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Bad Dental Habits to Chat With Patients About

Dental care is paramount to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile. Brushing our teeth at least twice daily using proper technique, flossing regularly, going for dental check-ups and cleanings are some of the standard oral hygiene practices. However, it’s possible to develop some bad dental habits that can significantly affect the right ones and compromise your oral health causing tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental health problems. Here are some of the dental habits to avoid for a healthy, stronger and whiter dental regiment.


Brushing teeth too aggressively

Although it might seem like brushing teeth harder would result in cleaner teeth, it could damage your teeth resulting in more harm than good. Putting too much pressure on your teeth can damage the tooth’s enamel, irritate gums, make teeth extremely sensitive or even cause dental cavities. Using a hard-bristled brush or brushing teeth too much will also wear away the enamel over time leaving the tooth vulnerable to complications. Avoid these bad brushing habits for a more effective at-home oral health routine.


Grinding Your Teeth

Tooth grinding is a practice that can be challenging to avoid as it happens subconsciously for most people, either during sleep or because of anxiety and psychological stress. Persistent grinding or bruxism causes fracturing, loosening, and loss of teeth. The habit once identified can be addressed through the use of a corrective mouth guard that is designed to keep the teeth slightly apart, so they don’t meet each other. Visiting your dentist for regular dental check-ups goes a long way in identifying grinding patterns.


Crunching on Ice

Crunching on ice when sipping on drinks can cause severe damage to your teeth. Although it might seem easy, the cold temperature and hard texture of the ice can lead to cracked and chipped teeth. Although it may be tempting, resist the urge to preserve the health and strength of the teeth.


Playing Sports with No Mouth Guard

It’s pretty risky to go out on the field without a mouth guard. Any sport that involves contact with people should be played with a protective mouth guard. It only takes one bad incident or mistake to ruin your smile entirely. The small rubber or plastic device can save you a lot of pain and hassle hence it’s always a good idea to invest in one.


Using Your Teeth as Handy Devices

How many times do you find yourself tearing open a package or twisting a bottle cap with your teeth instead of reaching out for a pair of scissors or bottle opener? It may sound convenient, but you risk breaking, chipping or destroying the protective enamel of your teeth. Use the teeth for the right purposes and not as tools for they are not built for that kind of pressure.


Indulging in Sugary and starchy foods

Foods and drinks that are rich in sugars should be taken in moderation if one has to eat them, but always remember to brush the teeth afterward. Sugar and starch usually react with the plaque in the mouth producing an acid that eats away at the enamel. Flossing after eating starchy snacks is particularly useful in removing the tiny bits that could be lodged in between the teeth, reducing the potential for decay and cavities.



A smoking habit can result in poor oral health, bad breath and discoloration of the teeth. Put the practice to bed before any permanent damage occurs.


While some habits may cause immediate damage, others are unnoticeable but will harm your dental health in the long run. Identify your damaging dental behavior and once you see it happening, immediately switch to doing something different.

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