It is natural to be stressed by the restrictions and chaos of the global pandemic from the past year. Trust us, you are not alone. This stress can take its toll on your well-being, including your oral health. If your mouth is not at its healthiest, you could be at risk of cosmetic dental damage.
Have you noticed that your teeth have gotten slightly darker? Does stress have you grinding your teeth at night? Dr. Abraham Stein, a dentist in Chicago, IL, describes how stress-related habits may lead you to seek cosmetic dentistry, and some tips on how to avoid the effects.
Drinking Staining Beverages
Stress can affect the amount of sleep you get as well as the quality of sleep. If you are groggy during the day, you may reach for a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get you through. Dark-colored beverages, like tea and coffee, contain tannins that can absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains, even after professional teeth whitening treatment.
Choosing a lighter colored brew or adding milk to your drink might lower your risk of tooth discoloration. To protect your tooth color, you should avoid these beverages or enjoy them in moderation. Since we are spending more time at home, try brushing your teeth after consuming a sugary or dark-colored beverage. This can significantly reduce staining, without adjusting your consumption.
Stress may lead to oral habits such as teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism. The grating of the top arch of teeth against the bottom arch can harm your teeth and leave cosmetic damage. This abnormal pressure can chip, crack, or break your teeth.
Severe damage may require restorative dental work, but minor cases can be amended with cosmetic dental treatments such as teeth bonding or porcelain veneers. Your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to protect teeth from grinding occurring during sleep. Mouthguards are not only for Sports. Custom night guards are made specifically to address teeth grinding issues.
Skipped Dental Cleanings
The disorder and anxiety associated with the global pandemic have led many individuals to cancel routine appointments, including dental cleanings. Skipping a dental cleaning can be detrimental to your oral health and lead to the deterioration of your smile’s appearance. Fortunately, your dentist will always be there for you.
During a routine cleaning, your dentist cleans plaque and tartar from spots in your mouth missed with brushing alone. If left untreated, plaque can eat away tooth enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to cosmetic damage such as stains. You can protect your teeth by scheduling a routine dentist appointment every six months.
Don’t be disappointed if you can’t see your dentist right away. The pandemic has most dentist offices schedules packed. Be patient and work with your local dentist office so you can get the dental care you deserve.