Some of us always have to have something in our mouths—food, a toothpick, a straw, a cigarette, whatever—to keep our mouths occupied.


Whatever your poison, why do so many of us need to keep our jaws moving? Is it always an oral fixation? And if it is, should that be something to worry about?


What Are Some Oral Fixation Causes & Signs?


The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, believed that persistent fixations occurred due to unresolved issues in previous psychological stages of personality development. As a result of getting stuck somewhere  in our growth and development, we can become obsessed and fixated on certain things.


According to Healthline, oral fixation is caused as a response to stress, which is often temporarily eased by an oral simulation. It's already clear that many of us are severely stressed and struggle to keep up with the rate of change in our lives, and one of the consequences of that stress is anxiety. 


Who's Likely To Have Them? 


In the current scenario, millennials are the most anxious generation to date. According to the signs of oral fixation in adulthood, millennials are also the most frequent ‘occasional smokers according to a study conducted by Civic Science


While the connection between oral stimulation and the oral stage of Freud's psychosexual theory is difficult to ignore, it is also important to note that it is through the mouth that nourishment is received. One of the most basic needs is to satisfy hunger.


However, oral fixation caused due to the behaviours described above may suggest that there is a more profound need than physical hunger that needs to be satisfied. The feeling is similar to "pigging out" after a break-up or craving "comfort food" when stressed. There are far better ways to self-soothe that are just as comforting and uplifting.


Learning To Self-Soothe In Healthy Ways


Despite evidence indicating that self-soothing behaviours, including nail-biting or rocking side-to-side or even alcohol, may help decrease anxiety even when they are less than ideal. However, there are often behaviours that can be learned that are less harmful and self-destructive for oral fixation treatment.


Everyone Gets Anxious & That’s Alright


We all feel anxious sometimes – some of us feel it moment by moment. The truth is, there are more effective ways of coping when the world is crashing down on us than biting our nails when anxious, drinking to relax after a hard day, or ignoring it all in front of our screens.


When it comes to oral fixation treatment, developing positive self-soothing habits to replace the ones that are not ideal can not only help get rid of one bad habit but also increases your resiliency to manage your levels of stress and anxiety. Sometimes, while embracing oral fixation in adulthood, it is okay to take time off to reflect or watch a comforting show when you're too distressed to sleep. A little bit of self-help goes a long way!


Final Thoughts 


If you’re ready to stop smoking but not ready to give up the feeling of inhaling something, the good news is that you don’t have to. There are many oral fixation smoking alternatives, or products you can inhale or use orally, that are fun to use without the harmful effects of nicotine — or any harmful effects at all.


For those who would like to vape but prefer to stay away from drugs, we have designed something just for you: ripple+. Choose from our nicotine-free, portable aromatherapy diffusers, delivering the benefits of natural botanical blends in puffable form. Our diffusers are a gateway to a plant-powered utopia.