The risks, restrictions, and regulations associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have increased stress levels in many people around the world. Stress can negatively impact your overall wellbeing, but it can also take a toll on your oral health.
Certain behaviors linked to stress can impact the appearance of your smile as well. Dr. Drew Shulman, a dentist located in northeast Philadelphia, PA, lists three oral habits that could cause cosmetic damage to your smile if you are not careful.
Stress-Related Oral Habits That Can Harm Your Smile
Choosing Beverages That Stain
Heightened stress levels can negatively affect the amount and the quality of your sleep. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to coffee or tea for a boost of caffeine to power you through your day.
But beverages like tea and coffee get their dark color from substances called tannins, which can absorb into your tooth enamel over time and leave stains on the surface of your teeth. Your usual oral hygiene routine may not remove this deep discoloration.
Adding milk to your beverage or sipping through a straw can lower your risk of staining your smile with these drinks but will not eliminate the likelihood entirely. If you do experience yellowing or staining in your smile, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatments.
Clenching or Grinding Your Teeth
Increased stress can initiate or exacerbate a teeth grinding or clenching habit, which dentists refer to as bruxism. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom row of teeth creates abnormally high amounts of pressure that can cause teeth to chip, crack, or fracture.
Minor tooth damage may be amended with cosmetic dentistry solutions like dental bonding. But severe tooth breakage could require extensive restorative dental work.
Your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard overnight to protect your smile from bruxism that may occur as you sleep. They can provide you with a custom-made oral appliance that suits your smile and will not slip out of place.
Skipping Routine Teeth Cleanings
The chaos of the ongoing global pandemic has led many individuals to cancel their routine appointments. However, skipping dental cleanings and exams could put the appearance and health of your smile at risk.
During these visits, your dentist cleans plaque and tartar from your teeth, especially in hard-to-reach spots of your mouth like near the gumline. If these remain on your teeth, the structure of your smile may suffer. The appearance of your teeth could be hindered because of it. Continue seeing your dentist every six months for a regular visit to maintain the look and feel of your smile.
Cosmetic Dentistry Experts Located in Philadelphia, PA
Dr. Shulman is an expert dentist practicing in Philadelphia, PA who can perform professional teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dental procedures. Our practice also specializes in implant, restorative, and general dentistry, including both preventative and emergency dental care, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office by phone at 215.372.1142 or reach our staff online.