Don’t Let End-of-School-Year Stress Get the Best of You

 In Teeth Grinding

Another few weeks and school’s out for the summer. Uh oh.

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The last few weeks of school can definitely be stressful, for both kids and parents. Kids have stressors like testing, wrapping up the year with good grades and graduation, while parents have 182 school events to attend, multiplied by how many kids they have. And then they have to figure out what to do with said kids during the three-month summer break because while school is out, work is not.

All that end-of-school year activities can lead to – you guessed it – serious stress and anxiety. And they can lead to nighttime teeth grinding, a condition known as bruxism. Teeth grinding is when you clench your teeth, or slide your teeth back-and-forth over each other. It’s a common condition that affects approximately 30 to 40 million children and adults in the United States.

Teeth grinding often occurs unconsciously while you sleep, and over time can negatively affect your health. The grinding can result in jaw pain, headaches and earaches, and permanent damage to your teeth. It also puts pressure on jaw muscles and wears down your otherwise healthy teeth over time. And because it takes place at night, bruxism usually affects your sleep.

While there are various causes of teeth grinding, daily stress may be the biggest trigger for most people. In fact, The Bruxism Association has found that up to 70% of teeth grinding is caused by stress.

So it goes to reason that this time of year, there is a lot of teeth grinding going on in both kids and parents, and healthy teeth will suffer if steps aren’t taken to reduce the grinding.

If you’ve seen signs and think stress is causing you to grind your teeth at night, talk to your dentist. One effective way to protect your teeth from the grind at night is sleeping with a quality mouth guard from SleepRight. You can find the SleepRight No-Boil Dental Guard and other SleepRight products at Walmart, Rite-Aid, Target and CVS. Visit to learn more.

The most important step to take is to reducing your stressors as much as possible. Relax, breathe, eat right, exercise and get plenty of sleep. So that last AP test tomorrow? The three graduation parties, two baseball games and field day this week? Just slow down and do your best, nothing is worth damaging your teeth or your health over.

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