Habit Breaking Appliance
Studies have shown that night grinding occurs, in one form or another, in most children. It is usually not a symptom of anxiety, or other emotional problems. Although the cause has not been established, night grinding is not problematic unless there are unusual wear patterns exhibited on the teeth. Unusual wear patterns may lead to a shift in the bite and /or TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). As a preventative measure, your dentist can custom make a mouth guard for nighttime wear.
Thumb sucking and pacifier use usually do not cause problems unless your child continues this habit for a long period of time. Many children will naturally give up these habits on their own, however, if you notice that your child’s bite is changing (teeth are beginning to angle out or when the child bites down the teeth do not fit together) or your child is older than three years old, it is imperative that you intervene and help your child give up the pacifier or thumb. In some cases, a dentist may recommend a mouth appliance to discourage thumb sucking behavior.