A healthier new year: Don't forget about your teeth

Published: Jan. 2, 2017 at 10:38 AM CST
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It's that time of your for making resolutions to get healthier. And dentists say many people have to pay attention to their 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 abuse because I was grinding," she said.

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

"a lot of Americans do it," she 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 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 muscles that hold your jaw."

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 caution don't brush too hard - that can damage the enamel of your teeth and gums.

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

Bier is also trying to break that habit.

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

Bier is wearing a mouthpiece as well to keep 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.