At Portland City Dental, Dr. Jason Bajuscak hopes that every patient can avoid the stress that typically comes from the holiday season. Stress, after all, can have a negative impact on your oral health, and can lead to poor oral habits like teeth grinding, jaw clenching and poor oral hygiene. If you find yourself in need of a pick-me-up after a long, stressful week, consider getting some great food, having a laugh, or grabbing a nice glass of wine. Here are five suggestions for affordable and healthy indulgences that will help recharge your batteries and lift your spirits.
With a sweet, luscious flavor that lingers, few things have as indulgent a feel as nibbling on a piece of dark chocolate. Not only does dark chocolate enjoy the benefit of being sinfully good, but eating an ounce of dark chocolate a day also possesses a number of lasting healthy benefits. Studies have shown that dark chocolate can lower blood pressure, improve good cholesterol levels in the body and increase blood flow.
Just make sure you take the time to brush and floss daily, especially if you’re eating more sweets. Even though chocolate may help reduce stressful feelings, the sugar in sweets can damage your long-term oral health if left to linger on the surface of your teeth. If you don’t have time to brush after eating sweets, take a moment to rinse thoroughly with water to remove any leftover sugars from your mouth.
A Kiss is more than a Kiss
If you find yourself dashing out the door once again on the way to work, off to pick up the kids, or heading off to class, stop and give your significant other a big kiss before you go. Giving your sweetheart a lasting smooch will help boost your bond with your significant other, while also helping to reduce stress and benefit your immune system, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.
Of course no likes kissing someone with bad breath, just one more reason why you need to brush regularly. Also consider chewing a stick of sugar-free gum after each meal to help remove lingering food particles and bacteria from your mouth that can cause bad breath to occur.
Splurge on a Nice Piece of Fish
Unless it’s frozen or comes out of a can, people don’t usually eat enough fish when cooking at home. Ordering a nice fillet can get expensive when out to eat, but by heading over to your local grocer’s fish department, you can purchase a nice piece of fresh tuna steak, salmon, or trout for dinner. Your taste buds will appreciate the delicious flavors offered by a fresh piece of fish and your body will also rejoice, as fish contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that play an important role in your heart’s health.
Laughter’s Good for the Soul
Stressed out, feeling a little down, then stay home for the night and rent a good comedy. Studies have shown that laughter can help reduce stress, boost your immune system, and lower blood pressure. Some studies have even suggested that laughter can assist with keeping blood sugar levels low and aid with digestion.
Whistle for the Kettle
While coffee is clearly king in the U.S. when it comes to the realm of hot, caffeinated beverages, the average American still drinks over nine gallons of tea a year. Part of tea’s appeal may come from its ability to help easy tension. Studies have shown that individuals who drink four cups of black tea a day over a six week period release fewer stress hormones after being asked to complete a stressful task than individuals who drank fruit based drink that contained caffeine. Green tea has been found to have similar benefits, so feel free to put on the kettle and grab your favorite mug.
If you have any other questions about the best oral health practices for your teeth and gums, feel free to ask any member of our staff at Portland City Dental during your next appointment with Dr. Bajuscak.