We all can get stressed when it comes to work, school, or even the weather. While some stress is normal, stress can manifest in the mouth, leading to poor physical and mental health over time. February is a cold and gloomy month, especially in Ohio. If the winter blues are increasing your stress levels, find out how to keep your smile healthy and even target symptoms through orthodontics!
HOW STRESS IMPACTS YOUR SMILE
- Bruxism: Some people carry stress and tension in their jaw. Bruxism occurs when you clench or grind your teeth—either at night or during the day. While malocclusions can lead to bruxism, stress is often a contributing factor. Over time, bruxism can damage teeth and orthodontic appliances as well as lead to TMJ dysfunction symptoms, like jaw locking, pain, and headaches.
- Comfort eating: How often do you reach for soda when you’re sleep-deprived or choose cookies when the day hasn’t gone well? While enjoying occasional sweets is not dangerous, it can increase your risk of cavities. But what if you’re craving a treat that is not braces friendly? Always skip out on the peanut brittle, chocolate-covered popcorn, or hard candy if you have braces. There are plenty of other comfort foods (and sweets!) that won’t put your brackets or appliances at risk.
- Poor oral hygiene: When we get stressed, our schedules slip up and good habits often go by the wayside. Don’t fall prey to skipping your nighttime brushing, ignoring your retainer, or failing to floss! If you do, you may end up with cavities, a slower treatment, or even needing to get a Smile Touch-Up if your teeth have shifted out of place after braces or aligners.
CAN ORTHODONTICS HELP?
Fortunately, if a poor bite is causing or worsening your bruxism, treatment with clear aligners or braces can help! By correcting your bite, we can reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life—while delivering your healthiest, happiest smile. With treatment options customized to your needs, Drs. Hutta and Price can give you the care you deserve.
TIPS FOR A HEALTHY (STRESS-FREE!) TREATMENT
For everyone dealing with stress this month, don’t let it impact your orthodontic treatment! Here are some tips to help you de-stress and focus on finding your smile:
- Eat healthily: Nourish your body and mind with delicious, healthy, and vitamin-packed foods. Just remember to brush after!
- Listen to some good music: Music can help brighten your mood and make chores fun! You might even want to create a playlist brushing or flossing your teeth.
- Stay active: It may be chilly, but going for a quick run or having a dance party in your living room releases feel-good endorphins to keep you smiling.
- Keep track of your schedule: Stay on top of your activities, oral hygiene, and orthodontic appointments with a planner, app, or notepad.
BOOK YOUR NEXT APPOINTMENT
Ready to tackle your bruxism with orthodontic treatment or book your next appointment? Call us today or click our virtual consultation button to begin your journey at home. We can’t wait to help you enjoy a stress-free smile transformation!