The ongoing chaos related to the restrictions and regulations of the global pandemic has led to heightened stress levels in many individuals. Stress can have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.
If your smile is not structurally at its best, it might not be able to look its best either. You should take precautions to avoid oral habits that could affect the way that your teeth look. Dr. Sulekha Agrawal, a dentist serving patients in Columbia, MD, lists three behaviors that can stem from increased stress and may negatively impact the appearance of your smile.
Stress-Related Habits That Can Lead to Cosmetic Dental Damage
Increased Consumption of Beverages That Stain Teeth
Stress can interfere with your sleep schedule, decreasing both the amount of sleep you get as well as its quality. This may mean that you wake up feeling groggy and turn to a caffeinated beverage like tea or coffee to help you make it through your busy day.
But drinks like coffee and tea contain substances that give them a dark color and can absorb into the enamel of your teeth, leaving stains behind. This discoloration cannot be removed with your usual oral hygiene regimen. If you notice yellowing, dullness, or stains in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatments that can give you your ideal tooth color.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Heightened stress levels can initiate or exacerbate a teeth grinding or clenching habit. The grating of top teeth against bottom teeth creates pressure that may cause teeth to crack, chip, or fracture.
Your dentist can amend this tooth breakage with cosmetic or restorative dental treatments. They can also help you protect your smile by giving you a custom-made mouthguard. You can wear it overnight to prevent dental damage that may accrue from teeth grinding or clenching that can occur as you sleep.
Avoiding Routine Dentist Appointments
During the chaos of the global pandemic, many individuals have elected to skip their routine appointments at their dentist’s office. However, these visits are crucial to protecting your smile from significant dental problems and emergencies.
Your dentist cleans plaque and tartar from your teeth in spots you may miss when completing your oral hygiene regimen at home. They also examine your teeth and gums for early signs of dental concerns like cavities or periodontal disease so that they can provide prompt treatment if necessary. You should visit your dentist every six months to avoid these dental problems escalating into major damages that need extensive dental work to treat.
Talk to Cosmetic Dentistry Experts in Columbia, MD
Columbia Family Dental Care offers professional teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dentistry treatments to patients in Columbia, MD. Dr. Agrawal also specializes in general and restorative dentistry, including tooth replacement solutions, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 410.221.3097 or reach a member of our staff online.