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Taking a bite out of habits that wreck your teeth - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Taking a bite out of habits that wreck your teeth

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NEW YORK -

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," Bier said.

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

"A lot of Americans do it," Lizzio said. "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."

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," Lizzio said.

Some other dental resolutions to make this year-- 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 say don't brush too hard because that can damage the enamel of your teeth and hurt your gums.

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

Bier is also trying to break that habit.

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

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 and 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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