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Many of us are very diligent about our dental care. This includes regular dental visits, maintaining good dental hygiene, and watching our diet. However, many of us over time develop habits that can create dental issues that effect your dental health. Below you will find a list of the main culrpits when it comes to bad habits and your dental health.

Worst Dental Habits For Your Dental Health

Chewing On Ice. This is very common and one of those habits most people do not even realize they are doing. Seems harmless enough but it is far from it. The combination of the hardness of the ice cubes and cold temperature can cause your teeth to fracture and crack. They can also cause tiny microscopic fractures in your teeth which can lead to even bigger issues over time.

Sipping Harmful Drinks. Aside from the dietary concerns, sipping on sugary or even diet soda all day exposes your teeth to sugar and acid. This can cause a host of issues that includes tooth decay, tooth enamel erosion, and even tooth sensitivity. A good tip is to at least use a straw to allow the majority of acids and sugars to pass your teeth.

Using Teeth To Open Household Items. You would be surprised to hear how many of us use our teeth as tools to open things ranging from a bad of chips, rip a tag off clothing, pull a wristwatch stem, or even attempt to open a bottle. This places tremendous stress on your teeth increasing the chances of weakening the enamel and causing possible fracture of your teeth.

Sucking On Lemons. Lemons are highly acidic (as most citrus fruits are). The high acid content can erode our tooth enamel which can lead to fractures over time as well as tooth sensitivity.

Jaw Clenching/Teeth Grinding. Stress tends to be a big driver of this bad habit. Clenching and grinding can create tremendous forces on our teeth. This can lead to fractures of your teeth as well as TMJ issues. It can also damage existing dental work.

Not Maintaining At Home Dental Hygiene. This may not seem like a bad habit compared to the others but it can cause just as much damage of not more. Poor dental hygiene will lead to development of periodontal disease which will eventually lead to tooth loss and dental infection. It is recommended that you brush your teeth at least 2x per day for about 2 minutes each time and floss at least once per day (Preferably at bedtime).

Avoid Biting Your Nails. Nail biting damages your hands but it also damages your teeth. It can also create an oral hygiene issue. There is bacteria under all of our nails from our daily activities.

Bad Habits Conclusion

Changing these habits will not be easy but to maintain good dental health it is essential. The first step is realizing you have a possible problem and move towards fixing it. Work with your dentist if you are having trouble beating these habits.



Maintaining good dental health is important not only for our smiles but for our overall health. Studies have shown that poor dental health has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes. Dental hygiene can be a difficult undertaking for many but did you know that some common habits make the job doubly difficult? Below you will find a list of some of the most common harmful habits to our dental health.

Harmful Habits Affecting Dental Health

Smoking/Tobacco Use. Smoking and tobacco use have been studied extensively over decades of use and have shown to be harmful to our overall health including our oral health. Not only does it stain our teeth and cause periodontal disease, it also increases your risk for oral cancers. While stains may be difficult to remove they are not life threatening like oral cancer. The best defense against oral cancer is prevention and early diagnosis. Regular oral examinations by your dentist using a Velscope is a great way to detect any changes to your oral tissues. The Velscope is a special light that can point out areas of change to the dentist. Ask your dentist if they use a Velscope to help protect you against oral cancer.

Oral Piercings. This includes tongue, lip, and even cheek piercings. The metal from the piercings can cause damage to the teeth and gum tissues. Fractures of teeth and gum recession are common in those with oral piercings. Infection is another risk factor as food can get trapped in and around them leading to a possible oral infection.

Using Your Teeth As A Tool. Our teeth are meant to chew our food, speak properly, and enhance our smiles not to be sued as pliers or bottle openers. These habits can lead to fractures and cracking of teeth.

-Brushing Too Hard. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush with regular even pressure. Brushing too hard or using too hard a brush can actually damage our teeth and cause gum tissue damage. You want a toothbrush where the bristles are firm enough to remove plaque, but soft enough not to cause damage.

Rethink Your Drink. Drinking sugary drinks can lead to increased tooth decay but most are not aware of the acidic content in many soft drinks. The acid can also lead to tooth decay and erode our tooth enamel. It is important to have regular professional cleanings and dental examinations to minimize damage from these drinks. A good tip is to drink with a straw to avoid these drinks from coming in contact with your teeth.

Cool It On Chewing Ice. Ice cubes may seem harmless but are quite dangerous to our teeth. The cold temperature and the hardness of ice cubes can do definite damage to your teeth. Crunching ice with your teeth may seem easy, keep in mind,  that even your kitchen blender requires special blades to crush ice.

Harmful Habits Conclusion

Some of these habits are difficult to break but it is necessary to keep your dental health at its optimum. Regular dental examinations and professional cleanings are necessary to catch any damage that may begin to occur as a result of these oral habits.