Q: My eight-month-old has seven teeth and he has started grinding them—so much so that I can see his jaw going back and forth! Is this bad and what can I do to stop it?
Nearly one-third of children grind their teeth, often during their sleep. Called bruxism, this is generally a behavioural pattern rather than a pathological problem. This will often happen in deep phases of sleep and may be aggravated in children where the top and bottom teeth are not properly aligned. It is not worrying in an eight-month-old and most babies will grow out of this habit. If it persists, see your GP or dentist for reassurance, and if they are concerned, then a paediatric referral may be needed.
—Neil Ginsberg, Paediatrician, Sydney Adventist Hospital
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