Incisor Grinding

By Pam Marshalla

3331326687_f2127bfd87_mQ: Do you have any treatment for incisor grinding?

I wrote about this recently regarding clients who are lower-functioning, but in general —

Changing any oral habit is a matter of engaging in the following points:

  • Identify the problem.
  • Help the client become aware of the problem: What can he do to track how often he does this?
  • Get more info about it: E.g., what does the orthodontist/dental say about it and what methods do they recommend.
  • Identifying specifics about the problem: How often it occurs, when, where, under what conditions, etc.
  • Inform the client about the long-term problems that are possible due to it
  • Design a plan: Do you want to fix this? If so, when? Where? How?
  • Identify a goal: I will stop grinding my teeth by…
  • Identify treatment strategies: I will chew gum every time I find myself grinding, etc.
  • Set up a series of short-term rewards: No grinding during this car ride means that I get a turn on mom’s cell phone while waiting for her at the grocery store…
  • Set up a long-term reward: When I accomplish this I will receive a new game, an overnight party with my pals, a puppy…

My book called How to Stop Thumbsucking discusses these types of things in regard to thumbsucking and other oral habits and the basic processes are the same.


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