What You Need To Know About Teeth Grinding and Clenching

What You Need To Know About Teeth Grinding and Clenching

One common concern that many families face is teeth grinding and clenching. If you’ve noticed your child grinding their teeth at night or clenching their jaw during the day, you may have questions about this condition and its potential impact on their oral health. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and potential consequences of teeth grinding and clenching is crucial for ensuring the well-being of your child’s smile.

So let’s dive in.

Understanding Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as the involuntary grinding, gnashing, or clenching of the teeth, is a common concern that can affect both children and adults. If you’ve noticed your child grinding their teeth at night or clenching their jaw during the day, it’s important to understand this behaviour and its potential impact on their oral health. 

Let’s delve deeper into the factors associated with teeth grinding and clenching.

Possible Causes of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

The exact causes of teeth grinding and clenching are not fully understood, but several factors have been linked to this behaviour, including:

  1. Dental Misalignment: Irregularities in tooth alignment or bite can contribute to teeth grinding and clenching.
  2. Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress, anxiety, or tension can lead to the habit of teeth grinding and clenching.
  3. Malocclusion: Improper alignment of the upper and lower teeth, also known as malocclusion, can contribute to the grinding and clenching of teeth.
Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Identifying the signs and symptoms of teeth grinding and clenching is crucial for early intervention. 

Some common indications include:

  1. Audible Grinding Noises: You may hear your child grinding their teeth, especially during sleep.
  2. Jaw Pain or Tension: Your child may experience jaw pain or soreness, especially upon waking up in the morning.
  3. Headaches or Facial Pain: Persistent headaches or facial pain can be associated with teeth grinding and clenching.
  4. Worn, Chipped, or Cracked Teeth: Teeth grinding and clenching can result in dental damage, including worn enamel, and chipped or cracked teeth.
Potential Consequences of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

If left untreated, teeth grinding and clenching can have several negative consequences for your child’s oral health, including:

  1. Tooth Damage: The repetitive grinding or clenching can wear down tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity, fractures, or even tooth loss.
  2. Jaw Disorders: Chronic teeth grinding and clenching can strain the jaw muscles and joints, resulting in jaw disorders and associated symptoms like jaw pain and restricted jaw movement.
  3. Disrupted Sleep: Teeth grinding and clenching can disturb your child’s sleep patterns, leading to daytime fatigue and irritability.
  4. Impaired Quality of Life: The discomfort and dental complications caused by teeth grinding and clenching can impact your child’s overall well-being and daily activities.

Understanding the possible causes, signs, and potential consequences of teeth grinding and clenching is the first step towards addressing this behaviour and safeguarding your child’s dental health. 

Seeking Professional Dental Care for Teeth Grinding and Clenching

If your child is experiencing teeth grinding and clenching, it’s important to seek professional dental care to address this behaviour and prevent potential oral health complications. A pediatric dentist can provide valuable insights, guidance, and treatments tailored to your child’s specific needs. Let’s explore why seeking professional dental care is essential when dealing with teeth grinding and clenching.

Comprehensive Evaluation and Diagnosis

A pediatric dentist at Kids Dental will conduct a thorough evaluation of your child’s oral health, including an assessment of their teeth, jaw, and bite. Through a comprehensive examination, the dentist can diagnose and determine the underlying causes of your child’s teeth grinding and clenching. This personalized approach allows for targeted treatment strategies.

Customized Treatment Plan

Based on the evaluation and diagnosis, the pediatric dentist will develop a customized treatment plan for your child. 

