You better watch out. Bad oral health habits could get you 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.
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.
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, but the acids in soda can cause dental erosion. If you drink regular instead of diet soda, your enamel is suffering from the double whammy of acid and sugar, not to mention all 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.
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. It’s not just candy that will do a number on enamel, though; foods like potato chips, crackers and cookies contain refined carbohydrates that cavity causing 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 it’s 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 it’s happening so you can put a stop to it.