April 19, 2020
You’ve spent weeks in quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic and the stress is starting to get to you. When you’re going through a stressful time, it becomes easy to indulge in bad habits like excessive snacking and smoking. Though they may be gratifying in the short term, engaging in these types of activities can be detrimental to your oral health. Your dentist in Grand Island has some advice on how to manage your stress while keeping your teeth strong and healthy.
Bad Habits and Your Oral Health
Overindulgence is easy when you’re stressed. If you’ve had a taxing day trying to stay afloat during quarantine, you’re more likely to engage in things like poor eating habits, smoking, or excessive drinking. Though these activities may feel good for a little while, they can be terrible for your oral health.
Everybody knows the dangers of smoking. From cancer to periodontal disease, smoking can wreak havoc on your oral and overall health. Smoking can also cause other issues like stained teeth and bad breath. By limiting your smoking, you’re doing yourself a big favor.
When working from home, it’s easy to snack constantly. However, if your go-to snacks are full of sugar, you may be putting yourself at risk for cavities and tooth decay. Even if you don’t have a big sweet tooth, eating more frequently can increase the amount of plaque on your teeth and make you more prone to cavities.
Biting your nails is one of the most common reactions to stress. Unfortunately, the hardness of your nails can wear away at your tooth enamel. Eventually, this can but you at risk for cavities and tooth decay. The bacteria underneath your nails can also lead to infection and increase your risk of gum disease.
Through selecting better alternatives to your poor stress management habits, you’re setting yourself up for success while maintaining your health.
Making Better Stress Management Choices
Rather than indulging in habits that might be harmful to your health, there are many other ways that you can manage your stress while helping yourself maintain the best quality of life.
The stress-reducing effects of exercise are myriad. Studies have shown that even a few minutes of daily exercise can greatly improve your mood. In the long-term, exercise can help you to lower your blood pressure and manage other systemic conditions.
Choose Healthier Snacks
Many of your favorite snacks might contain a lot of sugar. However, there are alternatives that can satisfy your taste buds while allowing you to maintain your oral health. Choose instead to snack on fibrous foods like apples and celery.
Keep a Journal
During stressful times, being able to put your thoughts into writing can be cathartic. Take a short amount of time each day and write about what’s going on in your life.
Taking the time to make these small changes can be very beneficial. Make sure that you’re maximizing your stress relief while minimizing the risk to your oral health. Taking good care of yourself will pay dividends in the long-run.
About the Author
Dr. Steven Stec understands how stressful life during quarantine can be. He takes great pride in being able to provide the best in dentistry for his patients. Since graduating from the University of Nebraska Medical College of Dentistry, he has spent decades refining his craft. He is committed to treating patients of all ages. If you are interested in learning more about how you can protect your smile at home, he and his team at Stec Cosmetic & Family Dentistry are available through email or over the phone at (308) 646-2014.
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