This plan may include a combination of strategies such as:

  • Behaviour Modification Techniques: The dentist may recommend behavioural changes to help reduce stress and anxiety that contribute to teeth grinding and clenching.
  • Dental Appliances: In some cases, the pediatric dentist may prescribe a dental appliance, such as a night guard or splint, to protect the teeth and alleviate the effects of grinding and clenching.
  • Orthodontic Intervention: If malocclusion or misalignment is contributing to the teeth grinding and clenching, orthodontic treatment may be recommended to address these underlying issues.
  • Collaboration with Specialists: In complex cases, the pediatric dentist may collaborate with other dental specialists, such as orthodontists or sleep medicine experts, to provide comprehensive care.
Education and Guidance

A pediatric dentist is not only focused on treating immediate concerns but also on providing education and guidance to prevent future issues. They will educate you and your child on the importance of oral hygiene, proper brushing techniques, and stress management strategies. By understanding the triggers and adopting healthy habits, your child can better manage teeth grinding and clenching.

Monitoring and Follow-up Care

Regular check-ups with the pediatric dentist are crucial to monitor your child’s progress and ensure that the treatment plan is effective. The dentist will assess any changes in your child’s oral health, adjust the treatment as necessary, and provide ongoing support and guidance.

Home Care Tips for Managing Teeth Grinding and Clenching

While seeking professional dental care is crucial for addressing teeth grinding and clenching, there are also several home care strategies that can complement the treatment and help manage this behaviour. By incorporating these tips into your child’s daily routine, you can promote a healthier dental environment and reduce the impact of teeth grinding and clenching. 

Let’s explore some practical suggestions for managing teeth grinding and clenching at home.

Stress Reduction Techniques

Stress and anxiety are common triggers for teeth grinding and clenching. Encourage your child to engage in stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing exercises, mindfulness activities, or engaging in hobbies they enjoy. Creating a calm and relaxing environment at home can also contribute to stress reduction.

Establish a Bedtime Routine

A consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your child’s body that it’s time to relax and prepare for sleep. Incorporate activities such as reading a book, taking a warm bath, or listening to soothing music. This routine can help promote better sleep quality and reduce teeth grinding during the night.

Limit Stimulants

Avoid giving your child foods and beverages that contain stimulants like caffeine or sugar close to bedtime. These substances can increase arousal levels and potentially exacerbate teeth grinding and clenching. Opt for healthier alternatives and encourage proper hydration throughout the day.

Encourage Jaw Muscle Relaxation

Teach your child to be mindful of their jaw muscles during the day. Encourage them to avoid clenching their teeth or holding tension in their jaw. Gentle jaw exercises, such as opening and closing the mouth slowly, can help relax the jaw muscles and reduce the habit of clenching.

Create a Teeth-Friendly Environment

Ensure your child’s sleeping environment is conducive to good oral health. Make sure their pillow and mattress provide adequate support and comfort to promote a relaxed jaw position. Additionally, keep their bedroom free from distractions and promote a peaceful atmosphere.

Regular Communication with the Dentist

Maintain open communication with your child’s dentist at Kids Dental. Inform them about any changes or developments related to your child’s teeth grinding and clenching. This allows the dentist to adjust the treatment plan accordingly and provide ongoing support. By implementing these home care tips, you can complement the professional dental care your child receives at Kids Dental and help manage teeth grinding and clenching effectively.

If you liked this blog, check out this one on, “4 Signs of Teething in Newborns.”

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Dr. Amanda Huminicki

BScDent, MScDent, DMD
I love working with children, which is why I have so much fun as a pediatric dentist. I taught children dance lessons while in school, and knew that I wanted to keep working with kids as a dentist. I’m lucky to have the privilege of laughing and sharing joy with my patients, and I enjoy watching them grow up into amazing young adults. I find it so rewarding to be part of a fantastic team that helps kids learn about their oral health and have a positive experience at the dentist.


  • Bachelor of Science degree (Dentistry), University of Manitoba
  • Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree, University of Manitoba
  • Masters of Science degree (Dentistry), University of Manitoba

Continuing Education

I enjoy keeping current in the field of pediatric dentistry and getting together with colleagues to learn and share experiences. I attend many courses and conferences each year and am a member of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • York Region Dental Society

In the Practice

I’m so fortunate to work with a fantastic group of people at KDG! The entire team is so caring and dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients, and we have a lot of fun together at work. It’s a joy to work closely with such talented and knowledgeable people who also have incredibly kind hearts. Our patients and their families are so much fun to interact with, and there’s always a positive and upbeat feeling in the clinic.

