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Maintaining good dental hygiene is important for keeping a healthy smile. Keeping good habits is essential for this but keeping bad habits can ruin your hard work. Below are the top 5 bad habits destroying your smile.

Top 5 Bad Dental Habits

  1. Not Flossing Regularly. Flossing at least once a day is critical to overall dental health. In fact, it is recommended to floss after every meal if at all possible for optimal dental health. Flossing regularly removes the food particles and cavity causing bacteria that build up in and around our teeth. Some patients may notice slight bleeding upon flossing this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Speak to your dentist if this bleeding upon flossing persists as this is a sign of periodontal disease. In its earliest form, called gingivitis, this is reversible. Once it progresses, there will be damage to your oral health.
  2. Not Changing Tooth Brush Regularly. It is recommended that you replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months and definitely no more than every 6 months. Your toothbrush will wear down over time and not be as effective. It will also have harmful bacteria build up over time that can wreak havoc on your dental health. Another tip is to change toothbrush after being sick (for example the flu or a common cold).
  3. Crunching and Sucking On Ice Cubes. Some people have the bad habit of chewing the ice after finishing their drink. This can be very harmful to your teeth due to the brittleness and cold temperatures of the ice cubes. This can cause microfractures in the enamel of your teeth. Over time this can lead to big problems, like fractures of teeth and tooth decay.
  4. Grinding Your Teeth. This is also called Bruxism. It is quite common and is usually brought on by stress. Many do this at night and are not even aware of the damage they are causing to their smile. Over time, the cusps of your teeth will wear down causing bite issues, fractured teeth, and tooth decay. In severe cases, it can also cause temperomandibular joint (TMJ) issues. A simple fix for this is a night guard to wear during sleep to protect your teeth and keep them healthy.
  5. Using The Wrong Tooth Brush And Technique. A hard bristled toothbrush along with an aggressive brushing technique can cause irreversible damage to your teeth and gums. It is recommended that you use a soft bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth in a circular motion at a 45-degree angle. Using a sawing, back and forth motion can cause the gums to recede, and can expose the root of the tooth. If the underlying material of your teeth (Dentin) is exposed it will make your teeth extremely sensitive. This can be quite painful.

Bad Dental Habits Conclusion

Maintaining good dental habits is all about routine. Once we get into a routine it is easy to keep our smiles healthy for a life time. It is important to discuss these issues with your dentist and correct them as soon as possible to avoid long term damage.



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.