Could a Smile Makeover Improve Your Job Prospects?

shrewsbury-jobIf you’re a recent college graduate or between employers right now, you’ve surely noticed that competition for the best jobs is intense. It’s no wonder that so many professionals in the Shrewsbury area have turned to home businesses and startups to boost their earning potential. Whether you work for yourself or for the man upstairs, you’ll need every possible advantage. Could a smile makeover in Shrewsbury, MA be the edge you need? Dr. Todd Pizzi weighs in. First, an interesting opportunity for jobseekers in Shrewsbury.

By the way, the Small Business Administration periodically holds workshops for prospective business owners and entrepreneurs. If you’re considering going into business for yourself or with a partner, the event is an excellent opportunity to learn about the processes, programs, and services available to help you along the way. The workshop takes place on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will be held at the Shrewsbury Public Library. For more information about this FREE event, click here.

Attractive Smiles: An Employer’s Perspective

In a perfect world, your skills, experience, and personality would be the sole determinants of whether you landed that perfect job. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Your appearance, and especially that of your teeth, has been proven to impact your attractiveness as a job candidate. We’ve read accounts from hiring managers who passed over what seemed like the perfect candidate because of poor oral hygiene or unsightly teeth. This seems to be particularly common in occupations that deal directly with the public, in which case the employee is expected to be the “face” of the organization. Yellow, broken teeth rarely fit in with the image companies wish to project.

It’s also been shown that people who are considered better-than-average in the looks department make anywhere from 5 to 10 percent more income than those with average looks. Your smile is certainly one of the most important factors in others’ assessment of your appearance. If your teeth have been stained or have darkened with age, consider teeth whitening to restore their beauty.

Another study reveals that the straightness of your teeth impacts others’ perceptions of you as a trustworthy individual. The 2012 study asked participants look at an image of a person, then determine whether they would trust that person or not. Nearly three-fourths of respondents said that people whose teeth are straight are considered trustworthy. If your teeth are crowded or crooked, you may be a candidate for Six Month Smiles, Invisalign, or ClearCorrect invisible braces.

Professional dentists for professional patients. To learn more about teeth cleaning and smile makeovers in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome residents of Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and the surrounding communities.

I Did Everything Right, So Why Are My Teeth Still Yellow?

shrewsbury-whitening2You’re a stickler for oral hygiene. Not a day goes by that you don’t brush twice daily—sometimes more often—and floss between each and every tooth. You’ve even added mouthwash and tongue scraping to your regimen. Naturally you’re baffled and a bit concerned when your teeth still don’t appear as white as you’d hoped. You may even feel self-conscious, believing that poor hygiene is the only possible cause of not-so-perfect teeth. Actually, that’s not true, says Dr. Todd Pizzi at Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury. Dr. Pizzi, who offers teeth whitening in Shrewsbury, MA, explains that several factors can contribute to stained or discolored teeth.

Factors Affecting Natural Tooth Color

First, you must understand that many of the luminous white smiles you see on celebrities and politicians aren’t natural. There are actually about 30 different natural shades of tooth enamel, with gray and “butter yellow” at opposite ends of the spectrum; blinding white is not among these. Your genes are a major determinant of tooth color. Dr. Pizzi adds that certain medications and medical conditions can affect the color of your teeth, too. For example, children who take the antibiotic tetracycline before their teeth are fully developed may experience lifelong enamel discoloration. Conditions such as fluorosis and celiac disease can affect the color of teeth, as well.

Benefits of Professional Teeth Whitening

When hygiene isn’t an issue, over-the-counter whitening products aren’t likely to improve the appearance of teeth. Whitening toothpaste in particular is intended to make teeth look whiter by removing superficial stains caused by plaque buildup. Even drugstore whitening kits that claim to be professional strength may not achieve the desired results. You are more likely to have success with professional teeth whitening, says Dr. Pizzi, who uses the Kor Deep Bleaching system for stubborn stains. However, even bleaching may fall short in cases of severe discoloration. If this is the case, your dentist may recommend bonding or porcelain veneers, both of which are used to address whitening, chipped teeth, gaps, and other minor cosmetic flaws.

Questions about teeth whitening in Shrewsbury, MA? To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome residents of Shrewsbury, Boylston, Hopkinton, North and South Grafton, and the surrounding cities.

