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How do you stop a little one from grinding their teeth?

My granddaughter will soon be 16 months old and has 12 teeth. Every so often I can hear her grinding them and I really can't stand to hear it. I also know that it is a bad habit for her to get into because my husband was a teeth grinder and his adult teeth are ruined.

When I hear her grinding I gently, but firmly, place my finger in her mouth to open it and tell her "stop."
My daughter, though, believes in the mouth tapping or squeezing her jaw with her thumb and finger on each side, which leaves imprints on her cheeks. She yells "NO!" at her and makes her cry.
Both styles work to an extent, but when left alone, she begins grinding again.

Do you have any suggestions on how to effectively, yet safely, stop a little one from grinding their teeth?



Asked by PrydferthMenyw at 11:50 AM on May. 29, 2010 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 19 (6,685 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • my dd did it, luckily it phased out..we always put our finger to her mouth and said no..hopefully it's just a thing she's picked up, and it'll go away as fast as it started....OR, she could be teething, and the pressure on her teeth gives some form of dd always did it when she teethed. good luck!

    Answer by mom_to_kenzie at 3:24 PM on May. 29, 2010

  • if she's doing this while she's awake you need to let her know what's gonna happen to her teeth if she keeps it up

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:53 AM on May. 29, 2010

  • If she is awake remind her to stop and distract her with another activity. If she does it at night you may want to talk to the dentist about it as there are bruxism mouthguards out there.

    Answer by MizLee at 12:16 PM on May. 29, 2010

  • omg your daughter seems a bit agressive! eeek. i would have a talk with her about that forsure.

    my daughter grinds her teeth, she is 20 months. she only does it at night. i just let her, i figure she will grow out of it. everything seems like a stage right now that will soon pass. good luck with your daughter tho.

    Answer by Preggydyke at 12:36 PM on May. 29, 2010

  • That makes sense mom_to_kenzie. She just got 4 molars in at the same time and she had been sick for a couple of weeks. The molars are in and don't seem to be causing her pain anymore (thank goodness!). She is grinding during the day, not at night. I'll keep poking my finger in when I hear it and hope it stops soon.

    Thanks everyone. :)

    Answer by PrydferthMenyw at 5:00 PM on May. 29, 2010