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If you've had a lifelong habit of grinding/clenching your teeth, how do you make yourself stop it during the day? For the night I know you can get teeth guards, but for the day you don't want to wear them all the time, so what do you do?

closed as off-topic by Chenmunka, Just Do It, Dragonrage, Adam, Adam Zuckerman May 20 '16 at 18:25

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  • I'm afraid this question questions requires a mind hack, so it is off-topic here. – michaelpri May 20 '16 at 20:16
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Stick your tongue out a few millimeters between your front teeth (but with your lips still closed so it doesn't look funny). Then if you bite down you'll get immediate and unpleasant feedback to stop!

  • +1, although the shortcoming is that if you're actually remembering to do this then you can probably just avoid biting down consciously! – Mehrdad May 19 '16 at 17:26
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    @Mehrdad good point! I was hoping that the OP's tongue could "relax" in that slightly-extended position, so it wouldn't take any concentration. – BrettFromLA May 19 '16 at 18:29
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Have you looked into the reason why you do it?
For me I have it during the night when I am over worked or stressed.

Other than that I would:

  • Not lean on your jaw (elbow on something, jaw in hand)
  • 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.
  • 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.

NOTE
These are mostly treatments for night time teeth grinding and so on. This might help for the daytime part.

Teeth grinding/clenching is unusually common in high stress professions.

Clenching seems to be a natural human response to stress, but in those who are unusually susceptible to stress or who have highly stressful careers, this natural response can go very bad. Like grinding, clenching can lead to enamel degradation, tension headaches, jaw pain, and even tooth breaking or cracking.

There are however, other options to protect your teeth from daytime clenching. Some dental clinics and online retailers offer extra thin acrylic mouth guards that not only allow speech but are so thin and discrete as to be nearly unnoticeable when worn. Without any speech impediment or visual evidence, these ultra fine mouth guards can help protect your enamel and cushion your jaw from the intense force.

  • You know how sometimes people just have to keep some part of their body moving to some kind of beat just out of habit or boredom? Well in this case it's sometimes toes or feet, sometimes hands and thumb, sometimes making sounds with teeth. Or at least that's the only explanation I can think of. :) +1 thanks for the answer. – Mehrdad May 19 '16 at 8:47
  • @Mehrdad Well I did read an article about how if you are awake it is easier to treat (seeing as you asked about teeth), because you are awake and more aware. But hearing from your comment it sounds like you can't sit still. Happy to help – Kiwu May 19 '16 at 8:57

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