How To Avoid Bad Habits That Damage Your Teeth

It is common knowledge that certain foods and drinks can damage your teeth, but you may be unaware of other harmful habits. From misusing your teeth to overeating sugary treats, your teeth are at risk for cavities and other dental health issues every day. Avoid these habits to protect your oral health and make your family dentist proud.

Using Teeth as Tools:

Whether a bag of chips or a bottle of water, you should never use your teeth to try to open things. This can cause your teeth to break or crack, leaving them more vulnerable to tooth decay. Next time, use an actual tool instead.

Eating/Drinking Sugary Foods:

If your teeth had a nemesis, it would probably be sugar. Your favorite sweet treats can often increase the risk of cavities and other oral health issues, as sugar causes bacteria to thrive in your mouth. Especially avoid gummy candies, which can keep sugars around even longer.

Drinking Wine or Coffee:

Coffee and wine are both notorious for discoloring and staining teeth. The main cause of this discoloring is that the acids in coffee and wine can remove some of your tooth enamel, leaving surfaces more vulnerable to stains.

Chewing Ice:

Not only can teeth be broken or chipped by these cold, hard cubes, but the soft tissue inside your teeth and gums can also be negatively affected and cause toothaches.

Chewing on Pencils:

Many students have absently chewed the end of a pencil while sitting in class or studying, but this is a bad habit for teeth. This, like chewing ice, also increases the possibility of your teeth breaking or cracking.


Tobacco products cause many oral health complications. Nicotine can discolor your teeth and lead to oral cancer, and the smoke can irritate gums, leading to gum recession and the resulting higher risk of tooth decay.

Playing Without a Mouthguard:

If you are part of any high-impact sports, you should never consider not wearing a mouthguard. Your dentist is available to custom fit one specifically for you, helping avoid the risk of chipping or even losing teeth when the game gets rough.

Grinding Teeth at Night:

Clenching and grinding your teeth at any time of the day will quickly wear down your teeth. Putting too much pressure on your teeth can even cause micro-fractures. Again, your dentist can make recommendations or custom fit a night-time mouthguard.

Piercing Your Tongue:

Tongue piercings can wear away at your teeth, often to the point that you will require veneers or crowns in the future. They can also add a greater risk for sores and infections, as your mouth already contains a lot of bacteria.

Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard:

Follow your dentist’s instructions to brush in circular motions and with a soft bristled tooth brush. Otherwise, you may be wearing away your tooth enamel and sometimes even causing your gums to recede.