10 Habits that Could be Harming Your Teeth!

By : Abby Ruiz

Are These Habits Harming Your Teeth? 

We admit it – We are all living hectic and busy lifestyles, and hence we all tend to fall prey to various bad habits. Most of the time, we don’t even acknowledge our habits and fail to see the harm behind them. These habits can initially appear harmless, but when we look at these habits on a long-term perspective, we might feel alarmed about the potential threats they can have on our health. By the time we realize it, we might be too late to reverse the damage created on our body and health. Surprisingly, there are a lot of bad habits and small actions that can pose negative effects on our teeth.

Since teeth are one of the most important parts of our body, it is important that we get rid of certain habits and rectify certain actions that we do on a day-to-day basis to ensure optimal health for our teeth. As your Mississauga family dentist, we are always behind you in achieving optimal oral health and by raising awareness to these habits; you may be able to avoid the potential negative effects before it is too late.

Here is a list of common habits that you may be doing that can potentially be harmful to the health of your teeth:

  1. Utilizing Your Teeth as a Tool
    We use our teeth for consuming food, but we often end up using them as our primary tool for several activities. Some of us may be guilty of opening bottles, ripping open packages and holding things using our teeth. As tempting as it may be, our teeth are not meant to be used as scissors. These activities can cause damage to the teeth, putting unnecessary stress to them and should definitely be avoided!

  2. Biting Your Nails
    Nail biting is one of the most common habits and is definitely a habit that can prove harmful in the long run. It can very much damage the shape of your teeth and cause layers of enamel to break down – which can eventually lead to tooth sensitivity and chipped/fractured teeth.

  3. Use of Tobacco
    Not only does smoking impact the health of your heart and lungs, the use of tobacco has multiple effects to the mouth as well. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease and oral cancer, can cause dry mouth and bad breath, and decrease healing time.

  4. Chewing Ice
    Chewing ice seems like a pretty harmless activity but can often result in cracked and chipped teeth, damage to tooth enamel, problems with existing dental work (such as fillings and crowns) and sore jaw muscles.

  5. Using Toothpicks
    Whenever we eat certain types of food, especially chicken or meat, a lot of the residue will get stuck in between the gaps of our teeth. People often pick up toothpicks in order to lodge that residue out from in between their teeth, but little do they realize that they can be causing damage to their gums. Floss, floss picks, soft piks, and proxabrushes are all great aids designed for getting you out of those sticky situations. Ask your dental hygienist how you can ditch the toothpicks and opt for other interdental aids that are better suited for you.

  6. Consuming Too Many Sugary Foods and Beverages
    Although sugary foods and beverages might taste good, they can be harmful to our teeth and increase our risk in developing cavities. Always ensure that you are brushing away the harmful sticky bacteria after consuming something high in sugar.

  7. Falling Asleep Without Brushing
    We all have those tiring days where all we want to do is lay in bed and sleep as soon as we get home. However although we are asleep, the bacteria in our mouth are still very much active. Taking those two extra minutes to brush right before you hit the hay can save your teeth from developing cavities.

  8. Grinding/Clenching Your Teeth
    Although we may not realize it, we may find ourselves clenching our teeth during the day or grinding during our sleep. This can take a toll on our enamel and lead to further tooth damage. It is important that we make a conscious effort in catching ourselves clenching and relieve our jaw muscles when we do so in order to loosen up the pressure of our muscles. Since night time grinding is involuntary, special guards can be customized to you in order to prevent damage to your teeth.

  9. Using a Hard Bristle Toothbrush
    Although people may think that the harder the bristle, the cleaner your teeth will feel, hard bristle toothbrushes are actually more damaging than you would think. They often cause irreversible effects such as gum recession and enamel wear. Switch your hard bristle toothbrush for a soft or an extra soft one.

  10. Regular Soda Consumption
    Carbonated beverages are highly acidic and can have loads of sugar in it. Having pop as a regular part of your diet can cause acid erosion to your teeth, which can in turn weaken the enamel and make you more prone to getting cavities.


If you exhibit some of the habits above, don’t be too hard on yourself. By becoming more conscious of these habits, it will help you to reduce further damage to your teeth. Whether you tackle the habits all at once, or work on improving them little by little, you’ll be making a big difference in your oral health. If you need help breaking any of these habits, contact us at Credit River Dental Centre and we’ll be sure to work with you in achieving all of your oral health goals!