Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth And Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth And Oral Health

Our oral health is important for our overall health. Good oral hygiene habits can keep our teeth and gums healthy and prevent dental problems. On the other hand, certain habits can harm our oral health. Here are some such bad habits.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common bad habit that children usually develop when they’re young. However, adults also tend to bite their nails for various reasons. For example, people may bite at their fingernails because they’re nervous or anxious. In some cases, people bite their nails as a reaction to certain tastes or smells. 

Unfortunately, this bad habit can actually lead to poor oral health. Biting your cuticles can tear the skin around your fingernails and injure the soft tissue in your mouth. In addition, chewing on foreign objects like your nails can lead to an oral infection due to the germs and bacteria on your hands. Biting down too hard on your fingernails can also break your teeth or cause your enamel to wear down over time.

  • Smoking

Teeth are porous and can easily trap stains from cigarette smoke. Smokers are more likely to have yellowing teeth and gum recession compared to non-smokers. Yellowing on your teeth can make your smile less bright and cause embarrassment when meeting new people or attending social gatherings. Gum recession can also lead to tooth sensitivity if enamel wears away to reveal the sensitive dentin layer underneath.

When tobacco sits on the gums for too long, the tissue becomes inflamed and irritated, leading to painful swelling and bleeding of the gum tissue. The inflammation also affects the underlying jawbone by destroying bone tissue. This can lead to tooth loss and other oral health complications as well.

Tobacco contains substances like nicotine that reduce the blood supply to the gums and also cause dry mouth. A dry mouth increases your risk of tooth decay because saliva helps to wash away food particles and bacteria from the mouth. It can also aggravate gum disease and increase your risk of developing oral cancer. So, if you smoke, quit the habit for good.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

If you’ve noticed your gums are receding or your teeth look longer than they used to, you may be guilty of tooth brushing aggression. You may brush too hard and for the wrong length of time. Using too much toothpaste can also damage the enamel on your teeth and make them soft. Plaque bacteria stick to the softened enamel and cause cavities. Also, remember that plaque buildup can only be removed through proper toothbrushing and flossing techniques. If you use too much force or spend too little time cleaning your mouth, you’ll be left with some harmful consequences.

A weak enamel is more susceptible to damage and decay, so it’s important to care for your teeth properly. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time. Be sure that you’re brushing all surfaces of your teeth—inside and out. If you follow a proper oral hygiene plan but notice some damage to your teeth, you may need restorative care. Talk to your dentist about repairing your damaged teeth and preserving your oral health.

  • Teeth Grinding

Some of the worst habits for your teeth can come from your subconscious - like teeth grinding. The condition is also known as bruxism. An excess of stress or anxiety can cause you to clench and grind your teeth at night while you sleep. This leads to damage to your enamel and can make you more susceptible to decay. Wearing a night guard can help protect your teeth from damage.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

We all tend to use our teeth for things they weren’t meant for. Whether it’s using our teeth to pry something open or using them to hold something steady while we’re cutting a piece of paper, we rarely think about how damaging it can be for our mouths and teeth. Stop the habit and use appropriate tooths instead.

  • Not Visiting the Dentist Regularly

Your oral health can be affected by many factors, including your eating habits, lifestyle choices, and genetics. However, there are also some bad oral habits that you should avoid in order to keep your teeth in good condition. Dental habits like not visiting your dentist regularly can negatively affect your oral health.

You should visit a dentist every six months even if you don’t have serious oral problems. A routine checkup can help the dentist detect possible signs of future dental issues, which can be treated at the early stages before they worsen. Remember that prevention and early treatment are the keys to a healthy mouth.

If you don’t see a dentist regularly, you can develop severe dental problems like tooth decay and gum disease. These conditions can cause serious damage to the tissues of your mouth and lead to tooth loss. So, make sure to see a dentist every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning to keep your teeth healthy and strong for a long time.

To learn more, request an appointment here: or call Peoria Family Dentistry at 623-552-4665 for an appointment in our Peoria office.


8253 W Thunderbird Road #101, Peoria, AZ 85381

Phone: (623) 552-4665

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Call: (623) 552-4665