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Bad Teeth Habits You May Not Know You Have

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- The start of a new year brings about healthier resolutions, one of which dentists say should be paying attention to your teeth.

Aisling Bier wants to keep her teeth in good shape but a few months ago her dentist told her she had a bad habit to break.

"She noticed my teeth were taking some abuse because I was grinding," said Bier.

Dr. Dominque Lizzio said grinding and clenching your teeth is a bad habit many people should try to break.

"A lot of Americans do it. It's usually related to stress and anxiety that they have. Their teeth are worn down and the enamel starts to chip. Fillings start to break," said Lizzio.

Biting your nails is another habit to give up. It can chip the edges of your teeth.

"It also makes your jaw end in a protruded position for an extended period of time which can put stress on the jaw joint and the muscles that hold your jaw," said Lizzio.

Some other dental resolutions to make this year are to stop chewing ice and using your teeth as tools.

The best habit for your teeth is to brush twice a day for two minutes but dentists caution don't brush too hard. That can damage the enamel of your teeth and gums.

"I always tell patients brush longer not harder," said Lizzio.

Bier is also trying to break that habit.

"I've' been told I'm an overzealous brusher. I have gone from the manual toothbrush to the electric toothbrush so it self-corrects for me," said Bier.

She's also wearing a mouth guard at night to keep her from grinding her teeth.

Dentists say another habit to break for both your dental health as well as your overall health is to stop snacking all day long, especially on sugary foods and drinks. Dentists say it can increase the chances of cavities.


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