The holiday’s are over and New Year Resolutions have begun. A great time to change old habits and create some new ones. On that note, today’s post is all about the gross things we do and just exactly how gross they are…. The dirtiest things we put in our mouths. Yuck!

  1. Fingernails: Our hands can come in contact with a lot of nasty things throughout the day. Frequent hand washing is a must especially during cold and flu season. However, biting your nails can allow bacteria that may have been overlooked to be introduced into the oral cavity. Yuck! Best thing is to kick the habit if you can, if you can’t when you wash your hands try and do a quick clean up under the nails if possible.
  2. Cigarettes & tobacco products: There have been countless studies about the effect of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco on our overall health as well as mouth. It’s definitely on the top of our list of the worst things to put in your mouth!
  3. Lipstick from the makeup counter: It’s very tempting to use those samples at the makeup counter to see which shade of red looks best with your complexion. However, some samples can be a virtual petri dish of bacteria and you are putting it directly on to your lips! Resist the urge and try it on the back of your hand or forearm.
  4. Someone else’s lips: It’s a little known fact but the bacteria that cause cavities is in fact contagious. Although by adulthood most people have a varying degree of this bacteria we literally picked it up along the way from living with others who carry it. There really is no word of advice for this one, most of us will have been exposed to many types of bacteria by the time we are in our toddler ages. But, that being said it doesn’t hurt to steer clear of someone with a nagging cough or a runny nose.
  5. Bar snacks: Picture this, about thirty minutes before you sat on your bar stool there was a group of guys sitting there drinking, watching the game and chowing down on those peanuts. Innocent enough right? Well, how many times during the game did those guys use the restroom… and how many times did they wash their hands? Unless you’ve seen the bartender or waitress put out a freshly prepared bowl i’d probably steer clear.
  6. Double dipping: Studies have shown that during instances of double dipping oral bacteria is introduced. This can increase chances of food borne illness as well as transmission of other types of bacteria. It was said best in a Seinfeld episode “when you take a chip, just take one dip and end it.”
  7. Pens & Pencils: You hold it, twirl it, chew it, drop it, stick it in your pocket and pass it to a friend. But, when do you clean it? Pen’s and pencils can be nasty little germ carriers. A word of advice, keep your pen or pencil to your self and from time to time wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe.
To stay happy and healthy this year be sure to practice good oral hygiene and good hand hygiene!  Looking forward to another great year!
Effect of a chronic nail-biting habit on the oral carriage of Enterobacteriaceae; B. Baydaş1, H. Uslu2, İ. Yavuz1, İ. Ceylan1, İ.M. Dağsuyu1 Microbial survey of shared-use cosmetic test kits available to the public Tony T. Tran and Anthony D. Hitchins Division of Microbiological Studies, US Food and Drug Administration, Washington, DC 20204, USA (Received 10 February t994; accepted 13 June 1994) EFFECT OF BITING BEFORE DIPPING (DOUBLE-DIPPING) CHIPS ON THE BACTERIAL POPULATION OF THE DIPPING SOLUTION JUDITH TREVINO1, BRAD BALLIEU1, RACHEL YOST1 SAMANTHA DANNA1, GENEVIEVE HARRIS1, JACKLYN DEJONCKHEERE1, DANIELLE DIMITROFF1, MARK PHILIPS1, INYEE HAN1, CHLOE MOORE2, PAUL DAWSON1,*
Bacterial colonization of respiratory therapists’ pens in the intensive care unit. Wolfe DF, Sinnett S, Vossler JL, Przepiora J, Engbretson BG.

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