There’s no doubt we’re living in highly unusual and stressful times. With uncertainty about our health, our jobs and our economy, the anxiety we feel can easily take its toll on our mental – and oral – health. But there are things we can do to help de-stress and take some of the pressure off our bodies during the pandemic and other times. Here are some tips and tricks you can try anywhere to help release the tension without harming your teeth!
What do you do when you get stressed? Do you snack? Bite your nails? Grind your teeth? These are all common stress responses, but none of them is really great for your teeth. If you find yourself looking for a way to use your mouth to curb your stress, reach for sugarless gum, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, or cheese. These foods will satisfy the crunch or chew response your body is craving – without damaging your teeth in the process.
Another way to combat stress is to get moving. Your gym may be closed right now, but going for a walk outside in the fresh air is an excellent way to clear your head, get some physical activity and get a change of scenery all in one! Feeling particularly stressed? Pick up the pace and jog, try some yoga poses, or ride a bike. After all, when was the last time you said, “I regret that workout”?
Music is another great way to relieve stress. Whether you play an instrument or just stream your favorite songs, taking a break to listen to music or playing some in the background while you work has been proven to reduce stress levels.
Aromatherapy is another great idea for people looking to reduce stress. Whether it’s lighting a scented candle, melting scented wax or diffusing essential oils, there are many different ways to fill your room with calming vibes. Even spraying a little perfume or applying scented lotion can boost your mood.
Feeling bored or isolated? Reach out to friends, family or even co-workers. Even just a quick checkin to say hello can help you feel less alone during quarantine, so don’t be shy. Mental health is part of overall health, and it is very important, especially in times of high stress and anxiety. Just remember whatever method you choose, don’t use your teeth to bear the brunt of your stress. If you find yourself grinding your teeth, clenching your jaw, or reaching for things to chew that are bad for your teeth, give Dr. Block’s office a call for advice or to schedule an appointment for a bite guard.