It’s that time of year when we look forward to decorated shopping malls, decked halls, and nightly showings of Elf on various television stations. The holiday season brings families and friends together to celebrate their bonds. It also brings a lot of extra “duties.” Whether those duties include a festive party or several trips to countless stores for the perfect gift, most of us end up feeling at least a little stressed during this time of year. The added stress may just be enough to send you over the edge into teeth grinding territory. In this post, we want to suggest a few things you can do to protect your teeth during one of the busiest times of year.
Take a Slice out of Stress
Stress management is an important aspect of general health and wellness. When we get busy with exciting holiday tasks, all of our best intentions may go straight out the window. Forgetting self care during this time of year could lead to grinding and clenching, which could lead to tooth damage. That’s like a lump of coal in your stocking! Stress management looks different for each of us. It doesn’t have to involve hot yoga or meditation. It could be a long walk in the park or a run around the track (or the treadmill). It could be a little extra slice of pumpkin pie! Whatever stress management looks like for you, remember to do it.
Create Truly Healthy Habits
Because most people with bruxism grind and clench their teeth at night (as a subconscious form of stress relief), revving up a good nighttime routine can be incredibly beneficial. One of the ways to secure a good night’s sleep is to cut off caffeine consumption in the early afternoon hours. Another drink to rethink is that cocktail or glass of wine. The more alcohol that is consumed, the more the body ends up stimulated during the night to “burn off” alcohol sugars. What we do before bed can also create stimulation in the subconscious mind, so experts recommend unplugging from social media, from violent television programs and even from gripping written words before bed.
We extend warm holiday wishes to all of our patients.