We live in a fast-paced world, and that can make for very stressful living. Anxiety and worry are so common, in fact, that many people have come to simply accept them as a natural consequence of living and breathing. This type of thinking can be very damaging to one’s mental, emotional, and physical health — including his or her teeth. While you may not be giving much thought to your dental health when you’re pacing the floor and stressing out, you could be wreaking havoc on your mouth. Here’s a look at some of the ways that people inflict damage on their teeth when they’re struggling with stress:
Eating Junk Food
When you’re feeling stressed out, what’s the first thing you do? If you’re like many other people, you have a tendency to reach for comfort via food — especially sweets! After all, “stressed” is “desserts” spelled backwards! Unfortunately, all that sugar and junk food can quickly lead to the buildup of plaque and bacteria, as well as the development of cavities. You’re better off finding other ways to manage your stress than eating, such as taking a long walk. Your teeth — and your waistline — will thank you for it!
Smoking and/or Drinking
Other common vices for tense people are tobacco smoke and alcohol. Both of these are known for staining and discoloring teeth, wearing down tooth enamel, and generally causing harm to oral health. Mixing alcoholic beverages with sugary sodas or fruit juices can also increase the likelihood of cavity formations. As an alternative, you might consider sipping on a stress-relieving hot tea or trying aromatherapy.
Some folks have a tendency to grind their teeth against one another when they’re feeling especially tense. This habit, known as bruxism, creates a number of problems. For one thing, you might start irritating those around you with the noise. More troubling, though, is the type of damage that can be done to your teeth as you grind them down to stumps. This could lead to the need for dental implants, bridges, crowns, etc. Taking on an exercise program can help release stress during the day, while a mouth guard may be needed to protect your teeth during the night.
If you’re feeling perturbed, you might start to clench your jaw. After a while, this can create pain and soreness that may even lead to a headache. Beyond the physical pain, you could also be negatively impacting your oral health. Those who frequently clench their jaws are putting themselves at risk for gingival recession. During gingival recession, the gums are actually pulled away from the teeth. Jaw clenching often goes hand-in-hand with teeth grinding, but it may be a standalone issue. Try practicing deep breathing exercises or meditation when you feel yourself starting to clamp down on your jaw.
The more stressed out you are, the more likely you are to overlook details and forget to take care of yourself in the proper way. When you have a lot on your mind, it’s easy to accidentally skip out on flossing or fail to remember to brush your teeth before rushing out the door in the morning. Instead of stressing about all of the things that have to be done throughout the day, strive to stay in the moment and handle life one thing at a time. This will help you stay on track with your daily regimen so that you can handle whatever the universe throws at you.
Don’t let stress detract from your oral health — and definitely don’t let it stand in the way of your routine dental check-ups. Give Dr. Bruce McArthur a call to schedule yours today!
What’s the first thing you notice about another person’s smile? If you’re like most folks, it’s the color of their teeth. While white is the most widely accepted standard for beauty in teeth, though, many of us have experienced the dismay of realizing that our smiles have become discolored with the passage of time.
It can happen to anyone. Whether it’s because of the consumption of certain foods or beverages, or because you haven’t kept up with your oral hygiene regimen as well as you should, teeth are susceptible to dulling in color, or transitioning to a more off-white or yellowed pigment. The good news is that you don’t have to live with problems like these forever. Cosmetic dentistry makes it possible to restore your teeth to their former bright, pearly-white glory.
How is this accomplished? Take a look at a few of the following methods for tooth whitening:
Professional In-Office Cosmetic Whitening
Having a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure done in-office is generally the most reliable means of improving the look of your smile. This is a very popular and common treatment that is non-invasive, fast, and effective. You’ll notice very significant results within a short window of time. The procedure typically involves the use of a highly concentrated volume of peroxide gel. Before the gel is applied to your teeth, your gums will be protected with a rubber dam. The gel only takes a few moments to be applied, and from there you will be required to let the gel sit for several intervals of 15-20 minutes. The total amount of time spent on whitening your teeth in-house will likely end up being approximately one hour. For teeth that have been particularly stained, you may need to make one or more return visits to correct the issue.
