How to Get Baby to Stop Grinding Teeth

Are you constantly hearing your baby grinding their teeth late into the night and worrying about how to stop it? As a parent, the last thing you want to hear is your baby grinding their teeth at night.

It can be incredibly problematic and unsettling as it often indicates something is amiss. Grinding of the teeth, otherwise known as bruxism, is a common childhood symptom that can cause toothaches, jaw pains, and even long-term damage to a baby’s oral health. 

How to Get Baby to Stop Grinding Teeth

But don’t worry – there are effective ways to stop this behavior! In this blog post, we’ll discuss what tooth grinding in babies might mean for their health and how to get baby to stop grinding teeth quickly and safely. If you’re concerned about your little one’s nighttime symptoms, seek advice on the next steps!

Necessary Items for Stopping Teeth Grinding

Before we dive into the tips and tricks to get your baby to stop grinding their teeth, let’s review some essential items you’ll need. These supplies will help alleviate any discomfort your child may be experiencing while sleeping and prevent further damage to their oral health.

  • Mouthguards: A mouthguard is a protective device that fits over the teeth and can help prevent teeth grinding. They are typically made of soft plastic and can be customized to fit your baby’s mouth.
  • Teething Toys: If your baby is teething, their grinding may result from discomfort in their gums. Teething toys provide a safe and appropriate outlet for them to chew on, reducing the need to grind their teeth.
  • Soft Foods: Avoid giving your baby hard or crunchy, especially before bedtime. This will prevent them from further irritation to their teeth and jaw.
  • Warm Compresses: Applying a warm compress to the jaw can help relax the muscles and alleviate any pain or tension caused by grinding.

Identifying the Cause of Teeth Grinding

While most cases of tooth grinding in babies are benign, it’s essential to identify the root cause of the behavior. Depending on the underlying reason, different interventions may be necessary. Here are some common causes of baby teeth grinding:

1. Teething:

Cause of Tooth Grinding

As mentioned earlier, teething is a common cause of tooth grinding in babies. The discomfort and pain caused by emerging teeth can lead to nighttime grinding as a coping mechanism. In this case, providing teething toys and gently massaging your baby’s gums can help ease their discomfort.

2. Stress or Anxiety:

Believe it or not, babies can experience stress and anxiety just like adults. Changes in routine, illness, or a new environment can all cause feelings of unease in babies, leading to teeth grinding. If you suspect this may be the case, try to create a calming and comforting environment for your little one.

3. Upper Respiratory Infections or Allergies:

Nasal congestion caused by an upper respiratory infection or allergies can make it difficult for babies to breathe through their nose. This can lead to grinding as they attempt to open up their airways. Consult with your pediatrician if you suspect this may be the cause.

10 Tips on How to Get Baby to Stop Grinding Teeth

1. Establish a Consistent Bedtime Routine:

A regular bedtime routine can help create a sense of security and calm for your baby, reducing stress and anxiety that may cause teeth grinding. Stick to the same bedtime every night and incorporate relaxing activities like a warm bath or reading a bedtime story.

2. Massage Your Baby’s Jaw and Gums:

Massaging your baby’s jaw and gums can help relieve tension and discomfort, reducing the need to grind their teeth. Gently rub around the jawline in a circular motion using your fingers or a soft cloth.

3. Use a Warm Compress:

Warm Compress to the Jaw

As mentioned earlier, applying a warm compress to the jaw can help relax muscles and alleviate any pain caused by grinding. A warm washcloth or microwavable heat pack works well for this purpose.

4. Consider a White Noise Machine:

White noise can be soothing and help drown out external noises that may disrupt your baby’s sleep. This can help decrease stress levels and reduce the likelihood of teeth grinding.

5. Try Different Sleeping Positions:

Some babies may grind their teeth more when sleeping on their back or stomach. Experiment with different sleeping positions, such as side-sleeping, to see if it makes a difference.

6. Consult with Your Pediatrician:

If you’re concerned about your baby’s teeth grinding, don’t hesitate to consult with your pediatrician. They can rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide personalized recommendations.

7. Use Distraction Techniques:

If your baby grins their teeth during the day, try distracting them with a fun activity or toy. This can help redirect their attention and reduce stress levels.

8. Encourage Good Oral Hygiene Habits:

Teeth grinding can cause damage to your baby’s teeth, so it’s essential to encourage good oral hygiene habits early on. Teach them how to brush their teeth properly and make sure they visit the dentist regularly for checkups.

