Mindfulness has been a buzzword lately. It’s the subject of many books, television shows, and blogs. It’s safe to say, it’s on a lot of people’s minds these days. Can the practice of mindfulness be applied to proper dental hygiene? Let’s meditate on that for a moment.
What is Mindfulness?
The concept of mindfulness is very simple. It’s about being in the moment. It’s about not judging your feelings or looking at things through any particular lens. This may seem like New Age mumbo jumbo to some, but for those who practice mindfulness, it is quite helpful. It helps many people deal with the stresses of everyday life, which include health issues.
Does this concept of being aware of the moment help with dental hygiene? It’s not as unlikely as you might think. Many dental professionals are practicing mindfulness in their work lives. They are becoming more attuned to their patient’s needs as a result. From the patient side, there are many things we can do to make us more mindful of our own personal dental care.
Mindfulness and Dental Hygiene
Anyone can practice mindfulness at any time, in any place. It doesn’t involve special training or equipment. It doesn’t involve holding a yoga pose or burning incense. It is simply being purposefully aware of the moment.
One exercise in mindful meditation is the body scan which involves doing a complete mental body checkup. This helps us listen to our bodies. Your mouth is a part of your body, isn’t it? To do a body scan, sit or lie down and relax. Starting with your feet, pay attention to how they feel. Notice any tightness, discomfort, or tension? With your mind, work your way up to your ankles, calves, thighs, pelvic area, abdomen, chest, arms, hands, fingers, and neck, then your head. Pay attention to your jaw? Does it feel tight? If so, you may suffer from bruxism, which is the technical term for teeth grinding. Pay attention to your tongue, throat, and gums. Issues with your teeth can lead to other health problems.
Everyday Mindfulness and Dental Hygiene
Mindfulness extends to all areas of our lives. That includes diet. Being mindful helps us control what we eat. Avoiding sugary foods and sweetened beverages is good for the tooth enamel. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, strengthen enamel. A diet high in fiber from fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and beans helps keep teeth strong.
Mindfulness even helps while sitting in the dentist’s chair. Some dental patients get anxious while having tartar scraped off their teeth by a dental technician. The practice of mindfulness includes slow, deep breathes to help us stay calm. This is true for any stressful situation.
Schedule a Checkup Today!
Proper dental hygiene includes everyday tasks such as brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash containing fluoride. It also includes regular dental visits. It’s important to schedule regular dental checkups, cleanings, and x-rays with your dentist. The professionals at University Dental Associates are experts in this area, as well as in tooth extraction and repair, tooth replacement, and restoration. Schedule an appointment online today with our partner University Dental Associates or call us at 708-304-8406.