Though restrictions and regulations are lifting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, people around the world still carry higher levels of stress due to the prolonged public health crisis. Stress can lead to many health conditions, including problems with your dental health.
If your smile does not feel its best, its appearance will start to diminish as a result. To preserve the look of your teeth and gums, you should take efforts to avoid stress and certain behaviors that result from it. Read on to learn about three behaviors stemming from the stress that could impact the look of your smile and how to stop them from doing so.
Which Stress Behaviors Could Hurt My Smile?
Overconsumption of Beverages That Stain Teeth
Stress disrupts many factors in your lifestyle, including your sleep schedule. If you do not get enough sleep or experience low-quality sleep, you might feel groggy during the day. This could lead to you reaching for a caffeinated beverage, like tea or coffee, for an energy boost to get you through your busy day.
But dark-colored drinks like coffee and tea get this color from tannins. These materials will absorb into the enamel of your teeth over time. They will leave stains on the surface of the teeth that you cannot remove with your usual oral hygiene routine.
You should pay attention to your smile to make sure you are not forming discoloration on your smile. You can take efforts to reduce the risk of this cosmetic dental damage by sipping through a straw or choosing a lighter-colored brew.
But these efforts will not eliminate the chances entirely, so take care when consuming these types of beverages. If you do see yellowing or staining in your smile, ask your dentist about teeth-whitening treatment options.
Grinding or Clenching Teeth
Stress can build tension throughout the body, including in the jaw. This may cause muscles to tighten, leading you to grind or clench your teeth. You might not always notice this habit, and it could manifest during sleep.
Clenching and grinding teeth can exert pressure that may lead the teeth to chip or crack, disrupting the look of your smile. Not only will this impact its appearance. But your smile could carry a greater risk of further dental harm this way.
Your dentist can help protect your teeth from this damage with a custom-made night guard. You wear this oral appliance over your teeth as you sleep to cushion them from grinding that occurs overnight.
Skipping Routine Dentist Appointments
You visit your dentist on a regular basis for teeth cleanings and oral exams. But when you feel stressed, you may feel tempted to skip the hassle of going to your dentist’s office. However, when you miss this dental care, your teeth will be less able to resist surface stains and dental problems.
You can keep your smile looking and feeling its best by keeping these routine appointments and receiving this preventative dental care. Consult your dentist to learn how often you should schedule your dental check-ups.