We’ve set our clocks back. We’ve enjoyed the Fall holidays, and now we are headed straight into the Winter holiday season. Most of us think we can do so without skipping a beat. The fact of the matter is, from Halloween to New Years, we have more to think about and more to do than just about any other time of year. The added festivities may bring us a lot of laughter, joy, and new memories. It can also bring us some unwanted stress, and this could ultimately degrade oral health.
Stress and your Smile
It is important to talk about holiday stress and how it can affect the smile, because, if we don’t, you may not even know what is happening right under your nose. One of the side effects of stress that dentists see is bruxism, the habit in which you grind your teeth or clench your jaw. The danger of bruxism is that it’s a “secret” condition. Those who do it don’t know it because it occurs while they sleep. When they might realize there is a problem is when they chip or crack a tooth, or experience the unpleasant symptoms of TMJ dysfunction.
Resolving Holiday Stress before it Starts
We know that the holiday season, though joyous, carries stress triggers. Because we know this, we can develop a plan of action to mitigate these triggers before we find ourselves feeling depleted. Consider self-care tactics that are unique to you. These may include:
- A morning/evening workout or walk.
- Yoga or meditation.
- Spending a few minutes a day reading a good book.
- Listening to your favorite music.
- Eating healthy food in a comfortable setting (don’t fall into the fast-food rut!).
- Saying no when you need to.
There are so many reasons to love the holiday season. Diving in with a plan for stress management can mean that you avoid burnout and the potential dental problems that may result from the added excitement of the season.
Our friendly team wishes you and your family happiness and health now and through the year.