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Teeth grinding or bruxism can be a common occurrence at one time or another for many adults. In fact, it is actually more common in children. It is believed that about 30% of all children grind or clench their teeth. Luckily, most kids usually move past grinding or clenching by the time they are a teenager.

Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?

Kids grind their teeth for similar reasons that adults do. Below you will find a list of the most common causes:

-Stress.

-Jaw Growth.

-Response To Pain (earache or toothache).

-Malocclusion.

-Result Of Losing Teeth.

-Allergies.

How To Tell If Your Child Is A Teeth Grinder?

Many children who grind their teeth in their sleep have no idea they are doing it. In fact, upon waking in the morning they feel no jaw, facial, neck, or shoulder pain. It is usually a parent or sibling who notices it first. However, some children will experience some or all of the symptoms listed above.

What Can Teeth Grinding Do To Your Child’s Dental Health?

Teeth grinding can cause a host of dental complications including:

-Fractured Teeth.

-Abnormal Wear To Crowns Of Teeth.

-Increased Temperature Sensitivity.

-Gum Tissue Recession.

-Jaw Misalignment.

Treatment For Teeth Grinding

Treatment usually includes close monitoring of a child’s teeth grinding. If the teeth grinding continues then a custom made mouthguard may be necessary to protect the teeth from further damage. If the grinding is from stress it is important to talk to your children to see what might be bothering them. Stress induced bruxism can be avoided, however, by talking with kids regularly about their feelings and helping them deal with stress.

Bruxism Conclusion

If you notice your child is grinding his/her teeth bring them in for a complete dental evaluation with your dentist. This will ensure there is no damage and give you the ability to coordinate a good plan going forward.


Starting off right is true for many things in life but it is especially true in dental care. Building a good dental health foundation early in life will pay big dividends as our children get older. These habits will allow your children to maintain a healthy smile as a child and as an adult. Not only will their teeth be healthier but so will their overall general health. Self care is one of the most important lessons a parent can teach a child.

Pediatric Dental Care Tips

-Start Early. Many parents falsely believe that since primary teeth will fall out anyway that they are not important. This is totally false. A child’s dental care begins when that first tooth erupts into the mouth. These teeth will be small but can be brushed with a soft infant toothbrush or a wet washcloth. The general rule of thumb is the first dental visit should by at or around age 1. These visits will be educational for the parents but also allow the child to feel comfortable in the dental office. Early treatment will also save you money over time as you will catch any issues early and also learn proper prevention techniques.

-Include Your Child. As your child matures they can handle more of the responsibility of dental hygiene. They will feel good about themselves and feel like a big kid if they can accomplish these simple tasks. Some good tips to get them to brush properly include playing their favorite song while they brush or even give them a small reward when they do a good job. Many parents simply allow their children to brush on their own. This can be a big mistake. You need to check that they did a good job especially early on.

-Nutrition Is A Factor. Eating right will not only help your childs growth and development but it will also help with their dental health. Eating a balanced diet will help your child’s teeth to develop properly becoming strong. Limit the sugars that they eat but know it is impossible to avoid sugars totally. If your child does snack on a sugary treat make sure they brush and rinse after finishing. This will minimize the chances of tooth decay developing.

-Beware Of Medications. Many children’s medications have a lot of sugar in their ingredients. This gives childrens medicine their better taste and make them easier to drink. So beware of this and make sure your child rinses with water following taking their medications or even better brush following. Another tip is for children with asthma. Asthma inhalers will develop bacteria over time and need to be cleaned daily. These inhalers will also dry out your child’s mouth which can lead to tooth decay as well. Our saliva is our natural defense against tooth decay.

-Stop Pacifier Use By Age 2. Pacifiers are very dangerous to your child’s teeth as they get older. Continuing pacifier use past age 2 could lead to malocclusions (crooked teeth with an open bite).

-Rethink Your Child’s Drink Choice. Many children enjoy juice and use a sippy cup until they are old enough to use a regular glass. You should never let them fall asleep in their crib with a juice cup. It will lead to what is called baby bottle tooth decay. Giving juice to your child is totally ok but do not allow them to sip slowly on the juice cup. It is best to finish it all at once and then rinse with water or brush. Milk is actually the better choice if the child will drink it.

-Beware Of Teeth Grinding. Teeth grinding is quite common in children under the age of 7 years old. It usually stops on its own with no damage to the teeth. If it persists, call your dentist to evaluate the cause of the issue. Many times it can be a change in routine, or a problem at school that they are unable to communicate properly. Children who are hyperactive or have certain medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, may also grind.

Pediatric Dentistry Conclusion

Maintaining good dental health for our children can be challenging for many parents. The results are worthwhile as your children will be happier and healthier. As always visit your dentist regularly for regular dental examinations and professional cleaning.


