Planning parties, dinners, and holidays while attempting to wrangle friends and family far and wide might leave you grinding your teeth more than usual. The stress that accompanies holiday cheer is usually the culprit for your new jaw pain and tooth sensitivity caused by grinding.
Here is how to reduce stress-induced teeth grinding, especially during Christmas time:
Lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of stress. Be sure to allow yourself at least eight hours of sleep during this hectic time. It will allow you to clear your mind and regroup in the morning.
Light exercise will help boost your mood and blood flow, reduce mental stress, and ultimately give you more energy to take on the day’s tasks. Try yoga for a breath-focused approach to working out, or take a 30-minute walk.
Get a Massage
Amidst your scheduling, be sure to pencil in time for yourself. Schedule a massage appointment to release stress and tension caused by holiday planning. You’ll be grateful you did, and so will your sore teeth.
Take a moment to yourself to focus on clearing your mind. Release thoughts about scheduling, to-do lists, and frustrations, while remembering to relax your jaw and provide relief to your facial muscles and teeth.
Relax Your Muscles
Take a salt or hot bath and relax your body and mind. This will allow you de-stress in a safe, private place.
Even if only for five minutes, take a moment to relax your body from your toes all the way up to your head. Take deep breaths to lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone.
Remembering to stay healthy during the holidays is crucial to help reduce anxiety. Hand washing, maintaining a nutritious diet, and keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water all help you stay healthy. When you are healthy, you keep your immune system strong and are less likely to get sick, stressed out, and ultimately – teeth grind.
If you enjoy fragrances or incense, aromatherapy will be a great option to try to release stress. Certain scents, like lavender, are soothing and can help you de-stress without taking time from your hectic schedule.
Take stress off of your mind for a moment and fill your day with laughter. Laughter also helps lower cortisol levels, increase your oxygen intake, and puts you in a better mood. You’ll get to show off your great smile, too.
Use Your Mistletoe
It’s not there for nothing! Kisses release stress hormones and reduce anxiety, so feel the Christmas spirit and give someone a kiss under the mistletoe.
With these ten stress-reducing tips, your day and night teeth-grinding will be sure to be cut down to a minimum. If you are still having trouble, call your dentist and consider being fitted for a custom mouth guard.