Cosmetic Dentistry and the Color Wheel

teeth-whitening-shrewsburyWhen you think about your teeth, or teeth in general, which color comes to mind? For most people, the answer is white. You can’t flip through a magazine or watch a television show without being bombarded by images of gleaming white teeth and healthy smiles. And while white may be the color most commonly associated with dentistry, it’s interesting to think what other colors might suggest about your oral health. The dentists at Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury share their color-coded guide to cosmetic dentistry in Shrewsbury, MA and the psychology of color.

What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You?

Your favorite color is RED: Fiery, passionate red conveys energy, desire, and heat. Studies show that red has the power to increase your blood pressure and respiration, and it’s the color of blood and fire.

Your favorite color is ORANGE: Orange communicates fascination, stimulation, and attraction. People find that orange produces an invigorating effect on the brain.

Your favorite color is YELLOW: Yellow is undeniably cheerful and has been linked to feelings of enthusiasm, optimism, and joy.

Your favorite color is GREEN: You’re all about nature, personal growth, and freshness. Green also conveys stability and longevity.

Your favorite color is BLUE: Blue suggests oceans and air, as well as trust, loyalty, and wisdom. Studies hint that blue might actually have appetite-suppressing qualities.

Your favorite color is PURPLE: You have a regal air about you, and you’ve been described as ambitious, noble, and powerful. You crave all things luxurious.

What Do Different Colors Say About Your Oral Health?

What RED means for oral health: Unfortunately, red also triggers warnings, hence the phrase “red flags.” When we’re talking about your gums, red is bad news. Gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease produce red, puffy, shiny gum tissue that bleeds when you brush or floss.

What ORANGE means for oral health: Oranges, orange juice, and other citrus fruits and juices are loaded with vitamin C, which benefits teeth and gums. However, they’re also highly acidic and can damage the tooth enamel. After enjoying citrus fruits, wait half an hour to brush your teeth; in the meantime, rinse your mouth with plain water.

What YELLOW means for oral health: Yellow looks great on cars and in floral bouquets, but it’s not flattering on your teeth. Poor hygiene, tobacco use, and a highly acidic diet can all lead to stained teeth. Professional teeth whitening is one option to treat stains; porcelain veneers are an alternative for teeth that have been too badly stained to treat with whitening products.

What GREEN means for oral health: Actually, we don’t see a lot of green in patients’ teeth. However, we’ve read countless horror stories of people who have walked around an entire day with a hunk of spinach or lettuce in their metal braces. This makes us think of Invisalign and ClearCorrect invisible braces, which eliminate wires and brackets, making your grin safe from green.

What PURPLE means for oral health: Several popular purple foods and liquids have the power to cause stained teeth. These include red wine, grape juice, and various berries. If your love of purple foods has caused your teeth to appear yellow, consider professional teeth whitening.

Is your smile a bit too colorful? To learn more about teeth whitening in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome residents of Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Hopkinton, Boylston, and the surrounding communities.

Porcelain: Not Just for Grandma’s Teacups

hopkinton-porcelain-veneersMaybe it was Grandma’s prized heirloom china, or perhaps it was the curio cabinet full of tiny ceramic figurines. Whatever it was, it has planted the idea in your mind that porcelain is a delicate, fragile substance. So when Dr. Todd Pizzi, your Shrewsbury, MA cosmetic dentist, recommends porcelain veneers, you’re somewhat surprised. How could such a fragile substance be durable enough to perform as well as tooth enamel, the hardest substance in the human body?

A Versatile Dental Material

Porcelain offers several advantages for patients whose teeth show cosmetic flaws. Cracked, chipped teeth can be made to look whole again. Badly stained teeth that resist whitening treatment are masked with several thin layers of translucent porcelain, which can be matched to the surrounding teeth. Your dentist also uses porcelain to create dental crowns, which cap teeth that have sustained major damage as the result of injury, infection, or decay.

Not So Fragile After All

It isn’t so much an issue of the porcelain itself being fragile, as opposed to the fragility of the items made with porcelain. Statuettes and gravy boats needn’t be made of unbreakable materials; they aren’t subjected to stress or abuse while in use. They’re decorative objects that benefit from the visually appealing properties of porcelain. Now, think about ceramic knives. Same material, different purpose. Chefs choose ceramic knives because the material retains its appearance and holds its form much longer than other materials. You can see how these properties make ceramic a suitable choice for veneers.

