Whether it’s prepping for a presentation or planning a party, nervous habits always seem to sneak into our lives—and mouths. Virginia falls in the top 20 for most stressed out states in the nation, so we’re sure nervous habits are in no short supply across our state.
Here are 3 common habits and 3 ways to combat them:
1. Nail Biting.
This habit can chip teeth, and may even lead to long-term jaw pain. Biting nails can also lead to uneven teeth tips, something your dentist can easily identify.
Solution: Find other ways to occupy your hands. Whether it’s holding a cup during a meeting or getting your nails done before a test, figure out what works for you.
2. Teeth Grinding.
Grinding and clenching wear down your teeth and damage enamel. It can also harm the joint in your jaw, and aggravate temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Solution: Ask your dentist if a custom mouthguard would help with night grinding. During the day, try to find activities to calm your nerves and try talking to someone about how you’re feeling.
3. Chewing and Sucking.
From chewing on pencils to sucking on candy, your dentist has seen the effects of it all—and it’s not good. Sucking on hard candies all day bathes your teeth in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. And chewing on writing instruments, such as pencils or pens, can damage teeth and dental work.
Solution: Try chewing sugar-free gum. Sugar-free gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which naturally lubricates and helps wash away bacteria. Although we wouldn’t recommend chewing gum ALL the time, it’s a better than biting!
Have a story on how you beat your nervous habits? Share it with us in the comments!