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My one year old daughter will occasionally grind her teeth together for a few seconds. She has four teeth on top and four teeth on bottom, and she will grind them back and forth when she is walking around or playing with something.

It freaks me out—it sounds horrible and gives me the shivers. (I'm squeamish as I'm writing this...)

My reaction is to distract her, and usually because the sound is so appalling to me, I distract her a little too loud or sudden (don't worry, I don't yell at her). Now, I just try to plug my ears and ignore it, but then I started wondering if it should be stopped.

Is teeth-grinding bad for her teeth or is it just something I need to deal with?
Are there ways to prevent it (does it need to be prevented)?

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I'd probably ask a dentist. Grinding teeth is bad, but grinding milk-teeth? I don't think so. I guess it's just a question about exploring the fact that she has teeth. But do I know? Nope. –  Lennart Regebro Mar 30 '11 at 19:58
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2 Answers 2

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Here's what my son's dentist told me:

Bruxism (teeth grinding, also a great Scrabble word) is very common in children, and nothing to worry about unless it continues after adult molars start coming in. They don't have their baby teeth around long enough for it to turn into a huge problem, and most stop when grown-up molars (which aren't as flat as baby ones) come in.

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+1 for the knowledge as well as the scrabble tip ;) Have been curious about this myself. –  Orbit Mar 31 '11 at 2:56
    
If the grinding isn't bad, is there anything I can do about my squeamishness? ;-) –  oKtosiTe Feb 6 '12 at 11:02
    
Actually, you're wrong. Everybody grinds their teeth in their sleep, even you (points finger at adult). It's not some habit that magically goes away when you get your adult teeth -- every body does it throughout their life, and it's only a problem if you experiencing symptoms of some kind (broken teeth, achy jaw, etc). The best way to minimize it is as I said cleaning your teeth properly. –  bobobobo Aug 17 '12 at 1:27
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Bruxism is normal and natural and completely unpreventable. Not brushing the teeth correctly will increase bruxism due to gum irritation. Clean your teeth, floss, and forget about the rest.

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