Family and Community

I recently moved to Toronto from Winnipeg with my husband and am really enjoying getting to know my new community. The city is so exciting and I’m having fun exploring Toronto and all the amazing communities nearby. I enjoy staying active, and can usually be found running, at spin class, doing yoga, or walking outside on a nice day. I also love spending time with my family and friends, and try to see them as much as possible.

Dr. Krista Lee

BSc, DDS, Cert. Ortho.
I am enthusiastic and passionate about what I do and I feel very lucky to be an orthodontist. I get to meet new people every day in the office, and I always learn a lot about them. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of others in a positive way.Because I see my patients every month for a couple of years, I really get a chance to get to know them, watching the young ones grow and mature. It makes me the happiest when a patient comes in and is excited be here and wants to share good news with me, like graduating, getting straight A’s, or their first goal at a soccer game. They know that I’m interested in them, I care, and I am proud of their accomplishments.

I appreciate that they are willing to let me help them with their smiles, and that they are willing to do their part, too. It’s a team effort because the orthodontist, the patient, the family, and the staff all have to work together to create beautiful smiles!


  • Bachelors of Science, University of Western Ontario
  • Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
  • General Practice Residency, University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital
  • Orthodontic Specialty, New York University in Manhattan
  • Board Eligible for the American Board of Orthodontists
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada

Continuing Education

During my time at New York University, I was an instructor for the Invisalign® course for dental students, and the orthodontic course for the dental honors students. I’ve learned so much during my education and enjoy sharing this knowledge with my patients and staff.

I’ve also published research in the American Journal of Orthodontics, Journal of Canadian Dentistry, and Oral Health. Our profession is moving toward evidenced-based practices and I think it’s very important to help support this.

While practicing as a general dentist, I had the opportunity to provide dental care to the First Nations’ population in the Northwest Territories, Northern Manitoba, and the Queen Charlotte Islands in BC. I also had the opportunity to provide dental outreach to children’s hospitals and orphanages in Vietnam and Cambodia, which was very rewarding. Locally, LA Orthodontics is proud to support the Sick Kids Foundation.

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Association for Orthodontics
  • American Association for Orthodontics
  • Northeastern Society for Orthodontics

Family and Community

I grew up in Vancouver, BC, and am very excited to be part of the Stouffville community! We have recently joined the Whitchurch-Stouffville Chamber of Commerce and I have met many great people and everyone has been very welcoming. My family in Vancouver includes my parents, younger brother and sister, and my older brother in Singapore. All of us are very close and get along well. In my spare time, I enjoy ballet, travel, cooking, and snorkeling.

Dr. Edina Heder

MScDent., DMD, Cert. Pedo.
I love kids. They are fun-loving and you can joke around with them all day long. That’s why I find my work in pediatric dentistry so rewarding. I get to spend time with some of the brightest, most fun people in the world, helping them stay healthy and develop good habits for a lifetime of wellness.


Before becoming a dentist, I attained the following education:

  • Doctor of Medical Dentistry Degree, University of Manitoba
  • Clinical Director of the Undergraduate Pediatric Dentistry, University of Manitoba
  • Pediatric Dentistry Certificate and Masters Degree in Dentistry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey


Continuing Education

I maintain memberships with several professional organizations that ensure I stay informed about the latest technology and techniques in my field. I belong to the following associations:

  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • York Region Dental Society
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

In the Practice

I am proud to be a part of this practice and to associate with so many excellent professionals. I have a strong sense of home here, which is very important to me. My family moved from Bosnia when I was a child and we settled in Winnipeg where I grew up. After earning my DMD degree, I practiced and taught there before going to New Jersey to specialize. I moved to Ontario after graduating from the pediatric program to become a part of the LA team. I love the variety of my work and how friendly the atmosphere at the office is every day. It not only makes my job as nice as it is, it also helps provide a great atmosphere for my patients. Having a positive experience at the dentist as a child can make a big difference in person’s lifelong outlook on oral health.

