There are a number of steps you can take to prevent teeth grinding. If stress is causing you to grind your teeth, ask your doctor or dentist about options to reduce your stress. Attending stress counseling, exercising, seeing a physical therapist, or obtaining a prescription for muscle relaxants are among some of the options that may be offered.
Additionally, your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. Mouth guards are coverings worn over teeth, and often used to protect teeth from injury from teeth grinding and during sports.
Behavioral Modifications for Teeth Grinding
Tips to help prevent teeth grinding include:
- Avoid or cut back on foods and drinks that contain caffeine, such as colas, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcohol. Grinding tends to intensify after alcohol consumption.
- Avoid or find the lowest effective dose for medications containing amphetamines use in treating ADHD and sleep disorders.
- Do not chew on pencils or pens or anything that is not food. Avoid chewing gum as it allows your jaw muscles to get more used to clenching and makes you more likely to grind your teeth.
- Train yourself not to clench or grind your teeth. If you notice that you clench or grind during the day, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth. This practice trains your jaw muscles to relax.
- Relax your jaw muscles at night by holding a warm washcloth against your cheek in front of your earlobe.