The global pandemic and its resulting restrictions, regulations, and risks have led to heightened stress levels in many individuals. Stress can have detrimental effects on your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.
Deteriorating dental health can mean that your smile is no longer looking its best. Dr. Nishan Halim, a dentist in Washington, DC, describes three stress-related habits that can damage your teeth and lead to you needing cosmetic dentistry.
Drinking Beverages That Stain
Stress can negatively impact your sleeping patterns. If you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to beverages like tea or coffee for a caffeine boost to get you through your day.
However, these drinks get their dark color from substances called tannins that can absorb into teeth enamel over time and leave stains on the surface of your teeth. These cannot be removed with typical brushing regimens.
Adding milk to your beverage, drinking through a straw, or choosing a lighter-colored brew can lower the chances of tooth discoloration from dark-colored beverages but they do not eliminate the risk entirely. If you notice staining or yellowing in your teeth, you can ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.
Grinding and Clenching Teeth
Heightened stress levels can initiate or exacerbate teeth grinding or clenching habits. The grating of the top teeth against the bottom teeth creates pressure that can cause teeth to chip, crack, or fracture.
Severe breakage will require restorative dental treatment, but minor damage can be amended with teeth bonding. Your dentist might recommend wearing a mouthguard at night to protect teeth from grinding that can occur as you sleep.
Skipping Dental Cleanings
Some patients may think it is easier to skip their regular dentist appointment rather than schedule dental visits during the stress of the ongoing pandemic. However, missed dental cleanings can be harmful to your dental health.
During these appointments, dentists clean the build-up of plaque in spots of your mouth that are difficult to reach. This prevents problems like tooth decay that can leave your teeth vulnerable to damage, including cosmetic deterioration. For this reason, you should visit your dentist every six months.
Cosmetic Dentistry Treatments in Washington, DC
Dr. Halim provides professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry treatments for patients in Washington, DC. Our practice also specializes in restorative and general dentistry, including both preventative and emergency dental care. To schedule an appointment with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 202.318.4113.