9. Avoid Caffeine and Sugary Treats:

Caffeine and sugary treats can increase anxiety levels in children, leading to more teeth grinding. Limit your baby’s consumption of these substances and opt for healthier snacks.

10. Be Patient:

Teeth grinding is a common habit that most babies grow out of on their own. While it can concern parents, try not to stress too much and be patient with your little one. With time and implementing these tips, your baby will likely stop grinding their teeth.

Patient With Your Little One

Teeth grinding in babies can be a cause for concern but is usually harmless and temporary. By identifying the underlying cause and implementing some of these tips, you can help alleviate any discomfort your little one may be experiencing and prevent further damage to their oral health.

8 Things to Avoid If Your Baby is Grinding Their Teeth

While there are several things you can do to help stop your baby from grinding their teeth, there are also some things you should avoid. Here are eight things to steer clear of if your baby has developed this habit:

1. Avoid Scolding or Punishing:

Being patient and understanding with your baby when they grind their teeth is essential. Scolding or punishing them for something they cannot control can cause more stress and anxiety, leading to further teeth grinding.

2. Don’t Give Grown-Up Medications:

Some parents may be tempted to give their baby adult pain medication to alleviate any discomfort caused by grinding. However, this is not recommended and can be dangerous for infants. Always consult with your pediatrician before giving your baby any medication.

3. Don’t Ignore Other Symptoms:

Teeth grinding can indicate an underlying medical condition or sleep disorder. If your baby is experiencing other symptoms like snoring, gasping for air during sleep, or excessive daytime tiredness, consult your pediatrician.

4. Avoid Introducing Pacifiers or Thumb-Sucking:

Pacifiers and thumb-sucking can be comforting for babies but can also contribute to teeth grinding. Avoid introducing these habits or weaning your baby off them if they already use them.

5. Don’t Give Hard Foods or Chewing Toys:

 Chewing Toys Too Early

Introducing hard foods or chewing toys too early can strain your baby’s jaw and lead to more teeth grinding. Stick to soft, age-appropriate foods until your baby is ready for solid foods.

6. Avoid Stressful Environments:

As mentioned before, stress and anxiety can cause teeth grinding in babies. Avoid placing them in stressful environments or situations that may trigger their grinding.

7. Don’t Dismiss It as Just a Phase:

While teeth grinding is common and usually goes away independently, it’s essential not to dismiss it as just a phase. Monitor your baby’s grinding habits and consult your pediatrician if they persist or become excessive.

8. Avoid Using Tongue Depressors:

Some parents may try to stop their baby from grinding their teeth by inserting a tongue depressor between them. This is not recommended as it can cause injury or choking. Stick to non-invasive methods like those mentioned above instead.

Frequently Asked Question

Is Teeth Grinding Common in Babies?

Yes, teeth grinding is standard in babies and usually goes away independently as they grow. It is most prevalent in babies between 6 months and two years old.

What Causes Teeth Grinding in Babies?

Teeth grinding can be caused by various factors, including stress, pain from teething or an ear infection, and misaligned teeth or jaw. In some cases, there may be no specific cause.

Should I Be Worried If My Baby Grinds Their Teeth?

In most cases, teeth grinding in babies is harmless and temporary. However, if you notice excessive grinding or other symptoms, consult your pediatrician to rule out any underlying issues.


Teeth grinding in babies may concern parents, but it is usually harmless and temporary. By understanding the possible causes and implementing helpful tips on how to get baby to stop grinding teeth, you can help alleviate any discomfort your baby may be experiencing and prevent further damage to their oral health.

And remember, always consult with your pediatrician for personalized recommendations and to rule out any underlying medical conditions. With patience and proper care, your baby will likely stop grinding their teeth as they grow.  So don’t worry too much, and enjoy the precious moments with your little one.

Photo of author

Loren Jones

Hi, my name is Loren. I live with my husband and 4 lovely kiddos in the Eastern part of San-fransisco. I have a smart beautiful,curious 6 year old daughter, a handsome 11-year-old son, an intelligent and tech geek 15 years old son and a creative, artistic 12-year-old stepson. With each of my kids being five years apart, I feel that I’m now continually phasing in and out of each stage of parenting! I’ve learned a lot about the way children learn and behave, especially in a school setting with regards to curriculum. I enjoy sharing that insight through my writing and hope that it can help others.

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