Many businesses, retailers, and entire industries have struggled to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even as the country slowly tries to reopen, many companies aren’t getting enough business to stay open. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for dental practices! In fact, dentists are busier than ever treating an increasing number of oral health issues, especially cracked teeth. So how is the COVID-19 pandemic causing so many people to damage their pearly whites? Here are the top three reasons why cracked teeth are on the rise during quarantine and how you can keep your smile safe.
From the health of our loved ones to the stability of our jobs, there is no shortage of things to worry about during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stress naturally puts the body on edge, tensing muscles everywhere, including the jaw. This could cause you to start to chew on hard objects, such as ice, pen caps, or fingernails. Anxiety also tends to trigger an issue called bruxism, where you grind your teeth in your sleep. Months of extra pressure on your teeth because of these stress responses weakens them and can quickly lead to serious cracks or fractures.
Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we take time to relax. Practice deep breathing or yoga, take a hot shower, or read a book before bed to help put yourself at ease. If you’re still having trouble relaxing, read information from the CDC and reach out to your loved ones or health care provider.
An unprecedented number of us shifted to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, often in environments not set up to be offices. Whether you’re working on the couch, on the kitchen counter, or somewhere else unconventional, your posture is not likely ideal. Sitting crouched or bent over stresses the muscles in the neck and jaw, which can lead to bruxism, as we mentioned previously.
Make a conscious effort to correct your bad posture when you notice it. Do your best to adjust your office so your spine is straight, and your workstation is at eye level throughout the day. Remember to get up and move around to stretch out your muscles and help them relax.
Do you find yourself eating more during the COVID-19 quarantine? Whether you’re eating more comfort foods or snacking out of boredom, your daily diet may be damaging your oral health. Hard, crunchy foods and highly acidic drinks are notorious for wearing down enamel, which dramatically increases your risk of chipping or cracking a tooth. Be conscious of what you’re eating and drinking, and do your best to choose healthy items over damaging ones. Put snacks away in harder to reach places so they stay out of sight and out of mind.
COVID-19 stress is bad for your health in many ways, including your smile. So make sure to visit your dentist for the care you need and your regular checkups so your pearly whites stay sparkling and intact.
Glendale Dental Wellness Center is going above and beyond to ensure their office is clean, healthy, and germ-free so you can safely get the high-quality dental care you need. We offer custom-made nightguards for bruxism that can help protect your teeth and jaw. As always, if you have a dental emergency, give us a call and we’ll work with you to schedule a same-day emergency appointment. To learn more, we can be contacted via our website or at 818-243-3838.