Crooked teeth (also referred to as a malocclusion) can affect approximately 75% of all American adults. Malocclusion can significantly affect dental and oral health over the course of a lifetime, leaving you with increased chances of developing periodontal disease and increased wear and trauma to teeth.

Types Of Malocclusion

-Crossbite – A crossbite is when the lower teeth overlap or come out even with the upper teeth. In a normal occlusion the upper teeth overlap the lower ones but when a crossbite (can occur on either side or both) is present, the opposite is true. This can lead to premature wear, increased risk of chipping or fracturing your teeth, development of abfraction (small notch in tooth at the gumline), and periodontal disease.

-Excessive Overjet – This occurs when the upper front teeth are too far out in front of the lower teeth. This can lead to increased trauma as well as an increase to chipping or fracturing of teeth (especially the front ones).

-Edge To Edge Bite – This occurs when the teeth touch one another edge to edge (or cusp to cusp). The teeth do not fit together propely allowing the biting surfaces to touch. This will lead to increased risk of chipping and fracturing, Temperomandibular Joint (TMJ) pain, as well as short, worn down teeth.

-Open Bite – This is a common occurence from thumb sucking or can be genetic. It is when there is a space between the front upper teeth and the front lower teeth upon closing. Not only is this an unesthetic option but it can lead to abfraction, is difficult to bite and tear food ,and causes excessive, premature wear of the back teeth.

-Over Bite- This is when the upper front teeth completely cover the lower front teeth. Often, the lower teeth hit into the backs of the upper teeth and sometimes into the roof of the mouth.

-Under Bite- This occurs when the lower jaw has grown more quickly than the upper jaw. The lower front teeth and jaw have grown in front of the upper teeth.

-Tooth Size Arch Length Discrepency- When your teeth are too large for your jaw space and cause extreme crowding or when your teeth are too small for your mouth. Crowding can lead to decay, fracture, and periodontal disease. Small teeth are generally a major cosmetic issue.

The General Health Danger

Periodontal disease is commonly found right along with malocclusion, due to difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene when teeth are not in proper position.

Periodontal disease has been linked to many systemic diseases through various studies. Some of these diseases include heart disease, diabetes, and alzheimer’s. Periodontal disease generally takes years of neglect to develop. There are various stages of periodontal disease progression, they include:

-Gingivitis – The earliest stage. The only stage that is reversible with proper dental care. This stage is characterized by swollen, red gum tissues, bleeding upon brushing, as well as bad breath (halitosis). If treated before it progresses, it can be reversed back to a normal, healthy, gingival state.

-Periodontitis – This is the stage that develops following ginigvitis. It is not reversible but can be controlled. Damage to teeth, bone, and gums can be limited with proper dental care. During this stage, the supporting tissues around the teeth may break down leading to gum recession and bone loss around the teeth.

-Advanced Periodontitis – This stage increases the bone loss and gum recession leading to loosening of teeth with the real possibility of losing one or more teeth.

How Do Crooked Teeth Affect Our Mouths?

When teeth are crowded and not aligned properly, the plaque and bacteria that forms on our teeth during everyday food consumption  becomes much more difficult to remove. This makes it difficult to  maintain a good state of health. Many times, flossing and brushing areas of overcrowded teeth will become very difficult. These areas are generally called a “plaque trap” for their ability to constantly trap food and debris.  As mentioned earlier, without proper care, plaque traps can lead to bone loss, gum recession, and even tooth loss.

Another cause for concern is wear and trauma to the teeth. Poorly aligned teeth can create unnatural stresses on the teeth and the jaws. Teeth subjected to excessive pressures can develop chipping, fracturing, and abfractions. Premature wear can also lead to lost teeth, loose teeth and even root canal therapy.

Finally, crowded teeth affect your systemic health by allowing bacteria to grow and flourish unabated in these crowded areas. Over time, this can lead to devastating life threatening effects like heart disease and stroke.

What Can Be Done To Combat Crooked Teeth?

Fortunately, in many cases the simple solution is increased visits to the dentist for professional cleanings as well as diligent  home care.  When there is undue stress placed on the teeth that can cause trauma and wear over time, Orthodontics is the answer in most cases. Orthodontics is a type of dentistry dealing with crowded or misaligned teeth. Proper orthodontic treatment can, in many cases, restore your smile and make it easier to maintain it.

Orthodontics Conclusion

Orthodontics is not just for cosmetic reasons. We are not all born with perfectly straight teeth and sometimes we need a little help to get there. The bottom line is to have beautiful teeth and gums that make you feel confident and healthy. Your smile should  last you a lifetime!

Tooth eruption is a process in tooth development in which the teeth erupt into the mouth and becomes visible.

