Delta Dental of Minnesota understands that there is a deep connection between oral and overall health. In the same way, we know that a healthy routine includes care for your mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health. The abrupt change to our routines on top of the concerns for our family’s safety and well-being have caused much worry.
Anxiety is the most common mental health condition affecting nearly 20% of adults and 7% of children. Anxiety can manifest with physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and sweaty palms. In children, stomach aches and headaches can be a sign of anxiety. Anxiety can also impact your oral health by causing dry mouth, teeth grinding or increasing the risk of canker sores. Many people with anxiety can also have depression. Thankfully, the stigma of mental health has lessened and there are many resources that can be helpful if you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms.
One of the best ways to help manage when life seems out of control is to focus on the things you CAN do. Additionally, with more unstructured time, you might have more time to participate in the following:
- Going out for a walk.
- Cooking a favorite recipe at home.
- Reading any genre or materials (books, magazines, blogs, etc.) you enjoy.
- Binge-watching new streaming content or re-visiting a beloved sitcom or movie.
- Taking time to just breathe— sit, plant your feet on the ground, close your eyes and breathe in while counting to five, then slowly release.
- Noticing and appreciating warm weather and nature around you— budding plants, birds chirping, warm sunshine, etc.
- Calling a friend.
To ensure you continue to care for your oral health, try to do the following:
- Find a dental professional who you feel safe and comfortable with so that you are more likely to schedule and attend regular appointments and avoid putting off needed treatments.
- Keep up with your regular oral health routine. Brushing for two minutes twice per day and flossing are absolutely essential when it comes to keeping your mouth healthy.
If you notice changes to your mental health, make an appointment with a physician for help and more resources.
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