The restrictions and risks of the ongoing global pandemic have increased the stress levels of many individuals for the last year. Stress can have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.
Deteriorating oral health can mean that your smile is not looking its best. Dr. Matthew Gerald, a dentist in Vienna, VA, outlines three oral habits that can harm your smile and lead you to seek cosmetic dentistry solutions.
3 Stress Habits That Can Damage Your Smile
Drinking Beverages That Stain
Increased stress levels can disrupt your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may look to coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to help you get through your day.
However dark-colored drinks like tea and coffee contain tannins that can absorb into tooth enamel over time and leave stains on the surface of your teeth. This discoloration cannot be removed with typical oral hygiene methods.
Using a straw, adding milk to your drink, or choosing a lighter-colored brew can lower the risk of teeth discoloration but will not remove the threat entirely. If you notice yellowing, staining, or discoloration in your smile, you can discuss teeth whitening treatment with your dentist.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Heightened stress can initiate or exacerbate subconscious behaviors like grinding or clenching your teeth, known as bruxism. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth creates pressure that can cause teeth to chip, crack, or fracture.
Severe damage will require restorative dental work, but minor cases can be amended with cosmetic treatments like teeth bonding. Your dentist may recommend wearing a mouthguard overnight to protect your smile from bruxism that can occur as you sleep.
Missing Dental Cleanings
Many patients may find it easier to skip their regular dental check-ups than to schedule a dentist appointment during a pandemic. This can have serious repercussions for your oral health as well as your smile’s appearance.
During these appointments, your dentist cleans plaque build-up from your teeth in spots missed in your oral hygiene routine. Your dentist also evaluates the health of your teeth and establishes treatment plans for any issues so that your smile remains as strong and bright as possible. Dentists recommend scheduling these visits every six months.
Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment Available in Vienna, VA
Dr. Gerald offers professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dental treatments to patients in Vienna, VA. Our practice also specializes in restorative and general dentistry for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 703.721.4796.