How to Stop Teeth Clenching

Written by heather woodlief
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How to Stop Teeth Clenching
Half of children with teeth clenching problems stop by adolescence. (teeth image by DXfoto.com from Fotolia.com)

The clenching or grinding one's teeth is called bruxism. The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) warns that bruxism should be taken seriously, as it is a cause of temporomandibular disorders. Behaviour and awareness modifications can often alleviate teeth clenching in patients. Normally, teeth should only frequently touch during chewing or swallowing. More than half of children with teeth clenching issues stop by the age of 13 without medical treatment.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Apples
  • Crunchy Vegetables
  • Warm Washcloths

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Say "Mississippi." At the end of saying this word, the jaw is relaxed. Say the word frequently throughout the day to train the jaw to relax.

  2. 2

    Decrease any stimulants, like coffee and tea, in the diet.

  3. 3

    Chew an apple, carrots, or other crunchy foods before bed in an attempt to exhaust the jaw.

  4. 4

    Apply warm washcloths to the sides of the face to relax jaw muscles before bed.

  5. 5

    Ask a dentist for a splint or guard that will aid in training the jaw to stop clenching. Splints are available for daytime and nighttime use.

  6. 6

    Practice relaxation techniques. Consider visiting a mental health professional if stress levels are consistently high.

Tips and warnings

  • When teeth clenching behaviours coincide with new medication or neurological disorders, consult a physician.

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