It’s well-known that work-related musculoskeletal disorders are highly prevalent among dentists. A 2009 study by Hayes in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene stated that between 64 and 93 percent of dental professionals experience musculoskeletal pain. In 2016, Leggat published an article in the international journal, Healthcare, claiming the prevalence is 85 percent among dental students.
“Health is wealth” is not just an expression, but a truth of life. Someone in good health can accumulate wealth, but illness can bring down even the wealthiest of empires. Every dentist longs to provide the best possible treatment to all their patients. However, in doing so, they may neglect their own health.
If you keep up with Mouthing Off, then you’ve read several posts about stress relief and mental health. And if you are like me, you read them, but you don’t change any habits because of the notion that “there’s not enough time” to do so. Despite their stress-relieving benefits, I was continually telling myself that I didn’t have the time to do yoga or meditate. Over the past couple months, though, I noticed that with graduation looming, I was not sleeping well. I believed my lack of sleep was due to increased stress, so, while awake in the middle of the night, I searched for ways to relieve stress.
I enjoy snacking. Even though I know all about tooth decay, there are still some times when I crave a sweet, sugary snack. It is important to remember that while those treats are accessible, comforting and delicious, they don’t always leave us in our best condition. The right snack can make a long study session a little more tolerable or provide a much needed energy boost to get through an evening of lab work. It’s obvious that fruits, vegetables and whole grains are the healthy options we should be striving for, but when you have these snacks is also important.
January is often a time for new beginnings. Ideas are drafted, goals are set and plans are made. Oftentimes, these goals involve fitness, weight loss or dieting. While these are important factors of health and wellness, they can get old quickly, leaving you feeling bad about falling off the wagon. I am by no means an expert, but I have found that training for something — anything — has made it easier to stick to a resolution.
As you revisit your goals for 2018, don’t forget to make your personal and professional wellness top priorities. These archived Mouthing Off posts should help you get started.
Getting enough sleep is arguably one of the most challenging aspects of dental school. Between attending classes and studying for tests, working on your lab skills and seeing patients, it can be tough to find enough hours in the day to get ample sleep. While we’re all familiar with the many platitudes regarding ideal sleep schedules and the benefits of getting enough rest, it can be challenging to actually incorporate those guidelines into your everyday schedule. However, there’s no question that getting restful sleep is important.