Reduce Stress in the New Year. Your Smile Will Thank You For It.

Reduce stress this year.

Have your smile look its best and reduce your stress.

Don’t let the new year stress you out. Not only can it affect your general well-being, but it can also cause your oral health to suffer. Focusing on ways to relieve your everyday stresses and choosing activities that can help put your mind at ease will have multiple benefits for your health and mental well-being.

Does stress really affect your smile?

In a recent survey by the American Dental Association, more than 70% of dentists surveyed say they are seeing a rise in stress-related dental issues, like teeth grinding and jaw clenching. During this survey, more than 60% of dentists said they had seen a rise in chipped and cracked teeth, which they also related to stress.

Why are these dental issues happening? For people who are experiencing stress and anxiety in their lives, it’s common to hold the tension in their jaws. When this happens, without even knowing it, you can inadvertently clench your jaw or grind your teeth as a way to relieve some of the tension on your jaw. And if it happens enough, you can wear your teeth down, which can cause your teeth to chip or crack over time.

Because the number of people who are experiencing stress-related dental issues are on the rise, the team at Valley Dental Clinic wants you to be aware of how feeling that way can affect your smile, and they want you to know what you can be doing to keep your smile healthy for years to come.

What are some stress-reducing strategies?

Stress is something that can be managed holistically, and various people will find different techniques will work better for them than others.

One technique that many doctors and dentists will recommend is deep breathing. By practicing deep breathing techniques, you can help calm yourself down, which can also help to reduce your stress. Start by taking a deep breath in for five counts, hold it for three counts, then slowly exhale for five counts. Repeat this pattern for 10 to 15 breaths, and you should begin to feel a calm come over you.

You can also use meditation along with your deep breathing to help reduce stress. Find a nice, quiet place, and sit or lie in a position that is comfortable for you. Close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Don’t worry about anything else that is going on around you in the moment, and just focus on your breathing and on relaxing. Many people find this form of meditation deeply beneficial.

Another way you can reduce your stress is by exercising. Many people find that working out can help reduce their tension and anxiety, and as a bonus, you’ll be doing your body a favor! You don’t have to hit the gym or lift weights to reduce stress. Some people find that simply taking a walk around the block, or going for a short jog or run, is a great way to reduce any stress they are feeling.

If you find you are stressed, focus on deep breathing techniques or meditation a couple of times a day to help manage your stress. You’ll find a pattern that works for you and find yourself feeling much calmer.

Focus on your oral care.

Believe it or not, your anxiety of visiting the dentist could affect your oral health. Some people don’t get biannual dental checkups because they are worried about what the dentist may or may not find. To help prevent this dental anxiety, think of your biannual dental checkups at Valley Dental Care as preventative maintenance—you are going to the dentist to ensure your teeth are in good health instead of worrying about if your teeth are in good health because you haven’t been to the dentist in a while.

You can also help to reduce your stress by focusing on brushing and flossing. You might even use this time to practice mindfulness, bringing your attention to the present rather than letting your thoughts drift to future worries.

Make sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time, and make sure you are using ADA recommended products. You can look for the ADA seal on dentist-approved dental products. And don’t forget to floss at least once a day.

If you are focusing on your dental care, this can rid you of some of the tension and anxiety you are feeling.

Say cheese, and stop by Valley Dental Clinic!

Working on reducing the stress you feel is important not only for your overall health but also for your oral health. If you find you are experiencing dental issues that you think may be related to the tension and anxiety you’re under, like grinding your teeth, let the dental team at Valley Dental Clinic know so we can help you reduce your stress and keep that smile happy!