Fragile Compared to What?

Despite its hardness, healthy tooth enamel isn’t invincible. It can chip, crack, or erode like any other substance. Neither your tooth enamel nor porcelain veneers can withstand damage altogether. However, both are durable and perform their duties well for several years if cared for properly. Chewing, biting, and speaking alone aren’t enough to damage your veneers, much less your teeth. Another analogy: Think about the glass in your home’s windows. It’s suitable to keep out the elements and hold in heat or cold air, but it isn’t likely to stay intact when faced with, say, a brick. Even though it can be damaged, we continue to use it because it’s better than the alternative.

Questions about porcelain veneers in Shrewsbury, MA? To learn more about cosmetic dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Hopkinton, Boylston, and the surrounding areas.

Who Needs Fortune Cookies? We Have Dental Horoscopes!

shrewsbury-zodiacWhether you’re a true believer in the power of astrology or the type of person whose only exposure to horoscopes comes from fortune cookies, it’s hard to deny the intrigue of these little bites of wisdom. That’s got us thinking about what it might be like if Dr. Todd Pizzi, your Shrewsbury, MA cosmetic dentist, doled out fortune cookies in place of toothbrushes. These dental horoscopes aren’t a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with your dentist, but we hope they’ll entertain you as they have us.

Aries: March 21 – April 20

You have boundless energy and are always up for something daring, especially when it comes to sports and other physical activities. Don’t let your impulsive nature endanger your teeth. Wear an athletic mouthguard to prevent a dental emergency caused by traumatic injury. If you’ve already cracked or chipped a tooth, it’s time to consider bonding or veneers.

Taurus: April 21 – May 21

Dependable, determined, and warm, you love to smile and are willing to work hard to achieve your goals. You’re also patient, and you’ll spend as much time as needed to achieve the best results. This makes you a good match for our two-phase professional teeth whitening treatment.

Gemini: May 22 – June 21

Geminis are clever, intelligent, and excellent communicators. They also tend to be somewhat prone to anxiety, which means you may find yourself chewing your fingernails or pencils when stressed. If your habit causes a chipped tooth, consider dental bonding or tooth contouring to smooth rough edges.

Cancer: June 22—July 22

Imaginative, loving, cautious, and protective, you rarely put your teeth in harm’s way. Your belief that less is more makes you an excellent candidate for tooth contouring, which removes only a negligible amount of your tooth rather than covering it altogether.

Leo: July 23—August 21

Leos are creative, loyal, and generous, but they also tend to a bit above it all. You sometimes feel invincible, which may lead you to skip much-needed dental exams and teeth cleaning. If your teeth start to appear yellow as a result, ask us about the Kor Deep Bleaching system.

Virgo: August 22—September 23

You’re analytical, always weighing the pros and cons of each option. You’re intelligent but modest, preferring not to call attention to yourself. It’s a good thing we can create custom-tinted porcelain veneers to make your teeth appear just a few shades whiter than your own enamel. A subtle improvement!

Libra: September 24—October 23

Others describe you as romantic, charming, and highly social. You’re also somewhat indecisive, so you may have been wavering to and fro on whether to seek cosmetic dental treatment. Fortunately, your Shrewsbury cosmetic dentist will be happy to answer your questions in a consultation.

Scorpio: October 24—November 22

You’re exciting, forceful, and slightly compulsive, which makes you more likely than most to brush your teeth too aggressively. If your brushing has worn through your tooth enamel, consider veneers to restore your smile.

Sagittarius: November 23—December 22

You’re an optimist at heart and almost always in a good mood. Sometimes you get restless until you see the results of your efforts, which may explain why you are reluctant to undergo the typical two-year orthodontic treatment with traditional braces. Sounds like you’d benefit from Six Month Smiles.

Capricorn: December 23—January 20

Capricorns are practical, disciplined, and patient. You want straighter teeth, and you certainly don’t mind visiting your dentist every few weeks to receive a new plastic aligner for your invisible braces. Either way, you know that you’ll follow through even if it means wearing a retainer afterward.

