In light of increased risks, regulations, and restrictions associated with the ongoing global pandemic, many individuals are experiencing high amounts of stress. Stress can have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.
If your mouth is not at its healthiest, your smile may not be looking its best. Brighter Smile Family Dentistry and Orthodontics outlines stress-related oral behaviors that could cause cosmetic damage to your smile.
3 Oral Habits That Can Harm Your Smile
Drinking Beverages That Stain
Stress can negatively impact your sleep patterns. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to power you through your day.
Tea and coffee get their dark color from tannins which can absorb into tooth enamel over time, leaving stains on the surface of your teeth. This tooth discoloration cannot be removed with typical oral hygiene regimens.
While sipping through a straw and adding milk to your coffee can lower your chances of tooth discoloration, these methods will not eliminate the risk entirely. If you notice staining or yellowing in your smile, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Grinding or Clenching Teeth
Heightened stress levels can start or worsen a teeth grinding or clenching habit. The pressure of grating the top teeth against the bottom teeth can cause teeth to chip, fracture, or crack.
Severe damage will need restorative dental treatment, but minor cases can be fixed with tooth bonding or other cosmetic solutions. Your dentist may ask you to wear a mouthguard at night to protect your smile from grinding that may occur as you sleep.
Skipping Dental Cleanings
Many patients may think it is easier to skip regular dental visits rather than schedule an appointment during the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you do this, you could be missing crucial dental cleanings that may harm your oral health.
During these routine cleanings, your dentist removes plaque and tartar build-up that weaken your teeth. This could leave your smile vulnerable to structural and cosmetic damage. Dentists recommend scheduling dentist visits every six months.