies are sleeping and loses control of the mouth, resultantly, making babies experience frequent tooth grinding. How do you stop a baby from grinding its front teeth?
Other common reasons include physical and psychological factors due to which babies grind their teeth, as listed below:
Babies are in a self-learning process when they enter their teething stage. Tooth grinding provides them a way to explore the function, feelings, and sound of their new teeth. It makes them curious to learn and experience their new senses.
When babies are unhappy or upset about something, they usually cry or make noise. However, in some cases, they may start grinding their teeth as a way to communicate about their stress or discomfort.
Babies often experience pain due to an ear infection or from a new tooth which makes them irritated and they may start grinding their teeth as a response to relieve the pain.
There are certain types of medications that may trigger this problem, causing children to grind their teeth uncontrollably.
Relaxation Techniques to Overcome baby grinding new teeth
It is a matter of concern for the majority of parents when their babies constantly grind their teeth and produce crunching sounds, especially during sleep hours. However, there are several remedies and preventative measures that parents can use to make babies avoid recurrent teeth grinding. Some are enlisted below:
Natural Rubber Teethers
Babies love teethers as it provides them with a soothing impression when they feel discomfort and irritation at the time of teeth growth. Teethers are usually made up of soft rubber and flexible material that not only provides a soothing impact on your child’s teeth but also keeps the new tooth pain at ease.
Research shows that chewing toys like teethers can be greatly helpful to give comfort and relief to babies when their new teeth are developing. Some parents prefer to give cold teethers to babies to provide a soothing coolness to their gums. However, be careful not to freeze them for longer periods as the baby’s gums are sensitive and they might feel discomfort or get hurt.
Other types of teethers have vibrations that may provide some relief to babies when they put the teething toy in their mouth. With different shapes, colors and sizes, teethers are the best toys to appeal to your baby’s interest and to reduce teeth grinding in babies.
Relaxed Bed-Time Routine
Give your child a relaxed, bedtime routine as it significantly helps to relieve stress and discomfort caused by teething. Singing a rhyme or playing some soft music may help a baby drift soundly off to sleep. Similarly, dimming the lights of the area or using calming scents in your child’s room can help to make your child feel peaceful and relaxed before bedtime.
Treat your child with a warm bath or shower as bedtime approaches. Taking a warm water bath before sleep keeps the body and jaw muscles relaxed and can help to reduce teeth grinding in babies significantly. While giving a shower, use your fingers to rub the gums and apply some gentle pressure on them. Sometimes, sweet relief from teething pain can be reduced by simply rubbing the gums.
Treat your child with a regular massage as it will keep their body muscles relaxed. Regular exercise like stretching arms and legs improves blood circulation and keeps body muscles relaxed. Similarly, massaging specific points aids to relieve pain and promotes deeper and more peaceful sleep.
A gentle massage of the neck, shoulder, and face can also be very helpful for overcoming baby grinding new teeth, as it promotes calm and is soothing and relaxing therapy for your baby.
Play Time and Interaction
Create a new environment for your baby to distract their attention away from teething pain. Treat your child with toys and coloring books to keep them busy, or take them out for a walk. Healthy interaction and play time are highly fruitful to make your baby feel happier and relaxed until the pain has been subsidized.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Take care of your newborn hygiene as babies require special care and proper attention when it comes to their physical cleanliness. Babies are in the constant habit of putting things in their mouths, so ensure to keep their hands clean and free from dust. A wet soft cloth may be used to gently rub the gums and surrounding teeth area for the prevention of bacteria.
The above article describes some remedies and preventive measures that parents can use to distract their baby grinding new teeth. However, parents should understand that tooth grinding is a fairly common issue as a part of the growth and development stage of your baby. Whereas, in the majority of cases, it settles away on its own so it is suggested to take it as a healthy growing sign in your baby’s life rather than getting worried about it.