Aquarius: January 21—February 19

A true humanitarian who takes pride in your loyalty and relationships with others, you sometimes find it hard to say “no” when asked to do a favor. As a result, you often find yourself running errands or helping friends or coworkers tie up loose ends. You don’t have time to make more than one appointment as required for veneers, which means you’re a good candidate for bonding, which can be completed in one visit.

Pisces: February 20—March 20

Pisces are compassionate, sympathetic, and selfless. You comfort others with your smile, so you feel it’s important that your teeth look natural and healthy in spite of a few chips and flaws. Porcelain veneers retain the naturally luminous, translucent quality of tooth enamel for several years at a time.

Beautiful smiles for all star signs. To learn more about cosmetic dental treatment, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Boylston, Hopkinton, and the nearby areas.

Why the Class of 2015 Is Bidding Adieu to Heavy Metal

shrewsbury-cosmetic-dentistry-orthoWith less than a month until Shrewsbury ISD schools and universities re-open for the new school year, students and their parents are rushing to take care of last-minute details. It’s an exciting time for everyone, but high school seniors and college freshman in particular have much to look forward to. Appearances aren’t everything, but the boost of confidence and self-esteem that comes with an attractive, healthy smile certainly makes things easier. Dr. Todd Pizzi explains why so many teens and young adults are considering invisible braces in Shrewsbury, MA.

The Universal Appeal of Straighter Teeth

The majority of people who wear braces are in their teens, but the number of adults wearing braces has increased dramatically over the previous few years, a fact Dr. Pizzi attributes to more modern orthodontic treatment. Traditional metal braces are effective, but their lack of subtlety has made them less popular in the wake of Invisalign and ClearCorrect invisible braces, as well as accelerated treatment via Six Month Smiles.

Benefits of Teeth Straightening for Teens

Senior year is a major milestone filled with countless photo opportunities and memorable rites of passage: homecoming, prom, graduation pictures, to name a few. Students must have the confidence to perform well at school and socialize with others, things that are difficult to do with poor self-esteem. Wearing traditional metal braces only adds to the nearly overwhelming senior experience; the same is true of freshman year. Our patients love Invisalign and ClearCorrect because the plastic aligners work their magic in the most inconspicuous way possible. Most people can’t even tell when someone is wearing their braces, which certainly isn’t true of metal braces.

Benefits of Teeth Straightening for Young Adults

A competitive job market means candidates will need every possible advantage, especially if they don’t have significant work experience. A winning smile speaks volumes about a person, and those who are fortunate enough to have such a smile are widely perceived by others to be more confident, approachable, professional, and successful. In contrast, a survey of hiring managers reveals that keeping your smile under wraps is a major turn-off. When you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth, it’s hard to focus on nailing your interview or internship.

Good luck to the class of 2015! To learn more about cosmetic dentistry in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, contact us at (508). We welcome students (and parents) living in and around Shrewsbury, Boylston, North and South Grafton, and the neighboring communities.

Psst…There’s a Trash Bag in Your Toothpaste

shrewsbury-petWhat is it about microbeads that have made them such a popular ingredient in health and beauty products these days? Driven by the desire to scrub away dirt, oils, and stains, it seems that we’ll do just about anything to finally be “clean,” including using exfoliators. What not everyone understands, however, is that these tiny beads are anything but gentle on your skin. Well, guess what, asks Dr. Todd Pizzi. Those microbeads that wreak havoc on skin? They’re also popping up in toothpaste.

Polyethylene: Trash Bags and Toothpaste

One problem with microbeads is that they ultimately end up in places where they shouldn’t. Once you’ve spit them out after brushing your teeth, they travel down the drain, into the sewer, down rivers and canals until they’ve reached the sea. You might think that a sewage treatment facility would be equipped to filter such small bits, but you’d be wrong.

Microbeads are made of polyethylene, which means they aren’t biodegradable, nor are they soluble in water. They’re plastic. Is it really such a good thing to brush your teeth with plastic, even with its diminutive size? When you visit our office for a routine teeth cleaning in Shrewsbury, MA, one of the first steps we take is inspecting your gum line and just beneath it. Dentists across the country have increasingly noticed these microbeads trapped within these areas. Essentially, you’re looking at plastic embedded beneath your gums. Sounds like a dental emergency, doesn’t it? By the way, PET plastic is also used to make trash bags, bottles, and other types of packaging.

