Snow and Sleigh Bells and Stress, Oh My!

Most of the inhabitants of our beautiful coastal state only dream of a snowy holiday season. Actually, many of us reside here for the mere fact that we can spend our winter months walking in the sand rather than shoveling snow. That doesn’t mean that we don’t thoroughly enjoy every other aspect of the holiday season. Much of the month of December is spent in shopping malls or at parties boasting everything from mistletoe to white elephant gifts. Taking in all of the joys of the season means lots of love and laughter. It can also mean extra stress.

Why does this matter?

Why would we find it important to talk about holiday stress and how to reduce it? Because stress can affect your smile in surprising ways, and it can do so without your knowing. Chances are, you would not imagine that you clench your jaw or grind your teeth. However, if you are under a lot of stress, this could be exactly what you do – all night long. That’s right! The condition is referred to as bruxism, and it happens when you sleep because this is when the mind has a chance to work out the stress triggers of the day.

Beating Bruxism through Stress Management

Stress management is a term that has been floating around for years. It has become so common that we may easily dismiss it as some trendy catchphrase. In reality, we could all benefit from some stress reduction. During the busy holiday season, take a moment every day to sit quietly, to read a book or listen to music. Find time for a long walk with a friend or loved one, or a coffee date in which you can sit back and take a break from your to-do list.

Other ways to reduce stress include cutting back on caffeine, which can be a challenge when you’re trying to keep up with all that shopping. Instead of cutting out your favorite energy-boosting beverage, consider giving yourself a cutoff time of noon. This habit enables you to get the rest you need at night to be restored for the following day. It also lowers the chances that your mind will remain active while you sleep.

We wish our patients the happiest of holiday seasons. To get your smile party-ready, give us a call at (561) 627-9000.

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