10 Everyday Habits that are Bad for Your Teeth

| September 16, 2015

bad for your teethOdds are good that you care about keeping your teeth healthy. However, even if you brush and floss regularly, you still may have some bad habits that are undermining your oral health.

Cutting some of the following bad dental habits from your routine can go a long way toward improving your smile.

Tobacco Use

About half of all smokers develop gum disease, and smokers are twice as likely to lose teeth compared to nonsmokers.

Smokeless tobacco is also detrimental to your teeth. The small particles in chewing tobacco and snuff are abrasive to teeth and gums. Tobacco also dries out the mouth, which slows down the healing process.

Brushing Improperly

It might come as a surprise, but you can overdo it when it comes to brushing. Brushing too hard irritates your mouth, can wear down enamel and even cause gum recession! Improper brushing can also make your teeth overly sensitive, which can lead to cavities.

If you are prone to this habit, replace your toothbrush with one that has extra-soft bristles.

Overdoing the Sugar

Most people are aware that sugar is bad for their teeth. Some of the bacteria in your mouth feed on sugar, creating acids that eat away at tooth enamel.

To fight this process, avoid foods that might stay trapped in your teeth, such as hard candy or even raisins.

Using Teeth as Tools

Your teeth were made for only one purpose – chewing food. Using them to open food bags, taking a tag off a shirt, or opening a lid can cause a chip or even fracture a tooth.

The next time you are having trouble opening that bag of pretzels, reach for the scissors instead!


Nursing that can of soda throughout the day is harder on teeth than you might think. This provides a constant exposure to sugars and acids over a long period of time.

Instead, try not to linger over your beverage, or rather, use a straw instead.

Teeth Grinding

Some of us do it without thinking about it, but grinding your teeth can wear away enamel, cause cracks, or even result in crooked teeth.

To stop the grinding, you might consider a mouth guard for sleeping. Cutting back on caffeine or training your mouth by holding the tip of your tongue between your teeth may help as well.

Chewing Ice

Chewing ice puts pressure on your teeth’s grinding surfaces, which wears down your tooth’s enamel. This habit can also result in damaged gums or cracked teeth. Also, exposure to extreme cold can also shorten the life of your fillings.

Instead of crunching your ice, try letting it melt slowly in your mouth.

Nervous Chewing

Again, teeth are made for food and food only. If you find yourself chewing on your pencil when concentrating or betting your nails when nervous, it can be hard on your teeth.

Try to be aware of this habit, and pop that pen out of your mouth the next time you are studying.

Abrasive Beverages

Some drinks are particularly hard on your teeth. Sodas, for example, are packed with sugars and acids that assault your teeth. Additionally, alcohol not only dries out your mouth, but it also has acids that attack enamel.

Instead, try green or black teas, which help fight bacterial infection.

Thumb Sucking

If your child is a heavy thumb sucker, he or she could be causing long-lasting damage. Thumb sucking after permanent teeth come in can cause them to be misaligned.

This can result in trouble chewing, breathing problems, or even the need for dental surgery.

Being mindful of the habits that affect your teeth and practicing good oral hygiene will go a long way toward protecting your smile. For more advice on breaking a bad habit or simply to schedule your next appointment, contact Grandview Dental Care today.