It’s not just that microbeads are insinuating themselves into your gum tissue; think about how many you swallow with each brushing session. It’s bad enough that we have to worry about rumors that women consume x pounds of lipstick over their lifetime, but now we’re also swallowing plastic? The good news is that not all toothpaste contains these pint-sized plastic bits. We encourage you to read the ingredients before committing to a new toothpaste. Unless, of course, you find the idea of plastic particles refreshing.

More Fashionable Than Functional

Your dentists aren’t the only ones who are concerned about the use of microbeads in health and beauty products; California and New York have recently taken steps to ban the sale of products that contain the bothersome bits. Even manufacturers have been forced to reevaluate their use of plastics, albeit with no real sense of urgency. Witness a statement made by Procter & Gamble, which pledged to discontinue use of polyethylene…at least, as soon as they could find a suitable alternative. That’s all fine and good, until you consider the sole purpose of microbeads in toothpaste: decoration.

A perfect smile is plastic-free. To learn more about dental checkups in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, North and South Grafton, Hopkinton, Boylston, and the surrounding cities.

14 Beauty Products to Make Teeth Appear Whiter

shrewsbury-cosmetic-lipsWe’ve seen some pretty bizarre makeup trends over the past few years, not least of which are black lipstick, tattooed eyebrows, and bright blue eyeshadow. They come and go with each season, but the appeal of healthy, white teeth endures. Thank goodness for teeth whitening in Shrewsbury, MA! For a whiter smile between appointments at Modern Dentistry of Shrewsbury, take advantage of these beauty tips from brilliant makeup artist Pat McGrath.

Choose the Right Lip Color

Lip color can make all the difference in the appearance of your tooth color. Even though peaches, corals, and orange-based shades are popular during the summertime, they can make teeth appear yellow or even tan—not a good look. Therein lies the beauty of professional teeth whitening. When you’re confident in your pearly whites, you are no longer restricted to certain shades, so you can choose colors that flatter your skin tone.

Instead, go for lipstick and lip gloss with cool blue or violet undertones, which will brighten your smile almost instantly. Look for these shades:

Choose pale, shimmery pinks, such as Chanel Glossimer in Mica, Revlon Colorburst lip butter in Cupcake, or Clinique Vitamin C lip smoothie in Pink Me Up.

Sheer pinks with hints of berry make discoloration appear more subtle. Try Bobbi Brown lip gloss in Cosmic Pink.

Create the illusion of whiter teeth—up to two levels of whitening–with opaque shades of true reds, such as MAC Pro Fusion Pink or Lancome Golden Hat L’Absolu Rouge, shade 132.

Deep reds are sultry and perfect for formal looks that call for whiter teeth. McGrath likes Nars Pure Matte lipstick in Mascate and Benefit Full-Finish Lipstick in Flirt Alert.

Complement Smiles With a Healthy Glow

A warm hint of bronze makes teeth appear whiter, and it is summer, after all. Subtle use of bronzer or self-tanner is more skin-friendly than soaking up the sun, and can be chosen to flatter all skin tones.

If you have fair or light skin, McGrath recommends Snow Bunny from Too Faced or Tarte Bronze and Glow Matte Bronzer Tint in Park Avenue Princess.

Those who have medium skin benefit from Jouer Mineral Bronzer in Suntan or Too Faced Sun Bunny.

Dark skin tones look great with Guerlain Terracotra Bronzing Powder or Sheer Finish Bronzing Powder in Afterglow by Iman.

Questions about teeth whitening? To learn more about our cosmetic dentistry treatments, or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, Worcester, Boylston, Hopkinton, North and South Grafton, and the surrounding cities.

The 18th Century Toothache Remedy That’s Just. Plain. Wrong.

shrewsbury-toothache2Mark Twain is the father of American literature. James Brown is the godfather of soul. There’s a father for everything, and dentistry is no exception. Pierre Fauchard, (1672-1761), a French physician and author, is widely credited as the father of modern dentistry. Though he was years ahead of his fellow dentists, Fauchard didn’t get it right every time. At the office of Dr. Todd Pizzi, we’re used to treating toothaches in Shrewsbury, MA. We’re pleased to say that there’s one Fauchardian toothache remedy that we’ll never, ever try.

