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Clenching or night grinding.
If you have ever experienced a strong emotion of either anger or resolve you may realise our body tenses up and our teeth clench. If this is not a frequent occurrence the damage maybe minimal but as sports people or someone with a bad temper you may actually end up wearing down your teeth considerably. Now a large part of this habit is semi voluntary you can remind yourself to control it but a few people suffer from an entirely involuntary condition called night grinding or bruxism.
Unfortunately here you have no awareness of doing the grinding except maybe waking up with a sore jaw or a headache but the person sleeping beside you can even hear you gnashing your teeth. Needless to say the damage this is silent destroyer is causing is significant and rapid. The best solution if diagnosed with this habit is to start wearing a night guard which is a thin plastic appliance that fits snugly on your teeth similar to a sports guard so that it protects your teeth and wears down before your teeth do. Also the jaw separation it creates puts your muscles at ease and they don't get activated or clench anymore.
Many people are unaware of this habit entirely. A very common condition mouth breathing occurs more so when you're sleeping and tend to breathe more through your mouth than your nose.
This condition can be a result of the way your nasal passages and throat are shaped. It commonly occurs in people with a deviated nasal septum as well. The main sign to know if you're mouth breathing or not is if you wake up with an extremely dry mouth, at times bad breathe and tend to have red irritated gums that bleed often on brushing.
Mouth breathing also predisposes you to snoring so if you haven't started yet if you're a mouth breather chances are you will start snoring as well.
It usually can be corrected surgically and if not severe snoring particularly can be corrected by oral appliances or oxygen machines which supplement the air reaching your lungs.
This habit develops at childhood or birth and is also attributed to the tongue shape and the structure of the palate and throat. A person having this habit tends to push the teeth out while swallowing as a result they present with spaced out teeth and a large tongue.
To prevent the need for braces catching this habit early on and wearing an appliance to control it would be best. If spaces have already increased then best form of closing the gaps would be either with braces or by cosmetic fillings.
A surprisingly unnoticeable habit people tend to chew their inner cheek or parts of their lip when under stress or deep thought. While this habit can seem harmless it can create a long term wound in the mouth which can either balloon up with fluids or be subject to infection. Chronic injuries or wounds should never be left unnoticed and habits like these should be discontinued to avoid discomfort and the eventual need for treatment.
Exposure to alternating extremes of temperature.
Another very ignorant but seemingly harmless habit is to eat a hot meal and down it with a glass of ice cold water or have a hot drink and second it with ice cream. While the effects of this habit may only show up in the long term what it does is create an impact on the enamel and slowly cause the teeth to become sensitive.
While our teeth are extremely hardy and don't breakdown until exposed to hundreds of millions of such daily stimuli, the best solution is to keep an intermittent time gap between the extremes of temperature in order not to shock the nerves that rest within your teeth to become hypersensitive.
If you are advised to wear braces, it could be due to crooked / improperly positioned teeth which are not cosmetically pleasing or are not very efficiently chewing the food. Today, there is a big variety of braces available to correct the problems. Although all braces serve a similar purpose, but not all braces are suitable for everyone. Here, I am trying to explain some of the types of braces available, which will help you in a better understanding of braces.
- Metal braces: These braces are placed in the outer side of the teeth . A wire is then placed in the brackets which helps in realigning your teeth. This wire needs to be replaced from time to time with other wires usually the wires are replaced in 4 to 6 weeks. This type of braces are the most are the most affordable of the lot and thereby the most common choice.
- Ceramic braces: These types of braces are very similar to the metal braces in terms of functionality. The advantage of ceramic braces is that they resemble the colour of the teeth and are less noticeable. These braces are costlier than their metal counterpart and take a longer time to mount. One common complaint about these braces is that they become yellowish over time. It is therefore very important to clean your teeth properly on a daily basis.
- Lingual braces: Lingual braces mounted at the back of the teeth. As a result, these braces are hardly visible. They are typically recommended to those whose teeth are not very crooked and the amount of teeth straightening required is very less. These braces are ideal for those patients who require an orthodontic device for a long time. They require very good oral hygiene and are also expensive when compared to other braces.
- Damon braces / Self-ligating braces: Damon braces can be mounted on any patient who is fit to get for regular braces. These braces do not require any extra attachment for holding the wire in place. The wire can straight away pass through the brackets making the treatment time shorter by a good six months or so. The healing process tends to be faster with these braces and is one of the easier ones to mount onto the teeth.
They are costing almost close to the cost of the lingual braces. These details are to give you a broad overview of the types of fixed braces available. Your orthodontist will be able to discuss the pros and cons of each after analysing the changes needed and desired. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dentist.