Stress and Oral Health

We often think that only adults can truly feel stressed out. We have more issues to take care of and problems to deal with. On the other hand, kids don’t need to worry about work, money, food, and shelter. But even at an early age, they can feel anxious and stressed. They can have different stressors, including peer pressures, the death of a close loved one, difficulties in school, and even their parent’s divorce.

Getting to Know the Signs of Stress in Kids

Kids dealing with an unbearable amount of stress can manifest different signs and symptoms. The usual ones include the following.

  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep issues
  • Headache
  • Inability to relax
  • Bedwetting
  • Failure to control emotions
  • Physical symptoms with no underlying cause

Aside from the emotional, behavioral, and physical symptoms of stress, kids can also manifest other signs, including poor oral health. Their eating habits can change as well as their oral habits. This can lead to dental decay, pain, and discomfort.

How Stress Can Impact Kid’s Oral Health

Kids, especially teens, can feel insecure if their teeth have cavities. When they feel embarrassed by their teeth, this can affect how they view themselves and feel ashamed of their appearance. They might be teased for their teeth and only cause additional stress.

Some children go back to old habits to cope with stress. Some can turn to thumb-sucking or even teeth grinding or clenching. Such habits can hurt their teeth, affect how their teeth, jaw, and palate develops, and even cause speech impediments.

Helping Kids Cope with Stress

Parents should stay vigilant when it comes to their children’s oral health. Neglecting the problem can lead to devastating results, including poor oral health and low self-esteem. But what can parents do to start helping kids cope with stress?

Learn about Your Kids’ Stress Triggers

Parents must get to know the causes of their kid’s stress. This way, it will be easier to help them deal with or possibly avoid their stress triggers. Be sure to let them know that they can talk to you about their problems.

Spending time with your kids enables you to get to know other things that can lead to poor oral health. Pay attention to their eating habits and what kinds of food they tend to munch whenever they are stressed out.

Encourage Proper Oral Hygiene

It won’t hurt to remind kids about regular brushing and flossing. It is also your responsibility to make sure they take regular trips to their pediatric dentist. Parents must slowly introduce dentists to their children and make sure they don’t use the dentist to scare kids.

Kids fear dental checkups because their parents put off the visits for as long as possible. As a general rule, kids should get a dental appointment six months after their first teeth erupt. The pros can help ensure the healthy development of their teeth, gums, and bite.

Parents should also serve as good role models when it comes to proper oral hygiene. If kids see their parents not brushing their teeth and flossing as often as needed, they won’t feel the need to do so themselves. By setting a good example, kids will learn the value of good oral health and will practice good oral hygiene despite them facing different kinds of stress.

Seek Support as Needed

Sometimes, what stressed children need is the support of the pros. Parents can seek help from their kid’s school counselors. One can even consider a mental health professional’s help if their kid’s mental health is now suffering from severe stress.

This goes to show that even kids can experience stress with devastating results. With your help, your children will be able to fight stress healthily. Their oral health won’t suffer, and you can have that peace of mind knowing your kids can be resilient to stress.

Meta Title: Teeth versus Stress: How Stress Impacts Your Kids’ Oral Health

Meta Description: Do you know that kids can get stressed and that as a result, their oral health can suffer? Here are some manifestations of poor oral health caused by stress and what parents can do to help.