Questions About Autistic Children And Teeth Grinding

Posted on: 24 October 2018

If you have a child with autism, you may have noticed that they grind their teeth often due to it being a sensory activity for them. While grinding their teeth may help their anxiety, it is causing problems with their oral health. Here are some common questions you may have about teeth grinding with an autistic child.

Why Does Teeth Grinding Start?

Teeth grinding is an activity that can ease anxiety and stress, while also providing something that they can do when they are feeling overstimulated. If your child has recently started this behavior, you might want to look at why they are doing it. Has there been a change in their life that has triggered more stress or anxiety? Are they sick and dealing with pain? Solving a problem with teeth grinding may require you first to deal with the underlying issue that has caused it.

How Can Teeth Grinding Be Stopped?

While finding how to reduce the stress in your child's life will not happen immediately, there are other ways you can help stop them from grinding their teeth. If you've noticed the teeth grinding regularly happens when they are sleeping, you could try giving your child a custom mouth guard to wear. They will be more comfortable to wear, so your child won't take it out after you shut the bedroom door at night, and it also gives them something they can fidget with that won't harm their teeth.

Consider working with an occupational therapist for a different solution. They can help officially diagnose problems with anxiety and come up with different comfort items that can distract them.

When Should You Visit A Dentist For Help?

There may come a point where you should visit a dentist to get to the bottom of your child's teeth grinding. At the very least, visits to the dentist will ensure that your child is not permanently damaging their teeth due to grinding since an exam can let you know if they are healthy or not. For instance, teeth grinding is known to wear away all the enamel on healthy teeth, which can cause cavities to become more common.

It may take a trip to the dentist to tell your child about the kind of damage they are creating, which can be enough to change their behavior. If you discover a cavity that has been caused by teeth grinding, needing to have a cavity filled may also be enough to get them to stop.

For more information, contact a dental clinic such as Parklane Dental.


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