Though restrictions and regulations associated with the global pandemic are lifting in some parts of the country, people still have increased stress levels. Heightened stress can leave individuals with a higher risk of medical problems, and this goes for their oral health too.
You might develop habits that could hurt your smile if you feel stressed. These behaviors could cause cosmetic dental damage, harming the appearance of your teeth. Read on to find out how you can keep your smile looking its best though you may be under stress.
How Can I Prevent Stress from Hurting the Look of My Smile?
Limit Beverages That Stain Your Teeth
Stress can interfere with your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to a cup of coffee or tea for a caffeine boost to get you through your busy day.
But beverages like tea and coffee get their dark color from tannins. This substance absorbs into your tooth enamel over time, leaving stains on the surface of your teeth. These cannot be removed with your usual oral hygiene routine.
Sipping through a straw or adding milk to your beverage may lower the risk of tooth discoloration, but it will not eliminate the chances entirely. Therefore, you should limit the amount of these types of drinks that you consume to protect your tooth color. If you notice yellowing, dullness, or stains on your smile, ask your dentist about teeth whitening treatments that can brighten your smile.
Treat Chronic Teeth Grinding and Clenching
Heightened stress levels can make you grind or clench your teeth, even if you are not aware of this act. This habit generates pressure on your teeth that could cause them to crack, chip, or fracture.
Severe damage may need restorative dental solutions to amend. But your dentist can fix small tooth breakage with cosmetic treatments like teeth bonding. To protect the natural structure of your smile, you should talk to your dentist about treatments to stop grinding and clenching your teeth.
Your dentist may suggest that you wear a custom-made mouthguard overnight to protect your teeth from unconscious teeth grinding as you sleep. This appliance will fit comfortably and securely, so you will not see disruption in your sleep schedule.
Attend Routine Dentist Appointments
If you are coping with a great deal of stress, you may think it will make it easier to skip routine appointments like dental cleanings. However, these visits with your dentist are crucial to keeping your smile looking and feeling its best.
During these appointments, your dentist cleans stubborn plaque and tartar from your teeth. They remove these residues before they can cause lasting harm to your smile. This prevents dental emergencies that could leave you with permanent damage to the look and structure of your smile.
Your dentist will also check your teeth and gums and make sure you do not have early signs of dental problems like cavities or gum disease. These conditions are easier to treat the sooner they are caught. You can preserve your smile better when you continue to schedule regular visits to your dentist.