Bad Oral Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth, Plus Quick Fixes

Bad Oral Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth, Plus Quick Fixes

Brushing, flossing, and cleaning your teeth might not be enough for your dental health if you’re engaging in one or more bad oral habits.

Most of us take good care of our teeth. We brush them two times a day, floss them regularly, and even check our teeth periodically at the dentist. That’s great dental care.

But there are some bad oral habits that can compromise the health of your teeth. And you might not even notice them.

For example, you’re using your teeth to uncap bottles, bite your nails, or even relieve stress by clenching and grinding them. And these are just some of the numerous dental habits that can damage your teeth.

So let’s take a look over all of the bad oral habits that can undermine great dental care.

Bad Oral Habits And How To Fix Them

Here’s a list of the worst oral habits, how they can damage your teeth, and some quick fixes that will help you stop them:

1. Crunching Solid Foods

The habit: Do you crunch the ice cubes from the ice-cold soda? Or the popcorn kernels left at the bottom of the popcorn bag? Well, you shouldn’t! The cold temperature and the solid foods can cause microfractures in your teeth. [1]

The solution: Instead of ice cubes, use crushed ice in your drinks. And, if possible, avoid using ice completely. Also, switch to healthier snacks, instead of popcorn, when watching a movie. Take, for example, baby carrots; they’re crunchy, healthy, and easy to chew.

Bad Oral Habits - Using Teeth As An Opening Tool

Don’t crack walnuts with your teeth!

2. Using Teeth As An Opening Tool

The habit: People use their teeth to do a lot of odd things such as opening a bag of potato chips, uncapping a beer or soda bottle, or even straightening a bent fork tine. I know teeth are strong, but they can crack and break too (quite more often and easier than you’d thought).

The solution: Don’t put anything inedible in your mouth. Keep your scissors, bottle openers, and other tools at hand, so you can use them whenever you might need them.

3. Grinding And Clenching Your Teeth

The habit: Grinding and clenching the teeth is one of the most common bad oral habits and can be caused by stress, anxiety, or some sort of unalignment of your teeth.

The solution: Wear a mouth guard during the night, and try to control your impulse to grind your teeth during the day. Also, try to find a way to relieve stress, which can be the cause of your bad habit.

4. Using Firm Toothbrushes

The habit: So you’re using a firm toothbrush because it cleans your teeth better? Wrong! A hard-bristled toothbrush can do you more harm than good because it irritates the gums and can even remove the enamel and cementum on your teeth.

The solution: Use a medium-soft toothbrush, or better, ask your dentist what toothbrush might be best to maintain your oral health.

Bad Oral Habits - Not Changing Your Toothbrush Regularly

Toothbrushes: make sure they’re not too firm and renew them regularly.

5. Not Changing Your Toothbrush Regularly

The habit: Even though you brush your teeth twice a day, this isn’t really helpful if your toothbrush is older than four months. That’s because an overused toothbrush can be way less effective in cleaning your teeth than a brand-new one.

The solution: Make sure to change your toothbrush every 3-4 months. Or if you’re using an electric toothbrush, change its head (the part with the actual brush) at the same time interval.

6. Biting Nails

The habit: There is nothing good in biting your nails. This habit is not healthy for your teeth (which can crack or chip), nor for your mouth (which is exposed to infection from the bacteria that can be found under the nails), and it’s not aesthetic at all. So why are you still doing it?

The solution: Use a nail clipper to cut your nails twice a week so that they don’t become a “temptation”. Whenever you feel the need to bite your nails, chew a sugar-free gum. It might help you ditch this nasty habit.

7. Chewing Objects

The habit: This is one of the bad oral habits that are very common. A lot of people tend to chew pencils at school or the office, suck on toothpicks after meals, or even hold objects between teeth when their hands are full. And that’s not healthy, especially for your teeth which can crack and chip.

The solution: Whenever you feel bored, or under stress, get a sugar-free chewing gum and chew on it. So make sure to have a pack of them in your pocket all the time.

8. Constant Snacking

The habit: Cavities can easily occur if you’re constantly snacking during the day. The more you snack, the more chances are for leftover food to get stuck between your teeth.

The solution: One way to avoid snacking is by eating healthy balanced meals during the day. And if you really need a snack, make sure it contains less to no sugar and fat.

Bad Oral Habits - Eating Sticky, Sugary Treats

I know you like this, but seriously, stop eating it!

9. Eating Sticky, Sugary Treats

The habit: It is well known that sugary, sticky foods such as candies and gummies can seriously damage the outer shell of our teeth, and can even lead to tooth decay. [2] So combating this bad habit is mandatory.

The solution: Avoid these types of foods. But if you really feel the urge to eat candy, do it right after a meal. This way your mouth will produce more saliva, which will help rinse away the sugary residue between your teeth. Also, clean your mouth with a glass of water after every meal/snack to wash away leftover food.

10. Smoking Cigarettes

The habit: There are billions of reasons to quit smoking. But when we refer to dental care, smoking cigarettes is linked to gum diseases, stained or yellow teeth, and even tooth loss. [3]

The solution: Quitting smoking is hard, we all know. But there are people who accomplished this. So why do you believe you can’t do it too? Ask for advice. We all have a friend, a family member, or a neighbor who managed to quit this bad habit. They’ll be happy to share their tips, I guarantee. Also, talk to your doctor or a specialist about creating a realistic plan to combat smoking.

The Takeaway

I know that some of these solutions for bad oral habits might sound like obvious, even pointless tips. But just follow them every single day, and I’ll guarantee you’ll smile beautifully in the long run.

Fixing broken teeth or replacing the missing ones isn’t cheap at all. So make sure to follow the above tips to fix bad oral habits before it’s too late.

And the most important tip is to listen to your dentist’s advice if you want a radiant smile at all times.

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