Focus on YOU
What makes YOUR world go round and round? It’s YOU, of course! You have so much power in creating a well-lived and healthy life for yourself, but sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in our often fast-paced routines. Stress can appear from out of the shadows, making life less enjoyable and tougher to manage. Unfortunately, stress often causes us to put our self-care practices, like our oral health routines, on the backburner. It’s time to make YOU a big priority so that your smile and oral health can still thrive once you are able to kick stress out the door.
I’ll Take Another Box of Girl Scout Cookies, Please
Easy to eat. Easy to reach. Filled with sugary goodness. Foods that match that description often feel like the best option when we’re stressed. Whether it’s seasonal Girl Scout cookies or another beloved treat, turning to food for quick comfort is likely a sign that you’re taking on too much stress. Frequently reaching for treats can be damaging to your teeth, especially if your oral health routine has become inconsistent. Sugars and acids from these snacky foods can collect on our teeth. The result? Increased risk of tooth decay, or cavities. Do yourself a major favor, and keep up to speed with brushing and flossing twice a day. You certainly don’t want to add a toothache to your list of stresses.
A Case of Lowered Immunity
That’s right. Stress can wreak havoc on your immunity. With a weakened immunity, sickness, inflammation, and infection like gum disease become more likely to occur and become more severe as a result. Even if you’ve been under a lot of stress, you can still help prevent gum disease by staying on top of your brushing and flossing routine. Cleaning your teeth can help a lot. You just need to keep these habits continuous and consistent.
Dry as the Arizona Desert
Steer clear of dry mouth! Dry mouth means less saliva is produced in your mouth. We need saliva to help wash away food particles and bacteria in our mouths. For that reason, saliva is a huge help when preventing cavities. When we’re stressed, we may be prone to drinking less water or breathing through our mouths. In order to give your teeth a boost during periods of stress, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, practicing your oral hygiene routine, and using an alcohol-free mouth rinse.
Getting Back to the Basics
Keeping teeth clean and cared for is a must when we’re stressed. Regularly brushing, flossing, and seeing your dentist are the best ways to help prevent problems or keep them from worsening. Clean teeth also allow you to make a statement to yourself that this period of stress will pass, and when it does, your teeth will still be feeling fresh and fine. If you’re like most people though, finding the self-discipline and motivation to keep up routines when stressed can be a serious challenge even when you know the facts.
So, how can you hold yourself accountable? Try setting a timer each day to remind yourself of the time you’ve set aside for yourself. If you need a bigger push, gift yourself a small reward for a job well done. For example, take a nice warm bath after you brush your teeth or give yourself a few extra minutes with your Netflix show. Whatever you do to get yourself on track, make sure that the time you spend taking care of yourself is planned out and non-negotiable.
At the end of the day, the presence of stress is often a sign that we need to slow things down where we can so that we move forward feeling our best both physically and mentally. Overcoming stress is an uphill battle when you never have a moment to decompress. Try out some of these slow-down tips to help you manage your day-to-day stress. Remember that you’re incredibly important and worthy of this time set aside. Make YOU a priority starting now. This is a sure-fire way to improve your oral health and give yourself a wonderful life as a whole.
We hope you’re feeling at the top of your game, but if stress is intruding into your life, it’s time to give us a call for an appointment. Stress can cause many other oral health concerns such as grinding. Take care of yourself and reach out to our friendly team.