Parents have a full plate when it comes to keeping their children healthy. There are so many considerations to make, from preparing their children healthy snacks to making sure they are brushing their teeth regularly and effectively, including flossing. One of the things that many parents have to deal with and may not be aware of is their child or children grinding their teeth at night while they sleep. Often this goes unnoticed due to the child sleeping in their own room, but it’s important to take action once discovered. That sound of a child grinding their teeth isn’t just unpleasant, but the affects of such continued habits can be detrimental to the health of the teeth.

What Are the Facts?

About 38% of children grind or clench their teeth according to the Journal of Dentistry for Children. Most toddlers tend to grind their teeth at night and the problem typically starts around three years of age. Some children, however, may start grinding their teeth as early as one year old! While most children will outgrow the condition by the time they reach their 6th birthday, some may carry it on later. A small percentage may even continue teeth grinding into adulthood.

Causes of Teeth Grinding & Clenching

There has been no conclusive answer determined as to why teeth grinding occurs. There are many theories ranging from physical causes to psychological.

Some potential physical causes include:

  • Pain that may be a result of illness or teething
  • Medical issues such as nutritional deficiencies, dehydration, allergies, or pinworms.
  • Malocclusion, or the improper alignment of the top and bottom teeth

Psychological causes include stress and anxiety from:

  • Moving
  • Birth of a sibling
  • Change in schedule
  • Weaning from breastfeeding

How Teeth Grinding Affects Sleep

Toddlers experiencing issues with teeth grinding often have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep. They tend to wake up frequently in the middle of the night, either from the pain or from the noise their teeth grinding makes. Teeth grinding affects children while they sleep at night as well as during midday naps.


In most cases, your family dentist may not consider the case problematic enough to treat, but it’s always worth consulting with a dentist if you suspect that your child may be grinding their teeth. Through a regular dental exam, a dentist can identify the severity of the case and whether or not it requires additional treatment or just letting it resolve itself on its own. If you suspect something serious like nutritional deficiency or illness, consult with a pediatrician. However, mild pain in the instance of teething may be resolved through children’s Tylenol. Associated headaches or jaw pain may be treated a similar way.

If you suspect the issue is a psychological condition rather than a physical one, it may be beneficial to increase your time spent reading to your child before bedtime or looking to get more involved in whatever life issue may be affecting them.

Otherwise, there is no specific cure other than working with your child to resolve physical and psychological causes if they exist. Sometimes simply taking the time to read your child a relaxing bed time story or letting them wind down with a bath before bed is the best solution.

Choosing a Children’s Dentist

Teeth grinding or clenching isn’t the only issue worth considering when it comes down to taking care of your child. It’s also incredibly important to focus on issues such as implementing proper dental habits, including brushing and flossing. Additionally, sometimes a dentist can help you with making proper determinations on a healthy diet for your children. This is where choosing a professional dentist with a specialty in children’s dentistry is especially important.

City Dental Centers is a dental center that focuses not just on dentistry for adult patients, but also on providing the perfect dental experience for your children as well. City Dental Centers treats their patients like family, making for a comfortable experience for not just adults, but children as well.

City Dental Centers runs multiple offices in the Southern California area. Because they manage multiple locations, they are a convenient choice for just about any patient in the area for all your dentistry needs for the entire family. Treating patients like family is the basis upon which City Dental Centers was founded.

Dentist in Azusa

Convenient Dentist Offices in Southern California

Doctor Sam Shahovesi and the team at City Dental Centers are here to provide our patients with the best dental services and dental surgeries for children and adults of all ages. From toddlers to seniors, City Dental Centers offers six convenient dentist offices in Southern California. We even have a dedicated children’s dentist office, City Dental Kids & Braces, to cater to the special physical and emotional needs of children.

Whether you need checkups, x-rays, braces, bonding, teeth whitening, sealants, oral cancer screenings, root canals, crowns, bridges, implants, or tooth extraction, City Dental Centers is here to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.

Contact The Nearest Dentist to You

Ready to experience the best dentists in Los Angeles? Choose one of the convenient dental offices we have surrounding LA. We have dental practices in AzusaCoronaLake ForestMontclairPico Rivera, and West Covina. You can call our main line at (888) 624-8933 or reach out to an office directly with the information below. We’re so happy you’ve chosen City Dental Centers. We can’t wait to help you along your dental journey and brighten your beautiful smile!

Dentist in Azusa, CA

Location: 483 S. Citrus Ave. Azusa, CA 91702
Phone: (626) 966-3400

Dentist in Corona, CA

Location: 161 McKinley St. STE 102, Corona, CA 92879
Phone: (951) 737-3746

Dentist in Lake Forest, CA

Location: 24602 Raymond Way #210, Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone: (949) 461-5800

Dentist in Montclair, CA

Location: 5182 Moreno St, Montclair, CA 91763
Phone: (909) 295-3477

Dentist in Pico Rivera, CA

Location: 9400 Whittier Blvd, Pico Rivera, CA 90660
Phone: (562) 949-2526

Dentist in West Covina, CA

Location: 154 Plaza Dr, West Covina, CA 91790
Phone: (626) 962-1722