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Are you wondering if you have a bad dental habit? Some habits do more than hurt your brain, body, or lifestyle—they actually wear down your teeth. But don’t worry; there’s a solution! Read on to find four examples of these bad dental habits and how to stop:

Nail Biting: Did you know that when you bite your nails, you risk cracking, chipping or wearing down your front teeth? If you have braces, you face even greater risks: a shortening of teeth roots or even tooth loss. To quit this habit, try wearing bad-tasting nail polish. You may also consider getting a mouth guard.

Pen Chewing: Biting hard objects like can lead to dental stress fractures and irritated chewing muscles. Try using pens or pencils that are more difficult and less appealing to chew – like mechanical pencils or metal pens. You can also find a hard top to place over pens or pencils or wrap tape around the top of them. If none of those things work, try coating them in bad nail polish.

Smoking: Smoking leads to stained teeth, bad breath, gum disease and oral cancer. Quitting cold turkey is popular, but not generally very effective. We suggest trying nicotine patches, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support groups.

Teeth Grinding: Grinding or clenching your teeth, albeit unconsciously, can cause permanent damage to your jaw muscles and joints. Dr. James C. Ma can help reverse this problem with a night guard, therapy techniques or other solutions.

Do you need help breaking your habit? Our dentist in Tulare, California is glad to support you. Simply call 559-688-4111 to book an appointment. We’re here to guard your smile.