The restrictions and regulations associated with the ongoing global pandemic have led to higher stress levels in many individuals. Stress can be detrimental to your wellbeing, including your oral health.
This stress can harm the appearance of your teeth too. If you notice that your smile is losing its luster, ask your dentist about cosmetic dental treatments that can restore its brightness. Dr. Greg Reece, a dentist in Charlotte, NC, outlines three stress-related behaviors that can lead to you seeking cosmetic dentistry.
Stress-Related Behaviors Detrimental to Your Teeth
Beverages That Stain
Stress can disrupt your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy due to a lack of good-quality sleep, you may turn to a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get you through your day.
Dark-colored beverages like tea and coffee contain tannins that absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains. You can add milk to your drink or choose a lighter-colored brew to lower the risk of tooth discoloration. If you notice yellowing, staining, or discoloration in your teeth, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Heightened stress levels can increase the likelihood of teeth clenching or grinding, a habit called bruxism. The action of the top arch of teeth grating against the bottom teeth could cause damage to your teeth.
Severe tooth breakage may require restorative dental work, but minor chips or cracks can be amended with cosmetic dentistry such as tooth bonding or porcelain veneers. Your dentist might recommend that you wear a mouthguard at night to prevent teeth from grinding while you sleep.
Skipped Dentist Appointments
With the chaos of the pandemic, it may seem easier to skip routine appointments such as a dental cleaning. However, missed cleanings can harm your oral health and ultimately the appearance of your smile.
During these cleanings, your dentist scrapes away plaque and tartar that develop in spots of your mouth that were missed with traditional brushing and flossing techniques. If left untreated, plaque can wear away tooth enamel, weakening it so that your teeth are more vulnerable to cosmetic damage. To ensure your teeth are in an optimal position to look their best, you should visit your dentist for a regular cleaning every six months.