Stay Off the Naughty List by Avoiding These Bad Habits

You better watch out if one of these tooth habits is yours, you could end up with a lump of coal in your stocking this season. Don’t worry; there’s still time to make the nice list by using our helpful tips to put a stop to your bad behavior. Nail Biting Do you find yourself nibbling on your nails? If messing up your manicure isn’t enough motivation to stop, consider that nail biting is often linked to tooth grinding, which can cause jaw problems, facial pain and sensitive teeth. Break the habit by keeping nails short, painting them with a bitter liquid or keeping hands busy when you feel the urge to chomp.1 Drinking Soda You likely already know that sipping soda is one of the worst things you can do to your teeth. Not only does it lack the nutrition that other beverages can provide, the acids in soda can cause dental erosion. If you drink regular soda instead of diet, your enamel is suffering from the double whammy of acid and sugar, not to mention all of the extra calories that lack any nutritional value. If you don’t want to give up the fizzy drinks entirely, try to limit yourself to one smaller drink per day. Snack Attack We all occasionally grab treats that are more delicious than nutritious, but try not to make a habit out of it. If you’re going to eat sweets, do it around mealtime. Snacking on sugary foods between meals means residue sticks to teeth longer, giving acids and bacteria more opportunity to set up camp. Gooey and sticky sweets are among the worst offenders.2 Its not just candy that will do a number on enamel though: foods like potato chips, crackers and cookies contain refined carbohydrates that bacteria like to consume. Using Teeth as Scissors Tempted to sink your teeth into a plastic package when scissors aren’t readily available? Don’t do it, even if its inconvenient to wait for the proper tool. Using teeth to tear at packages or open bottles can end in a trip to the dentist if you break, chip or crack them. You may even end up needing a root canal. If you find yourself chewing on things subconsciously, have friends and family alert you when its happening so you can put a stop to it.3



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