Did you know that between September 1 and January 1 each year, Americans celebrate eight holidays? That’s a lot of celebrations, get togethers, and delicious food. But, one thing that many people feel during this festive season is holiday stress. Stress is one of many factors that can have a negative effect on your teeth. Consider these tips to eliminate stress and keep your teeth healthy:
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
During the holidays, many people eat seasonal or new foods. While we want you to enjoy these festivities, remember to stick to healthy eating habits. When your nutrition goes to the wayside, it’s often that other important habits waver as well (i.e. exercise, oral hygiene, sleep, etc.).
Increase Exercise & Hydration Regimens
Instead of letting your gym membership become inactive, step up your exercise routine during these stress-filled months! When you exercise, make sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Water is the drink of choice for teeth, as other drinks such as apple cider, alcohol, coffee, and wine have a negative impact on your teeth.
Relax Your Facial Muscles
Do you experience jaw pain during the holidays? This pain is often linked to stress! When you are stressed, your masticatory muscles are more likely to experience spasms (thus, the pain in your jaw). If you begin to clench or grind your teeth, consider these tips to stop these bad habits from continuing:
- Avoid chewing gum, as this solidifies the clenching motion within the jaw muscle.
- Decrease caffeine and alcohol consumption, as these two liquids increase your chance of grinding your teeth.
- Don’t chew on items such as pens or pencils. This absent-minded habit will likely cause you to grind your teeth while you sleep.
- Massage your jaw muscles as often as possible.