Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding and jaw clenching, affects both kids and adults. While often caused by high levels of stress, Bruxism can also be triggered by a misaligned bite and sleep disorders. Regardless of your underlying issue, here are a few tips and tricks to help:
- Take Notice – though out the day notice if you’re clenching or grinding. Find a location and place a small sticky note and anytime you see the note ask yourself “where are my teeth right now?” You may find your teeth are together. The goal is to use this as a Biofeedback mechanism to break the cycle. Take a few deep breaths and place the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This helps the muscles in your jaw relax.
- Stop Chewing – on non-food items that is! Pencils, ice, etc. This also includes avoiding gum because it trains your jaw to clench and encourages teeth grinding.
- Cut Back – Avoid foods with added sugar, especially for children. Adults may find drinking alcohol intensifies their condition. Also, caffeine has been shown to trigger Bruxism. Cutting down on alcohol consumption and limiting caffeine is recommended.
- Relax! – Especially before bedtime. Take a long bath, listen to mellow music, read, not doing computer/internet work; find what works best for you and enjoy it.
- “Lips together and teeth apart” – this is the phrase to remember. This will help position your jaws in a more relaxed state.
- See Your Dentist – It’s important to be properly diagnosed. We’ll partner together to find the best treatment plan for your well being! Call and schedule an exam today (860) 447-1787.
Coastal Connecticut Dentistry
112 Cross Road
Waterford, CT 06385