How to keep your teeth healthy

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,” says Bier.

Dr. Dominique Lizzio with Garden City Dental Group says grinding and clenching teeth is a bad habit that many people should try to break.

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

Biting one’s 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.”

Some other dental resolutions to make this year might be 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 not to brush too hard because it can damage the enamel of your teeth and gums.

“I always tell patients to brush longer, not harder,” says Lizzio.

“I’ve been told I am an overzealous 'brusher.' I have gone from the manual tooth brush to the electric toothbrush so it self-corrects for me,” says Bier.

Bier is also wearing a mouth guard at night to keep her from grinding her teeth.

American Senior Communities

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