Friday, March 31, 2017


Nail biting, also known as onchophagia, the habit of nail biting is a “nervous habit” that can be triggered by stress, excitement, or boredom. Approximately half of all kids between the ages of 10 and 18 have been nail biters at one time or another. Experts say that about 30 percent of children and 15 percent of adults are nail biters, however most people stop chewing their nails by the time they turn 30.

Here are five dental and general reasons to stop biting your nails:

1. It’s unsanitary: Your nails harbor bacteria and germs, and are almost twice as dirty as fingers. What’s more, swallowing dirty nails can lead to stomach problems.

2. It wears down your teeth: Gnawing your nails can put added stress on your pearly whites, which can lead to crooked teeth.

3. It can delay your orthodontic treatment: For those of our patients wearing braces, nail biting puts additional pressure on teeth and weakens roots.

4. It can cause jaw pain: Chronic nail biting can be detrimental for your jaw. In fact, constantly chewing your nails can cause TMJ Disorder. TMJ Disorder brings on its own set of issues like jaw pain, headaches, or popping or locking of the jaw.

5. It can cost you, literally: It has been estimated that up to $4,000 in extra dental bills can build up over a lifetime.

Dr. Alina Bergan and our team recommend the following to kick your nail biting habit:

• Keep your nails trimmed short; you’ll have less of a nail to bite.
• Coat your nails with a bitter-tasting nail polish.
• Ask us about obtaining a mouthguard, which can help prevent nail biting.
• Put a rubber band around your wrist and snap it whenever you get the urge to gnaw on your nails.
• Think about when and why you chew your nails. Whether you are nervous or just bored, understanding the triggers can help you find a solution and stop the habit.
• If you can’t stop, behavioral therapy may be an effective option to stop nail biting. Ask Dr. Alina Bergan and our team for a recommendation.

Call us today to schedule an appointment in our Cedarhurst office. You can also schedule online at

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


As the saying goes, you are what you eat. But did you know that what you eat also affects your smile? Start munching on these delicious treats, recommended by Dr. Alina Bergan DDS, for a healthier mouth and a dazzling smile!

This fuzzy little fruit has the highest amount of Vitamin C of any fruit, including oranges! What does that mean for your chompers? Vitamin C to keep your gum tissue healthy and strong. Without it, they are more susceptible to periodontal disease.

Green Tea
Sipping on some green tea can not only help prevent cavities and gum disease, it can also kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Bonus! Green tea has catechins, which kill the bacteria that cause plaque. Drink up! Your smile depends on it!

Sesame Seeds
These tiny seeds that you find in some Chinese and Thai dishes (as well as on top of your hamburger bun) are packed with bone-building calcium. They help to preserve and protect the bone that supports your teeth and gums. As a bonus, they also help to build up your tooth enamel while sloughing away plaque. If you add them to your salad they will also help you absorb the nutrients in the veggies you are eating!

Sweet Potatoes
No long just for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner! You should add sweet potatoes to your regular diet. These delicious spuds are rich in Vitamin A, which your body uses to form tooth enamel and heal gum tissue. Bonus! They are also loaded with fiber to help keep you fuller longer.

You know those strong vapors from onions that make you cry? Well, they come from the sulfur compounds in the vegetable, which gives them a superpower-packed antibacterial punch. Get ready, though: Onions are most effective for your smile when you eat them raw!

Say Cheese! If you love cheese, you will love this news! Munching on some cheese helps prevent gum disease and cavities. The reason is that cheese is very high in calcium and phosphate, which help to balance the pH levels in your mouth. This in turn helps to preserve your tooth enamel and kill harmful bacteria.

Have some fun with that crunchy stuff because, guess what? It is great for your smile! When you chew celery, you produce saliva. Your saliva neutralizes cavity-causing bacteria. As a little bonus, while you are chewing, it is giving your gums a little massage and cleaning between your teeth.
Chow down on some of these healthy snacks and give your mouth something to smile about!

Have questions on how to have a healthy white smile, we encourage you to give us a call at 800-223-0801 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Alina Bergan. Call us today to schedule an appointment in our Cedarhurst office. You can also schedule online at