As Halloween approaches, we thought it apt to write a blog about something a little scarier than usual… bad dreams. There is a long list of common nightmares but the one that we are most interested in here at the clinic is of course the one concerning teeth. Have you ever experienced that terrible moment in a dream when slowly but surely, your teeth start to become loose and fall away? If you have never had this nightmare, we hope that you never do- it is terrifying! Some dream analysists say that this particular dream indicates an anxiety about control or even a fear of becoming less productive or efficient. Asif would certainly sympathise with a need for control as of course orthodontics is all about control of tooth movement.
Evidence based interpretation
Looking up the meanings of dreams can be fun but the downside is that there often isn’t enough scientific evidence to back up dream interpretation, but that may be changing. A recent study undertaken at The University of New York gives an insight into the source of nightmares. Using rats, scientists found that when given a fright while awake using an ‘unpleasant but harmless’ puff of air as they run through a maze, the area where fear is detected in their brains reactivates when they fall asleep. The study, which was published as an article in the New Scientist, also explained that after the rats had explored an environment, the distinct group of neurons which was seen firing in sequence as the animals moved during the day, replayed as they slept. These findings add to the well-documented belief that dreams – whether good or bad – are a memory strengthening process.
But what about my teeth?!
The good news is that unless you sustain an unfortunate injury or suffer with severe gum disease, the likelihood of your teeth falling out en masse in real life, is minimal. In fact, with proper care and regular dental health checks, your natural teeth can last you a lifetime! When you have orthodontic treatment, you need to take extra special care of your dental health and learn to clean really well around wires and brackets. Our team of hygienists specialise in helping keep teeth with fixed lingual braces clean and can certainly advise.
We are happy to say that there is no evidence that having orthodontic treatment will have an impact on your dreams. In fact, a recent study suggested that orthodontics can play a role in well being! We speculate that there is certainly an extra focus on ones teeth whilst having orthodontic treatment but we like to think that if it replays as you patient sleep, it replays as a happy dream about a sparkling, straight smile!