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Many children grind their teeth in their sleep. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your child, and usually doesn’t cause damage.
Toddler tucked into bed
 

Many children grind their teeth at some stage. Some children clench their jaws quite firmly. Others grind so hard that it makes a noise.

Children will not usually be woken up by the sound of their own teeth grinding – but other people in the room might be!

In most cases, children who grind their teeth don’t cause any damage to their teeth. But if you’re concerned, talk to a professional.

In only a few very extreme cases, where the grinding is very regular, is it likely that your child could cause damage to teeth. Devices to protect teeth can help, and are available from dentists.
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  • Last Updated 24-02-2010
  • Last Reviewed 25-04-2013
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Council on Clinical Affairs. (2003). Policy on Oral Habits. Retrieved on 24 November 2005 from http://www.aapd.org/media/Policies_Guidelines/P_OralHabits.pdf.

    Archhold, K.H., Pituch, K.J., Panabi, P., & Chervin, R.D. (2002). Symptoms of sleep disturbance among children at two general pediatric clinics. Journal of Pediatrics, 140, 97-102.

    Giglio, P., Undevia, N., & Spire, J-P. (2005). The primary parasomnias: A review for neurologists. The Neurologist, 11, 90-97.