It’s back to school time in the U.S, as kids of all ages are getting ready for another year of classes and extracurriculars. As we know, school can be extremely stressful for kids, as they not only have to keep up with homework, but also with sports, activities, and having a strong social life. What you may not know is that stress often triggers a physical response that can affect oral health. Continue reading to learn more about how stress affects oral health and how you can help your child cope with stress.
Symptoms of Stress
Your child may not always communicate when they are feeling overwhelmed, so it’s important to look out for certain symptoms and changes in their behavior. Look for signs of irritability, abandoning longterm friendships, headaches, sudden changes in eating habits, and sleeping more and less than usual.
Stress often results in physical symptoms, such as teeth grinding. People may grind their teeth in their sleep or as a coping mechanism, which can cause damage to teeth. Visit your child’s dentist to protect their teeth with a night guard, and work on relaxation techniques to help them deal with stress at the end of the day.
How Stress Affects Oral Health
If your child’s eating habits change as a way of coping with stress, it’s likely their diet will involve more unhealthy and sugary food choices. These foods lead to a higher rate of dental decay, and an increase in cavities. Or, your child may have such a busy schedule that they don’t have time to eat properly, and therefore live off an unhealthy diet lacking vitamins and nutrients.
A main source of stress for kids is their workload, and it’s unfortunately common for students to stay up late working on homework and projects. Sleep deprivation is a significant problem for kids in the U.S.significantresult in negative effects on the brain and body development, as well as their oral health.
Coping With Stress
Recognizing signs of stress is the first step; the next step is to find your child find healthy ways to deal with these feelings. Encourage your kids to get at least eight hours of sleep each night, and help them prepare a healthy lunch and snack for school. Talk about the causes of their stress openly, and seek help from a school counselor if needed. Schedule wellness visits with their doctor and dentist, and remind them how important oral care is to their daily routine.
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
While these tips can help with some tooth and gum sensitivity issues, we know the best way of correcting the problem is to visit your dentist regularly. Affinity Dental, located in Catonsville, MD, has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.