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Have you acquired a harmful dental habit? Read below to find out if you have one of three bad habits and what to do about it:

Nail Biting: The Academy of General Dentistry reports that nail-biters can crack, chip or wear down their front teeth. Anyone who wears braces face an even greater risk, as the biting can wrongly adjust the tightening or loosening of the apparatus, resulting in a shortening of tooth roots or even tooth loss. To quit, try wearing clear, bad-tasting nail polish. If that doesn’t work, a mouth guard will likely be your best bet.

Pen Chewing: Biting hard objects, whether it be pens, pencils, hard candy, or ice, may cause dental stress fractures and even irritate your chewing muscles. Try switching to writing instruments that more difficult to chew – like mechanical pencils or metal pens. You can also wrap tape around the top of them, or coat the tops in bad-tasting nail polish. You can even buy hard tops to add to any pen before you use them.

Smoking: Smoking hurts your body, your brain, and your teeth. Where your teeth are concerned, it can lead to stained, decayed teeth, chronic bad breath, gum disease and oral cancer. We recommend quitting gradually, as those who quit cold turkey usually have only 5% permanent success. Nicotine replacement patches, medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, and support groups are all options. We know that fighting an addiction can be very difficult, but we also know that you can do it.

Do you need more help cracking the code to breaking your habit? Dr. Nguyen, Dr. Chu, and our team at Smile 32 are glad to help. Simply call 209-952-9290 to book an appointment with our dentists in Stockton, California. We’re here to support your success.