Though pandemic restrictions are beginning to lift in many parts of the United States, individuals still experience heightened stress levels. Stress can increase your risk of medical problems, including in your smile.
But stress may also exacerbate behaviors that could harm your smile, leading it to no longer look its best. You can preserve the appearance of your smile if you stay aware of habits that could lead to its deterioration. Dr. Melvin Benson, a dentist serving patients in Greeley, CO, describes three habits that stem from stress which could ultimately cause cosmetic dental damage.
3 Stress-Related Behaviors That Could Harm Your Teeth
Drinking Beverages That Stain
Stress can have detrimental effects on your sleep schedule. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may rely on a caffeine boost from a cup of coffee or tea to get you through your busy day.
However, tea and coffee get their dark colors from tannins, substances that can absorb into your tooth enamel and leave stains on the surface of your teeth. These cannot be removed with your usual teeth brushing regimen.
To lower the risk of tooth discoloration, you can add milk to your drink or sip through a straw. However, you cannot eliminate the risk entirely and should keep an eye on the amount of these beverages that you consume. If you do notice yellowing or stains on your smile, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment to restore your tooth color.
Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth
Increased stress can initiate or worsen a teeth grinding or clenching habit. Dentists refer to this behavior as bruxism. The grating of the top row of teeth against the bottom row generates pressure that may cause your otherwise durable teeth to crack or chip.
Minor tooth breakage can be resolved with cosmetic dental solutions. Severe damage might need more extensive restorative treatment. If you grind your teeth at night, your dentist might suggest that you wear a custom-made mouthguard. This appliance can protect your teeth from this behavior as you sleep.
Skipping Teeth Cleaning Appointments
If you feel stressed, it can be tempting to skip routine appointments such as teeth cleanings. But these dentist appointments are crucial to keeping your smile healthy and preventing dental emergencies.
Major dental damage can lead to costly and invasive procedures to repair your smile, which may add to your stress level in the long run. Call your dentist to schedule an appointment to clean your teeth and evaluate your oral health.
Find Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions in Greeley, CO
Integrated Dental Arts offers professional teeth whitening services and other cosmetic dentistry treatments to patients in Greeley, CO. Dr. Benson also specializes in implant, restorative, and general dentistry, including periodontal care, for patients of all ages. To schedule an appointment with our practice, contact our office by phone at 970.281.5972 or reach a member of our staff online.