What Fauchard Got Right…

Fauchard’s contributions to dentistry are seen and felt everywhere. His fellow dentists found several of his theories and practices outrageous, like his proposal that tooth decay is caused by sugar; they believed tooth worms were the culprit. He was also first to suggest dental fillings for teeth that had been compromised by decay, and he contributed much to the development of dental drills and dentures. Despite initial reluctance from the dental community, his ideas were soon accepted and adopted far and wide.

…And What He Didn’t

Fortunately, not all of his wisdom caught on. When he got it wrong, well, it was really wrong. Enter Fauchard’s particularly disgusting home toothache remedy: urine. This was well before the invention of Listerine in the 19th century, and several hundreds of years before topical oral anesthetics like Kanka and Anbesol. Fauchard’s notes even included a stomach-churning recommendation to achieve optimal toothache pain relief, advising the reader to “retain [the urine] some time in the mouth and continue its use.” Unsurprisingly, and much to our great relief, the practice did not become commonplace.

To Fauchard’s credit, there is some scientific basis to his unusual remedy. Ammonia and ammonia derivatives are found in urine, having also been used as detergent by the Romans. Ammonia is a base, which means it can be used to neutralize acids such as those produced by bacteria and contributing to tooth decay and toothaches. Ugh.

Modern Treatment for Toothaches

Toothaches can be caused by one of several factors, and may affect one tooth or many. For example, a single painful tooth could suggest a cavity or an infection that may require a root canal treatment. If several teeth are sensitive, it’s possible that the enamel has worn thin, exposing the layer of dentin and nerves beneath. Your dentist will carefully examine the outside of your tooth and gums, and will take an x-ray to look for potential problems within the tooth. Treatment varies, but rest assured – we won’t be looking to Fauchard for guidance on this one.

Thank goodness for modern dentistry! To learn more about treating tooth pain in Shrewsbury, MA, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, Hopkinton, Boylston, North and South Grafton, and the surrounding cities.

The Dangers of Nibbling Your Nails

Biting nails is bad newsFrom a telltale twitch to sweaty palms, we all have different methods of coping with stress, anxiety, and even boredom. Most of these nervous tics are harmless, albeit annoying. Others, such as smoking cigarettes do more harm than good. Then there are those in-between bad habits that would appear to cause no harm. Biting your nails, also called onchophagia, is a prime example. After all, what could be so bad about a DIY manicure?

More than you might think, says Dr. Todd Pizzi, who restores badly damaged teeth using dental crowns in Shrewsbury, MA. Adults aren’t the only ones affected by nail biting, although the habit is less common in those over the age of 30; still, an estimated 15 percent of adults bite their nails. It’s estimated that about half of children and teens between 10-18 years old adopt nail biting at some point.

It can’t really be that bad, can it?

Actually, it can. Over time, nibbling your fingernails subjects your teeth to unnatural stress; this is because most nail biters use their front teeth to do the deed, despite the fact that front teeth are far less suited to chewing than, say, your molars. As a result, the teeth become weakened and more likely to chip or fracture. The effect is compounded in people who wear braces, prolonging the orthodontic treatment time.

Even scarier still is the fact that nail biting could add as much as $4,000 in restorative dental work over the course of a lifetime. Then there’s the fact that even the cleanest fingernails aren’t especially sanitary; dirt, germs, and bacterial beneath your nails are nearly twice as unsanitary as your fingers. And we shudder to think of the stomach problems that can be caused by swallowing dirty fingernail clippings.

Gross! How can I stop biting my nails?

The most obvious answer is to find a more constructive way to deal with feelings of stress, such as deep breathing techniques, yoga, or even meditation. Many of our patients have successfully stopped chewing their nails. We’ve compiled a few of their tips:

  • Use a topical product designed to impart a bitter taste. These clear liquids work much like nail polish, but their awful taste deters biting.
  • Always keep your fingernails trimmed. No nails = no biting.
  • Loop a hair tie or rubber band around your wrist, and snap it if you feel compelled to bite your nails.

Trade your bad habit for a healthy smile. To learn more about restorative dentistry, or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, contact us at (508) 842-8838. We welcome patients living in Shrewsbury, Hopkinton, Boylston, Worcester, and the surrounding communities.