Teeth Grinding in Children

Q. Lately I’ve noticed my 3 year old grinds his teeth. He grinds mostly when he’s asleep, but sometimes while he’s awake too. He doesn’t seem to be bothered, but the sound of his teeth crunching goes right through me! Is this a habit I should try to break or get help for? What kind of damage can it cause?

A. I know it’s troublesome for parents to hear, but some teeth grinding in toddlers is normal. This is a habit that usually starts at about 3 ½ and goes through age 6. Experts aren’t exactly sure why toddlers grind their teeth. Many things from anxiety to pain from earaches and teething, and even malocclusion of teeth are said to be a possible contributing factor. However disconcerting, your child will likely outgrow it.  Sometimes incorporating an extra soothing bedtime routine or administering a dose of Tylenol if you know they are teething can help eliminate some issues that may be contributing. Make sure you have your child checked though if he or she are complaining of face or jaw pain. Whatever the cause, it’s likely not doing any damage to their teeth. A vast majority of kids just stop on their own, so as quickly as you noticed it, it can be gone!

Can I get vampire teeth with lumineers?

I am a huge Anne Rice fan and wondered if you can get your teeth shaped like a vampires permanently with lumineers?



It is possible to get your teeth shaped like a vampires. We can lengthen your canines and shape them into points. I’m not sure how comfortable that would be for you. It is bound to cause some soreness on your lower lip. Plus, it might throw off your bite a little, causing maloclussion.

If you get it done with Lumineers (or another brand of porcelain veneers), you need to be aware that they will be bonded on. In other words, you’ll have vampire teeth 24/7 for at least ten to twenty years.  Think that through. In that amount of time you will likely have children and even grandchildren.  Though it might seem fun now to have vampire teeth now, will you always feel that way?

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.


My son’s tooth is turning gray

My  4 year old son was playing Thor. I should have known something was up when he started spinning his Thor hammer. The next thing I knew he was flying across the living room and banged his mouth pretty hard on some furniture. He bled a lot, which I know is pretty common for a mouth injury. What is concerning me is now his tooth is turning gray. Do I need to take him to a dentist? Our dentist is on vacation. If so, do I need to take him to the hospital?

Farrah L – San Francisco


It is good you kept a clear head when his mouth was bleeding. Many parents panic when that happens. I can picture your son flying across the room.  To be honest, you probably have more cause to fear him playing Hulk and destroying your furniture than you do to worry about this.

Unless your son starts complaining, you have nothing further to do. The tooth will eventually fall out anyway.  If, however, your son starts saying it hurts, or you see signs of swelling or an abscess, that is when you need to see a dentist right away. It is likely your son will then need to have a root canal procedure.

If that happens and you can’t reach your dentist, you can go to an emergency dentist. There won’t be a need to go to the emergency room and, to be honest, they won’t treat a dental issue anyway. Make sure the emergency dentist enjoys treating children, so your son will have a better experience.

If your son is not a complainer, you may want to keep an eye out for him avoiding using the injured tooth. That is a sign it bothers him, but he’s not saying anything.

This blog is brought to you by Phoenix Dentist Dr. Kevin Peck.