Protect Your Smile from Pandemic Stress

The ongoing global pandemic and the regulations and health risks that accompany this period have increased the stress levels of many people. Stress can be harmful to your overall wellbeing, including your oral health.

Some habits associated with heightened stress could negatively impact your teeth, leading your smile to look less than its best. Dr. Erika Graham, a dentist in Durham, NC, describes three ways you can protect your smile’s appearance from stress-induced dental damage.

stress harms your smile in Durham North Carolina

Limit Beverages That Stain Your Teeth

Stress can disrupt sleep schedules, and if you wake up feeling groggy, you may turn to coffee or tea for a boost of caffeine to get you through your day. These dark-colored beverages contain tannins which may absorb into tooth enamel and leave stains on your teeth.

Adding milk to your drink and sipping through a straw may lower the risk of tooth discoloration when enjoying these dark beverages. However, dentists recommend limiting or avoiding these drinks to protect your smile’s appearance. If you notice staining or yellowing in your teeth, ask your dentist about professional teeth whitening treatment.

Beware of Teeth Grinding and Clenching

Stress can initiate or exacerbate a teeth grinding or clenching habit. This behavior, known as bruxism, creates abnormally high amounts of pressure on your teeth which can damage your smile.

Persistent bruxism may leave chips, cracks, or fractures in your teeth which could require cosmetic or restorative dental treatments to amend. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard at night to prevent damage to your teeth from bruxism during sleep.

Maintain Regular Dentist Appointments

With the chaos of the ongoing pandemic, many individuals have elected to skip their routine dentist visits rather than try to schedule an appointment with current societal restrictions. This could have severe negative effects on your smile.

During these routine appointments, your dentist examines your smile for potential risks to your oral health and also cleans plaque build-up from your teeth and gums. This preventative care ensures your teeth remain strong enough to resist cosmetic and structural threats. You should visit your dental professional every six months for optimal oral health care.

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions in Durham, NC

Oak Grove Family and Cosmetic Dentistry offers professional teeth whitening and other cosmetic dentistry treatments to patients in Durham, NC. Dr. Graham 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 919.873.4312.