Whether it is caused by stress or sleep disorders, grinding your teeth is very bad for your oral health. If you frequently clench down on your pearly whites, the enamel can get worn down eventually. Once that happens, your teeth are more susceptible to cracks and chips. Luckily, it is quite possible to break this harmful habit. Here are six effective tips to stop grinding your teeth:
Learn How to Deal With Stress
If you think you grind your teeth because you are stressed, you should learn how to deal with your anxiety in healthier ways. For example, when you feel overwhelmed, take a brisk walk around your neighborhood, do 20 minutes of yoga or try deep breathing exercises. It is also very helpful to talk to a good friend or family member when you feel stressed. Expressing your feelings to someone you trust can help you feel better.
Place a Washcloth on Your Cheek
Another way to prevent teeth grinding is to relax your jaw muscles. Before you go to bed at night, press a warm washcloth against your cheek for about 10 to 15 minutes. Afterward, you may be less likely to clench down on your teeth as you sleep.
Get a Mouth Guard
If you unconsciously grind your teeth at night, getting a mouth guard may be a good idea. This device will protect your teeth from damage. Your dentist can provide you with a custom mouth guard that fits comfortably inside your mouth.
It is a wise idea to limit alcohol, especially a few hours before you sleep. Alcoholic beverages can make it more difficult to sleep, increasing the likelihood of you grinding your teeth.
Try a Massage
Massaging your face and neck before you go to bed can relax your jaw muscles, so you will be less likely to clench down on your pearly whites. About an hour before bedtime, rub your face and neck in gentle, circular motions for a few minutes.
Do not Chew Gum
If you have a habit of grinding your teeth, it is not a good idea to chew gum. When you chew gum all the time, your jaws will just get used to clamping.
Teeth grinding can severely damage your pearly whites, so you should make an effort to break this habit. If you follow these helpful tips, you can successfully stop clenching down on your teeth. For more help, contact a clinic like Lakeside Dental.