We all know someone (perhaps ourselves?!) who do these things almost every day!

Are you sabotaging your teeth? Do you REALLY want to have to pay for it later? Well then, DON'T make the following mistakes:

-- Opening or tearing things with your teeth. Your teeth are not a pair of scissors, for crying out loud! I can't stand seeing someone potential hurt their smile because they think no harm is caused by ripping open a plastic something-or-other with their teeth!

-- Chewing Ice. Seriously...you might as well be sticking beach pebbles in your mouth! Ice is HARD. Do you really want to chance chipping or cracking one or more of your precious teeth?!!! (Not to mention how very annoying it can be to the people who have to LISTEN to you chewing the cubes!)

-- Clenching and Grinding. Ugh. This one is NOT usually one you can control....in fact, you may not even know that you are doing this, unless you sleep in a bed with someone else whom you've woken up during the night with all of that gnashing. If you're stressed out and not sleeping well, and you wake up with your molars in agony and your jaw throbbing....this could be your body's way of telling you that THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG!  You may need a mouth guard, or you could even have a sleep disorder. In any case, you'll have to have it checked out and find a way to keep your teeth from cracking!

-- Downing sugary drinks. I KNOW you don't want to hear it. I KNOW you don't want to give it up. But the fact is that sugar leads to the erosion of tooth enamel. The good news is that there are some little things you can do to help yourself: Rinse your mouth with water after having a sugary drink, and drink with a straw so the sugar doesn't get as close to your teeth.

For more fascinating information about your teeth, or if you have questions on this stuff, click here! Or check out my endless source of teeth info, Dr. Alan Stern, at www.facebook.com/alangsterndds.