The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased stress levels in many individuals around the world. Stress negatively impacts your health, including in your teeth and gums.
If your oral health deteriorates, your smile’s appearance could diminish as well. Dr. Elise Brace, a dentist in Cary, NC, describes three oral habits that stem from heightened stress levels that can contribute to cosmetic dental damage.
3 Stress-Related Oral Habits
Drinking Staining Beverages
Stress can interfere with sleep patterns. Many individuals turn to a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get them through their day if they do not get enough sleep.
Drinks like tea and coffee get their dark color from tannins, substances that can absorb into tooth enamel and stain your teeth. This discoloration cannot be removed with your usual teeth brushing regimen.
Though sipping through a straw and adding milk to your beverage lower your chances of tooth discoloration from coffee, they will not eliminate the risk entirely. If you notice yellowing or staining in your smile, you can ask your dental professional about cosmetic teeth whitening treatment.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Increased stress levels can start or worsen a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This behavior is referred to as bruxism, and the pressure it creates for your teeth can cause chips, cracks, or fractures to form in your smile.
This habit often manifests without a patient’s notice and might occur when they are asleep. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard overnight to protect your smile from this behavior.
Skipping Routine Dental Cleanings
Many people may think it is easier to skip their routine dentist appointments rather than schedule a visit during the chaos of the ongoing pandemic. This can have severe consequences for your oral health.
Missed dental cleanings can mean that plaque builds up on your teeth and hardens to tartar, eroding tooth enamel and leaving teeth vulnerable to major damage. You can preserve the structure and appearance of your smile by attending regular dental appointments every six months.
Cosmetic Dentistry Experts in Cary, NC
Kildaire Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offer professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients in Cary, NC. Dr. Brace also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact us online or reach our office by phone at 919.823.7107.