Professional Take-Home Cosmetic Whitening
If the idea of coming into the office doesn’t work for your schedule, you may be able to talk to your dentist about purchasing take-home cosmetic whitening kits. These are kits that have been approved for use by your dentist. He will likely wish to consult with you in order to explain how to use the kit for the best results. Usually, the kits include a lower-concentration peroxide gel which must be left on teeth overnight. You may need to follow up with your dentist to evaluate how well the gel worked to whiten your teeth.
Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits can also be used, although they may not be as reliable as those offered through your dental professional. While you may notice results, they may not be as significant, and your teeth may need to be touched up more frequently than had you gone through a dental professional.
Keep in mind that while teeth whitening can make a huge difference on the color of your teeth, the results are not permanent. Be sure to talk to your dentist about the frequency with which you’ll need to have your teeth touched up. He can also provide recommendations for properly caring for your teeth in order to extend the effects and keep your smile as white as possible.
With so many exciting options for whitening your teeth, the only question that remains is: what in the world are you waiting for? Making the decision to whiten your teeth can drastically improve your confidence and appearance. Regardless of which method you select for teeth whitening, though, it’s very important to consult with a professional. Dr. Bruce McArthur is happy to discuss your options with you and is more than qualified to perform an in-office cosmetic whitening procedure. Give us a call for a consult today!
Throughout the years, numerous studies have revealed that an individual’s smile is considered to be his or her most attractive feature. So what happens if you’re not happy with the way your smile looks? Those who are dissatisfied with their teeth and gums are prone to smiling less as the result of feelings of insecurity. Ultimately, this can lead to problems with self-esteem and personal relationships, as well as a reduced quality of life.
The good news is that there’s absolutely no reason why you should have to feel down and out about your smile. Whether time, genetics, accidents, or other causes have contributed to your oral woes, there is a solution: cosmetic dentist, Dr. Mike Lueck. This post will highlight some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that are done to enhance natural beauty and create perfect smiles.
Tooth whitening or bleaching is, by far, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed today. Throughout the years, your teeth may have become stained or discolored. Different whitening options are available to restore your teeth back to their natural beauty quickly, painlessly, and affordably. Make sure to discuss all of your options with a trusted dentist before moving forward with the process.
Those with chipped, broken, or cracked teeth may feel self-conscious about their smiles. Bonding works to improve the appearance of these teeth when tooth-colored materials are applied to the surface of the tooth.
Veneers are another great option for people who are unhappy with one or more of their teeth due to staining, chips, crookedness, or irregular shaping. These custom-made shells are designed to match your other teeth and cover up problem areas.
A crown works to add strength and support to a weak tooth and/or to improve a tooth’s appearance by acting as a cover. Crowns may be made from gold or alloys, and porcelain options are also available to better match natural tooth color.
Those with crooked teeth, overcrowding, or poor dental alignment might consider braces. Individuals who are concerned with the appearance of braces should talk to their dentist about Invisalign and similar options.
When one or more of your teeth are missing, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Implants are used as a means of replacing missing teeth with units that blend perfectly with other teeth and restore a smile to perfection. Before moving forward with dental implants, your dentist will need to evaluate your dental history to ensure that your oral health is up to snuff.
Fixed and removable bridges are available for individuals with missing teeth. The bridge is crafted from materials including gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination thereof. While a fixed bridge is attached directly to the jaw and must be removed by a dental professional, removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned at home. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health in order to help you make the right decision for your smile.
In some cases, most or all of an individual’s teeth may be missing, or may be severely damaged and in need of removal. In cases like these, a simple, effective, and affordable solution is to replace natural teeth with dentures. Dentures are custom-made to fit a patient’s mouth and will have the appearance of natural teeth with all of the functionality to chew and talk normally, and to smile beautifully.
Don’t let a less than perfect smile hold you back any longer. Contact cosmetic dentist Dr. Mike Lueck, DMD about your options in order to find a solution that’s right for you. Give us a call today to start moving towards a better, brighter smile.