The holiday rush can be a stressful period for some. When stressed, some of us may resort to habits we think help us relax but ultimately harm our teeth. Here are some habits to avoid during stress-filled times:
1.Smoking/tobacco use: Some people claim that smoking helps them relax. However, cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can stain teeth and cause gum disease and tooth loss oral cancer. Break this habit for the New Year and find more healthful stress relief through chewing sugarless gum and getting more exercise.
2. Drinking too much alcohol: Even a few alcoholic drinks can lead to dehydration. This inhibits the production of saliva, resulting in — at the least — bad breath and tooth decay. Combat dehydration by drinking water and limiting alcohol intake.
3. Grinding and clenching: Constantly grinding or clenching teeth adds pressure to muscles and joints. It also wears the protective enamel from teeth, making them susceptible to chipping or cracking. Self-massage, jaw exercises, and relaxation techniques are useful to prevent tooth grinding. Custom mouth guards can be fitted for people who clench teeth while sleeping.
4. Sugary snacking: Some snacks contain excess sugar which can cause tooth decay. Opt for healthier options like raw vegetables and drink/rinse with water after eating to wash away sugars and acids.
Stress can trigger habits which hurt teeth. By changing these behaviours into more positive ones, we can protect our teeth and oral health.
Dr. Mark Rhody Dentistry in Etobicoke provides options to reduce the effects of stressful habits. Whether you need dental fillings, teeth whitening, sports guards or emergency dental care, we will help restore your smile. Please call us at (416) 231-4281 to make an appointment today. Happy Holidays!