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The Daily Grind: Three Tips for Treating Bruxism While Waiting for Your Night Guard

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Once you've been diagnosed with grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep, your dentist will usually recommend wearing a custom night guard to protect your teeth. A night guard can take several weeks once ordered- what should you do while you wait to prevent further damage to your teeth? Check out these three tips for treating bruxism while waiting for your night guard.

1. Try relaxing remedies 

Taking the time to relax your body and mind before you hit the hay is a great way to promote good quality sleep, while potentially reducing the frequency and severity of night-time grinding or clenching. Before you head to bed tonight try some jaw muscle relaxation exercises, and keep stimulants such as caffeine and cigarettes out of your nighttime routine. Mindfulness meditation may also be helpful in relaxing your jaw before you drift off to sleep. Auto-suggestion techniques, such as saying to yourself that you'll wake up if you clench or grind your teeth, may even help your body to control the habit.

2. Consider underlying sleep issues

While a night guard will help protect your teeth from further damage caused by bruxism, it's important to identify any underlying sleep disorders or issues that may be causing the bruxism. If your bruxism is a temporary result of stress in your life, getting professional help to reduce your stress levels may similarly reduce your grinding or clenching.

While waiting for your night guard to arrive, it's highly recommended that you seek advice from your family doctor to discuss potential medication-related causes, and consider having a sleep test to help rule out more serious sleep conditions such as sleep apnoea.

3. Use a temporary mouthguard

To keep your teeth safe overnight until your professionally-fitted night guard arrives, pick up a cheap boil and bite night guard from your local chemist. Cost-effective and easy to mould to for a quick solution, there are many over the counter night guard options available. Some models can be used as teeth whitening trays, which would be a perfect repurpose for your situation! It won't be an ideal fit and may not be comfortable initially, but it will ensure your clenching or grinding habit won't cause your teeth to crack, chip or further deteriorate in the interim. As an added bonus, your new custom night guard will seem like a dream to wear by comparison.

For more information, contact a local dentist.