The arrival of a new tooth, or tooth eruption is a big event for most of us! As a baby, tooth eruption allows for introduction of new foods with more substance. Later on, many parents and kids look forward to a visit from the tooth fairy, and for their new “grown up” teeth to come in. It is an exciting time for parents and children alike and losing baby teeth is an important milestone in most kids and parents lives. It means they are growing up, getting bigger, and taking on more responsibility for themselves at home and school.

Tooth Eruption Facts

Humans have two sets of teeth, primary (or baby) teeth and then permanent teeth. These teeth develop in stages. The schedule is different but the development and tooth eruption of each of these sets of teeth is very much the same. Following are a few facts about tooth eruption:

-Tooth eruption tends to happen in parallel. This means that the bottom molar tooth on your left side should erupt into your mouth at about the same time as the bottom molar tooth on the right side.

-Primary tooth development begins during the 2nd trimester of a woman’s pregnancy. Primary teeth are place holders for permanent teeth.

-Loss of primary teeth due to extraction or loss of space due to breakdown of baby teeth, makes a child susceptible to malocclusion and more likely to need orthodontic treatment.

-The crown of a tooth is the first to begin forming. The roots continue to develop and lengthen even after the teeth have come through the gums.

-There are 20 primary teeth. These are usually fully erupted by age 3, and remain until around 6 years of age when they begin to fall out to make room for your permanent teeth.

-Adult teeth usually begin to erupt into the mouth between 6 and 12 years of age. Most adults have 32 permanent teeth.

-Permanent teeth are larger and take longer to erupt than primary teeth.

Tooth Eruption – Types of Teeth

A person’s teeth will vary in size, shape, and their location. Each tooth in your mouth has a job to do and that is why it is shaped the way it is and where it is located. Tooth eruption follows a definite pattern.  There are 5 types of teeth:

1) Incisors. Incisors are the eight teeth in the front of your mouth (four on top and four on bottom). These teeth are used to take bites of your food. Incisors are usually the first teeth to erupt. Primary incisors erupt at around 6 months of age.Permanent incisors should come in at  6 and 8 years of age.

2) Canines. We have four canines in our mouths. These are the next type of teeth to erupt. Canines are your sharpest teeth and are used for ripping and tearing food apart. Teeth eruption for primary canines usually occurs between 16 and 20 months of age, with the upper canines coming in just before  the lower canines. The order is reversed for permanent teeth. Lower canines erupt around age 9, with the uppers erupting at about 11-12 years of age.

3) Premolars. Primary molars are replaced by premolars. Premolars (also called bicuspids) are used for chewing and grinding of food. You have four premolars on each side of your mouth, two on the upper and two on the lower jaw. The first premolars appear around age 10 and the second premolars arrive about a year later. Premolars are generally the teeth that may need to be removed during orthodontic treatment to create space.

4) Molars. Primary molars (replaced by the permanent premolars) are also used for chewing and grinding food. Teeth eruption for these happens between 12 and 15 months of age. The first permanent molars erupt around 6 years of age while the second molars come in around 11-13 years old.

5) Third Molars. These are also referred to as “wisdom” teeth. These are the last teeth to erupt into the mouth and do not typically erupt until age 18-21 years of age. Some

Tooth Eruption Issues - Peg Laterals - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Tooth Eruption Issues – Peg Laterals

people never develop third molars at all. These molars may cause crowding and need to be removed. Other times they develop in the jaw but never erupt into the mouth. When this happens it is referred to as impacted.

Tooth Eruption Issues

-Supernumerary teeth.  Extra teeth may form and make normal tooth eruption more difficult, delayed or impacted. This happens most often in the wisdom tooth area. Another type of extra tooth is called a mesiodens. This is an extra small tooth growing right between the two upper front teeth and needs to be removed surgically. There is also Gemination, or twinning of a tooth, wherein, a double tooth forms.

-Malformed  Teeth. Tooth eruption is not always perfect. Sometimes genetics, medications etc. can cause malformed teeth. Examples are peg laterals (very small lateral incisors), mulberry molars (a molar

Fused Tooth - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Tooth Eruption Issues – Fused Tooth

that has a raspberry like appearance), Fused teeth (two different teeth which form conjoined into one tooth such as a lateral and canine),  Dens in dente (a tooth growing completely inside of another tooth).

If a tooth does not form in the primary dentition (for example a child never forms a front baby tooth), there will never be a permanent tooth to replace it. Also, tooth eruption in the lower arch in front can sometimes erupt behind the primary teeth. This is quite normal but may necessitate the need of removal of the primary teeth to aid tooth eruption.

If teeth are not erupting properly, have your dentist take an x ray. Sometimes there are developmental or genetic issues causing malformed teeth, extra teeth or lack of tooth development. It is important to monitor tooth eruption as it happens. The earlier these issues are detected, the better you can prepare for future treatment needs.

 

Primary Tooth Eruption Chart

Tooth Eruption Chart - Marielaina Perrone DDS

Tooth Eruption Chart