Engage your senses and enjoy the great outdoors

Spring is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Whether you visit your neighborhood park, hit the trails, or simply step out on your porch, be mindful about what nature can do for your senses and your overall well-being, which in turn can be good for your oral health, too!


Listen to spring come to life. The birds are chirping loudly in the morning and fluttering back and forth to their nests to care for their newly hatched babies. Getting out into the sunlight shortly after you wake provides energy and focus for the day. It also boosts your vitamin D levels, which helps absorb tooth-fortifying calcium. You know what they say about the early bird!


Wander and let the scenic path unfold in front of you. Nature presents scenes that gently capture your attention and calm your nerves. As you stroll, be mindful of what you see. Acknowledge five things in your line of sight to help ground you. It could be a patch of moss, a small puddle, or a squirrel running up a tree. Notice how this simple exercise keeps you present in the moment and alleviates stress. Being calm helps with several oral health issues, including teeth grinding. Be mindful of your posture. With each step, work to improve your posture, which in turn can reduce the potential for jaw pain.


Walk around your neighborhood and sniff out the fresh blooms. Whether it’s cherry blossoms or tulips, stop for a minute to smell the flowers — literally! Stand still, close your eyes, and breathe in. Let the sweet scents fill you up with each breath. As you exhale, lower your shoulders away from your ears and unclench your jaw. You’ll feel your stress level slowly deflate, which can help reduce teeth grinding.


Take your lunch away from your desk and decompress outside. We typically reach for sugary and starchy foods when stressed, so walk away from the sweets and treat yourself to a picnic for one. Pack your basket with smile-friendly snacks, like fresh strawberries and carrots. As you enjoy your lunch, slow down, and practice mindful eating to help increase the awareness of how your food actually tastes. Savor each bite.


Get out into your (or a community) garden and dig in the dirt. Feel the warm soil slide through your fingers and notice how the different textures of the plants feel, like the smooth leaves of baby spinach or rough skin of sweet potatoes. Spring is the perfect time to prep your garden for fresh veggies like these that are good for your oral health!

Being outdoors provides plenty of opportunities to engage all five senses! So, grab your favorite SPF lip balm, apply sunscreen, and enjoy your adventure — no matter how big or small.

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