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Bad Oral Habits That You Should Avoid

June 4, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — drflenniken @ 4:29 pm
Woman biting her nails

Everyone develops a bad habit at some point in their life. Even when you know that you have one that is destructive, it can be extremely difficult to break. Certain habits can negatively affect your oral health leading to painful damage and expensive dental work that is easily avoided. Continue to learn about some common bad habits from your dentist and why they are so harmful.


This habit has negative effects on your entire body, including your oral health. It can cause discoloration of the teeth, loss of jawbone density, inflamed salivary glands, gum disease, and oral cancer. As challenging as it is, discontinuing the use of cigarettes is one of the best things you can do for your body. Talk to your doctor, friends, and family about the best way for you to quit.

Brushing Too Hard

Daily brushing is important for the health of your mouth, but you need to remember to do it properly. Brushing too hard can erode tooth enamel and irritate your gums. Opt for a soft bristled toothbrush. It should feel light against your teeth and not cause any gum redness.

Clenching and Grinding

This is a habit that is difficult to break. It is often linked to stressful situations or occurs when sleeping. Grinding can erode enamel and leave teeth exposed to decay. Jaw clenching can lead to lockjaw and cracked and chipped teeth. A common solution to this problem is the use of a custom-made mouthguard.

Chewing Ice

Your teeth are not designed to chew on hard objects like ice. It can lead to damaged tooth enamel, cracks, and chips. Chewing ice can also increase temperature sensitivity in the teeth.

Biting Nails

Biting your nails increases the risk of cracking or chipping your teeth as well as exposing your mouth to bacteria living underneath. Try coating your nails in a bitter polish or cut them short so you can resist the temptation.

Using Teeth as Tools

Don’t use your teeth for things that they aren’t meant for. When you use them to open containers or rip through packaging, you are leaving them vulnerable to damage which can lead to expensive dental work in the future.

Chewing on Non-Food Items

Biting on objects like pencils, pens, and toothpicks increases your risk of cracking or chipping teeth. It can also wear down your teeth and make them more susceptible to damage and decay.

Drinking Sugary Drinks

If you are constantly sipping on juice, sports drinks, or soda throughout the day, you are constantly exposing your teeth to sugar. This causes plaque to be produced at a much quicker rate which puts you at higher risk for gum and tooth decay. If you are known to indulge in these beverages, remember to always drink them in moderation, use a straw, and swish your mouth out with water afterwards. Also ensure that you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.

Preventing dental problems and emergencies before they happen is the best thing you can do to keep up with your oral health. Although breaking bad habits can seem impossible, with enough determination you will be able to maintain a healthy smile for years to come.

About the Author

Dr. Neil Flenniken has over 17 years of experience and practices in Carlisle, PA. He is a graduate of the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies. He knows that preventive dentistry is extremely important for a long-term healthy smile. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (717) 249-7777.

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