The global crisis resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has increased stress among many dental patients. This stress can manifest in habits that can damage your oral health.
If you have noticed that your smile is suffering in light of pandemic stress, there are cosmetic dental treatments available that can return the luster to your smile. Dr. Andrew Cobb, a dentist in Washington, DC, describes three stress-related habits that may impact your teeth and require you to get cosmetic dentistry.
When you are stressed, your sleeping pattern may change. Patients experiencing high levels of stress may sleep less or get a lower quality of sleep. When they wake up feeling groggy or drowsy, they may reach for coffee or tea for a caffeine boost. Dark-colored beverages like these contain staining agents that can absorb into tooth enamel and cause tooth discoloration.
Lighter-colored brews or adding milk to your mug can lower the chances of this occurring. Professional teeth whitening treatment can reverse these effects and enhance your smile. To avoid further staining, dark-colored food and drinks should be avoided or enjoyed in moderation.
Stress can lead to a habit of teeth grinding or clenching, often referred to as bruxism. The pressure of the top and bottom teeth grating on each other can leave you with a sore jaw and can also harm your teeth. Grinding can cause your teeth to chip, crack, or break. You may require restorative dental work, but mild damage can be amended with cosmetic dentistry.
Cosmetic tooth bonding involves resin that fills gaps, cracks, and chips in your teeth to improve the appearance of your smile. Bruxism often occurs while a patient is asleep. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a mouthguard or oral appliance overnight to protect your teeth if grinding should occur.
Skipping routine cleaning
Dentists recommend scheduling routine dental cleanings and exams every six months. With the restrictions and anxiety of the global pandemic, many patients have skipped their regular appointments. During a dental cleaning, your dentist removes plaque and tartar that form in places of your mouth that are difficult to reach with traditional brushing.
If this is left untreated, your teeth can be subject to decay which can affect the health and appearance of your teeth. Your dentist can also give you fluoride treatment during these appointments to strengthen your tooth enamel and allow it to better fight agents that may cause cosmetic damage. Skipping dental appointments leaves your teeth without this added protection.
Cosmetic dentistry available in Washington, DC
Dr. Cobb offers cosmetic dentistry services to patients in Washington, DC. Our practice also specializes in general, restorative, and implant dental services. To schedule an appointment or consultation with us, contact our office online or reach us by phone at 202.455.0901.