Everyone knows that stress can impact your overall health, but did you know that it can also affect your oral health? The connection between stress and dental health is a bit of a chicken-or-the-egg situation: Are people more likely to develop tooth decay or cavities because they’re stressed out? Or do they become stressed because they have bad teeth? It’s probably a combination of both. What we do know is that if you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, experiencing chronic stress, or generally feeling overwhelmed by life right now, your teeth might not be getting the attention they deserve. Here are some tips on how to keep your mouth healthy amid all this chaos:
Take the time to find a dentist who’s right for you:
You might be surprised to hear that finding a dentist is one of the most important things you can do to keep your teeth healthy.
Not all dentists are equal, and if you’re not careful when choosing yours, it could end up being bad for your health. A dentist who’s right for you will have a few qualities:
- They should be in a location that’s convenient for you (and preferably close by).
- You should trust him or her—and not just because they’ve got those fancy diplomas hanging on the wall!
- You should feel comfortable with them as well as their staff.
- Finally, she should help keep costs down so that she’s affordable enough to visit regularly without breaking the bank.
Brush and floss twice a day:
- Floss daily. According to the American Dental Association, flossing is one of the most important things you can do for your dental health. It not only helps remove food particles from between your teeth and gum line, but it also helps prevent gum disease and cavities by removing plaque from hard-to-reach places.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush. Hard bristles can wear away enamel faster than soft ones, so it’s important to use a gentle brush that won’t damage your teeth or gums when brushing twice daily for two minutes at a time (a lot easier than it sounds).
- Choose fluoride toothpaste with 1,000 parts per million (ppm) active ingredient concentration; this will help prevent cavities while keeping teeth healthy and strong over time
Make sure you’re getting enough of the right nutrients:
- Vitamin D (5,000 IU/day) is important for strong bones and teeth.
- Calcium (1,000-1,200 mg/day) is needed to help prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
- Zinc (15-30 mg/day) helps maintain the strength of your gums and teeth.
- Iron (30 mg/day) can improve cognitive function in people with low levels of iron in their blood. A deficiency may also make you anemic, which can affect your energy level and lead to fatigue or headaches.
- Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron from plants by several hundred percent! You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons or limes; berries such as strawberries or blackberries; peppers such as bell peppers; tomatoes including cherry tomatoes; green vegetables like spinach or kale; melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew melon
Try not to snack too much:
- Try not to snack too much.
- Eat three meals a day, and make them count! It is better to eat three meals per day than take in more calories throughout the day by snacking on junk food. Snack foods are okay, but try not to get carried away with them; limit yourself to one or two snacks per day, and keep the sugar content low.
- Don’t eat too much at once.
- If you’re hungry after eating lunch and dinner, don’t go for seconds immediately! You should let your body digest what you’ve eaten before adding in more food or drink. Trying to digest all that food at once will cause stomach upset and discomfort (or worse).
Drink more water, less soda:
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. Water helps to keep your teeth healthy by washing away food particles, which leave less room for the bacteria that cause cavities to grow. The more sugary drinks you consume, the more likely you are to have cavities—including soda and fruit juice!
If you drink soda frequently, it’s time to cut back. Soda has a pH level that is very low, which means it’s highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel quickly. This can lead to decay or even tooth loss if left untreated over time.”
Avoid sweets, and if you do eat sugar, brush as soon as possible after consuming it:
Tooth decay is caused by the acids in your mouth, which are produced by bacteria. When you eat sweets and other carbohydrates, the bacteria release an enzyme that converts the sugar into acid. This acid dissolves tooth enamel and creates holes in it, which we call cavities.
The longer you leave food in your mouth after eating it, the more opportunity there is for this process to happen — so brushing immediately after consuming anything sweet (including fruit juices) will help prevent cavities from forming on your teeth.
Dental health isn’t too hard to maintain if you follow guidelines like these ones!
As a North York family dentist, I can tell you that dental health is not too hard to maintain if you follow some basic guidelines. Here are some tips on how to care for your teeth:
- Find a dentist in your area and make sure they have experience working with patients who suffer from stress. Ask them questions about their experience treating people under stress (if there are any), so that they will understand the issues that come up with this type of patient and know how best to address them.
- Brush twice daily for two minutes each time using soft bristles, as hard-bristled toothbrushes may damage enamel. Floss at least once per day after brushing so that food particles get caught between teeth where a toothbrush cannot reach them and cause decay over time.* Take vitamins or supplements such as calcium and vitamin D (especially if you don’t eat dairy products), which help strengthen tooth enamel by giving it minerals; these nutrients can also improve gum health.* Avoid eating sugary snacks such as candy bars during stressful times—they’ll only increase inflammation in your mouth! Instead opt for healthier options like applesauce or unsalted nuts.* If possible, try getting more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet as well–they’re loaded with vitamins!
That’s all there is to it! Now that you’re armed with a few simple tips for keeping your teeth healthy, you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of good oral hygiene. And if you find yourself struggling with dental problems in the future (which we hope won’t be!), then these guidelines will no doubt come in handy once again. Good luck and happy brushing!
Maria Khatun Mona is a Founder and Editor of Nursing Exercise Blog. She is a Nursing and Midwifery Expert. Currently she is working as a Registered Nurse at Evercare Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has great passion in writing different articles on Nursing and Midwifery. Mail her at “[email protected]”