Snow and Sleigh Bells and . . . Stress?

smile party-readyMost people couldn’t be happier that the holiday season is upon us. There is something special about this time of year – the falling snow, the cozy fires, the white elephant gift exchange! Along with the hoopla, there is a lot of hustle and bustle to the holidays. And where there is hustle and bustle, there is bound to be a little stress. While a lot of the stress we carry through the month of December is joyful, it’s important to know that the body doesn’t really differentiate good stress from bad stress. Physiologically, stress is stress; and that could harm your health in more ways than one.

One of the ways that dentists see the stress their patients try (unsuccessfully) to manage is through excessive tooth wear. Sometimes, we see it in the form of enamel fractures or damaged restorations. In some cases, it is the presence of TMJ disorder that alerts us to a stress problem. So, before the holiday season gets into full, unbridled swing, we want to talk about some ways to manage holiday stress.

It’s Personal

Perhaps one of the reasons why so many people are lacking adequate stress management is because we have only a vague idea of what it looks like. Due to some strategic marketing, it may sound as though stress management equals meditation. This isn’t necessarily the case. In order for any management practice to work, it needs to be something you enjoy! Consider your personality and your preferences. If you are a more high-energy person, a yoga class may sound like a bore and a chore. A daily set at the gym or a brisk walk may be more up your alley. If you’re a music lover, you wouldn’t necessarily reach for a book to unwind, you would listen to some soothing sounds. When you approach stress management with you in mind, your efforts will go a lot farther.

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching are very real, very common side effects of stress. To protect your smile and your peace of mind this holiday season, take time out for rest and relaxation.

Do you want to get your smile party-ready? Call your Shakopee dentist at (952)-445-6657.

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