As we move further into 2021, you may be one of the many people experiencing a sigh of relief as “normalcy” appears to be coming closer into view.
Now, however, comes the work of dealing with the aftermath of the last year. Namely, stress has been one emotion found in spades, what with communities across the globe experiencing collective uncertainty altogether and, don’t forget, stress impacts our dental landscape.
So how might that impact your child? And how can you help them move through both stress and oral obstacles?
Where the Pandemic Plays Into the Picture
As we know stress plays a role in one’s overall oral health, perhaps it should come as no surprise that dentists observed an increase in dental-related stress during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What may be surprising, however, was just how prevalent these side-effects were.
“More than 70% of dentists surveyed saw an increase of patients experiencing teeth grinding and clenching, conditions often associated with stress — up from just under 60% in the fall,” the American Dental Association (ADA) explained.
But that’s not all. The surveyed dentists also reported the following increases in dental occurrences:
- Teeth grinding and clenching — 71%
- Chipped teeth — 63%
- Cracked teeth — 63%
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) symptoms — 62%
And, unfortunately, children are no exception to experiencing dental difficulties in relation to stress.
Turning the Frown Upside Down
If your child has experienced any of the aforementioned challenges during the last year — or if they’ve experienced them at a greater frequency — it’s important to try to help them reduce the amount of stress they experience.
After all, by mitigating their stress, you can help them to restore their dental health and comfort.
Particularly when it comes to helping children handle stress and enhance their oral hygiene habits, Colgate recommends:
- Modeling positive behaviors and habits
- Ensuring your child sleeps enough
- Giving your child the space to talk openly about their stress
- Helping your child avoid or limit situations that trigger excessive stress
Additionally, you may want to consider consulting a mental health professional if necessary.
Too Much Pressure? Call Your Pediatric Professional.
If your child continues to grind their teeth, combat jaw pain, or even experience the cracking or breaking of their teeth, it’s important to consult a dental professional right away — like Setzer, Cochran, and Soares Pediatric Dentistry.
Our award-winning team of board-certified pediatric dentists is ready and waiting to help restore your child’s smile by restoring their comfort. We also offer a warm and welcoming environment to help put your child at ease while in our care!
From annual cleanings to dental education and emergency care, we’re committed to being there for your child. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact our office today by calling 904-733-7254 (Jacksonville) or 904-473-0600 (Ponte Vedra).