Tis the season for hassles and headache. There’s no doubt that holiday stress can be a real pain in the neck. But it can also be a pain in the mouth!
If too much family time or the mad dash for last minute gifts causes you to grind or clench your teeth, be aware that it can cause teeth to ache, crack or become loose. Headaches, pain or soreness of your neck and jaw muscles, and clicking, popping and pain in your TMJ jaw joints are also possible side effects.
To help combat the effects of holiday stress, here are some tips to help with holiday teeth grinding.
- Try to reduce stress. Getting regular exercise and spending time with people you enjoy can help. Even if you have to be around people you don’t enjoy, try to have a little holiday tolerance and understanding. Remember that others may be stressed as well.
- Don’t discard your healthy habits. For some, the holiday season becomes a time of too much eating, drinking and being merry, only to lead to more pounds on the waistline. Try to balance the desserts and rich foods with healthy diet choices.
- Relax your face and jaw muscles. Clear your mind, take a few slow deep breaths and let those muscles relax. Do this multiple times a day to help create a habit of relaxing instead of tightening these muscles.
- Tell us if you clench or grind your teeth. We can suggest a treatment for bruxism that will alleviate teeth grinding and pain associated with it.
Stress isn’t the only thing that can wreak havoc on your teeth during the holidays. Here are some other tips to keep on top of your oral health during the winter season.
- Watch your sugar intake. There are often sweet temptations everywhere during the holidays. It’s hard, but try to stick to one small serving of a favorite drink or snack and be sure to follow up indulgences by drinking water and brushing with a fluoride toothpaste as soon as possible to wash away the sticky sugar residue.
- Holiday drinks: Though they taste great, limit eggnog, apple cider and hot chocolate as they can pack a sugary wallop—5 teaspoons of sugar for eggnog and more than 16 teaspoons for a fully-loaded cider with caramel sauce and whipped cream.
- Keep your normal good oral hygiene routine. With the kids home from school and lots of excitement going on, such as traveling, everyone can get off their normal hygiene routine.
- Give a gift that keeps on giving. Toothbrushes, mint flavored floss and a tube of fluoride toothpaste make great inexpensive stocking stuffers and can help prevent costly dental problems in the new year.
About THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®
THE SCIENCE OF SMILES® offers affordable cosmetic and laser dentistry and gentle, compassionate general dental care in Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures, complete dental reconstruction and TMJ/Headache management. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover affordable up-to-date dentistry and a team who truly cares at THE SCIENCE OF SMILES®.