Family and Community

My husband and I live in Gormley, Ontario where we are happy to raise our very active children. The kids keep us busy with a variety of activities, including gymnastics at Pulsars and swimming in Stouffville. I enjoy all of the time I get to spend at home and in my community with my family.

Dr. Zhemeng Wang

DDS, Cert. Pedo.
First and foremost, I love children. They inspire me every day to have more fun and to be more energetic, creative, and optimistic. I am very lucky that, as a pediatric dentist, my job gives me the opportunity to interact with kids all day long, and to help them with their oral health and overall health.


  • Bachelor’s degree, McGill University
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, University of Western Ontario
  • Advanced Training in Pediatric Dentistry, New York University College of Dentistry

Continuing Education

I greatly value the importance of keeping up with the latest advances in my field. Throughout the year, I attend several conferences and continuing education courses offered by my professional associations, which include:

  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Chinese Canadian Dental Society

In the Practice

I truly believe that I work at one of the finest teams in the field of oral health. It is wonderful to be a part of an organization that cares so deeply for patients and works to provide the best treatment setting possible. I am confident that my patients will be comfortable in this practice and committed in providing a great experience at each visit.

Family and Community

I really love Toronto and all the opportunities it provides. I am proud of my work with the Chinese Canadian Dental Society, of which I am a past president, as well as the educational sessions I have conducted at several schools in Richmond Hill and Markham. In my leisure time, I like to be with family and friends, whether it’s catching a movie or exploring one of Toronto’s excellent restaurants. I stay fit by running and practicing yoga. I also like to travel when I get the chance.

Dr. Anthony Antoniazzi

BSc, DDS, Cert. Ortho.
I feel very privileged to be an orthodontist, because my profession has truly changed the way people smile. Orthodontics can have a positive impact on self-esteem and it is amazing to see the changes it can have on an individual’s self-confidence. I truly feel as though I have the greatest job in the world, and I enjoy coming to work every day. Because our practice treats both children and adults, we are very fortunate to meet many different people and build personal and professional relationships with them. Not only can we help our patients, but we can also learn from them.

We have a strong, team approach at the office, hopefully making every treatment more efficient and enjoyable. My team and I have the experience and knowledge required to create beautiful smiles, and, best of all, we love what we do! My profession allows me to give back to the community, and to give confidence through a new smile!


  • Bachelor of Science Degree – Laurentian University
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery – University of Western Ontario
  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry – Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Orthodontic Specialty – Jacksonville University, Florida
  • Board Eligible for the American Board of Orthodontics
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada

Continuing Education

I have been exposed to a wide variety of continuing education courses which have helped mold the way I practice orthodontics. We believe in an evidence-based approach when employing new techniques in our practice. Not only do we take into consideration the dental literature and doctors’ experience and expertise, but we also truly value patients’ input.

As a part of my continuing education, I dedicated a full year to focusing on crown and bridge and implant dentistry. As many complex orthodontic cases require an interdisciplinary-approach, it is helpful to have this background and understanding when I am planning treatment and communicating with the dentists of our patients.

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Association of Orthodontics
  • Progressive Orthodontist Study Group

Family and Community

I am originally from Kirkland Lake and really enjoy the similarities I have found here in Stouffville. Everyone is warm and friendly, and even though it’s a big city, it has the charm and feeling of a small town! My parents still live up north and own a pharmacy in Kirkland Lake, and I have two older sisters and four really fun nephews! In my spare time, I enjoy golf, fishing, hockey, live music, and doing anything outdoors.

I am new to the Stouffville area but in the past I have been active in my community through coaching youth sports, especially hockey, baseball, and volleyball. I also volunteer for the Christmas Wish Foundation and Meals on Wheels. I understand the importance of being a community-minded citizen and I am excited to become an active member of the Stouffville community!