When you have orthodontics installed on your teeth, you have to do everything possible to clean the braces, wires and your teeth. Of course, that does not account for what happens when you are asleep. Many people experience bruxism while they are sleeping, a fancy term that means you clench and grind your teeth. For a person with orthodontia, this is a really bad situation. You will need to consult with your dentist and orthodontist further to establish what can be done about this problem. In the meantime, here is some information on why it is necessary to protect your orthodontia and why it is done.

Teeth Grinding and Braces

Your teeth can already compress, crush and grind food at several hundred pounds per square inch. That is akin to dropping a wrecking ball on a porcelain vase every time you clench and grind your teeth at night. Now, enter braces. The sharp brackets alone can cut your lips and cheeks when you are awake. Imagine what they can do when you are laying on your side sleeping at night and you begin to grind your teeth back and forth. If you are waking with blood in your mouth, blood on your pillow and/or shredded cheek tissue, you may be grinding your teeth at night and the braces are cutting into your cheek every time your teeth move back and forth.

To make matters worse, the pressure created by clenched and grinding teeth may cause the wires on your braces to come loose or pop off. The wire remains in your mouth because you are unaware of its looseness while you sleep. Thankfully, the wire is on the outside of your teeth or you could have a rude awakening in the night when a wire pokes you in the throat. Your dentist or orthodontist can prevent all of the above, and help treat your bruxism at the same time.

How It Is Done

You may have to wear headgear at night. It looks uncomfortable, but it will protect your braces and wires while you sleep. Your dentist/orthodontist may also craft a special mouth guard that fits your teeth, braces and all. The mouth guard slips in over your teeth and braces, just like a sport guard. When you grind at night, the mouth guard pushes back on the pressure it receives and it also takes a lot of the impact.

Why It Is Done

It goes without saying that braces, at any age, are expensive. It is an investment in your mouth, and one which you want to keep from damage or harm. For those reasons, be sure to bring up these issues with your dentist/orthodontist (like those at Waterford Dental) before your first set of braces are installed.