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Why Do Teeth Chatter When it’s Cold?

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iceclesOh, the weather outside is frightful… cold and windy and just unpleasant. Have you noticed how your teeth chatter, clacking together briskly, when you get cold? Have you ever wondered why they do that?

Scientists call mammals like you and me warm-blooded. This means our bodies work to keep an even temperature. There are many mechanisms they use to do this: insulation, digestion, circulation, among others. One way our bodies can stay warm is by using our muscles. Have you noticed that when you run or do jumping-jacks you feel warmer? Exercising our muscles releases heat that our bodies can use to keep us warm. And that’s exactly what happens when our teeth chatter.

In fact, it’s probably happening all over your body. The same thing that makes you shiver makes your teeth chatter. It’s just your jaw shivering that makes your teeth rattle together.

Is this bad for your teeth? Not really. So long as your teeth are healthy and clean, chattering shouldn’t be a problem. If your teeth aren’t healthy, though, or if you have food caught between them, chattering can be uncomfortable or even painful. This is why it’s important to brush and floss daily and visit your pediatric dentist regularly. There’s no reason for your teeth to hurt and if you keep them healthy, a little chattering won’t be something you need to worry about.

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