1. Chewing Ice
A seemingly harmless habit, but it can cause permanent damage to your teeth. Chewing ice can leave small cracks in your enamel that can grow bigger over time, which will end in a dental visit to fix. If this is an unavoidable habit, try to avoid ordering drinks with ice to resist the urge or even switch to chilled water.
2. Using your teeth as a tool
If you are looking for a convenient way to open something like a corn chip packet, a bottle cap or to break off some tape - best to stick to a bottle opener or scissors. Using your teeth may seem quick and easy, but it can cause them to chip or fracture by doing what they are not intended to do.
3. Nail Biting
Nail-biting is a common nervous habit, but is harmful to your teeth as well as the appearance of your hands. Biting your nails becomes an oral hygiene problem and can cause your teeth to potentially break and your enamel to become splintered. It is also generally a consistent habit for people which can cause pressure on your jaw and consequently move your teeth out of place. To avoid this try a bitter-tasting nail polish, stress reduction activities or keeping your hands busy where you can.
4. Brushing Too Hard
The best habit for everyone, young and old, is to brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. The bad side to this habit could be if you are brushing too hard, with a hard bristled toothbrush. Brushing or scrubbing too hard can be harmful to your teeth and irritate your gums, which can contribute to a receding gum line. A soft to medium toothbrush is perfect to avoid this, as well as taking a massage style brushing approach.
5. Consistent snacking
This would be one of the toughest bad habits to avoid. Consistently eating increases food particles present in your mouth. Food particles alter the pH in your mouth and can lead to a higher risk of cavities. Try to stick to just 3 well balanced meals a day to help cut back on snacking, and avoid sugary foods and drinks where you can.
6. Consuming too much acidic foods
We’ve all been guilty of eating oranges and smiling with the peel left in our mouth, but this actually contributes to enamel damage. Consuming lots of acidic foods and drinks can cause tooth sensitivity and cavities. Quick tip to prevent these, you can rinse your mouth with water or drink lots of water after eating and drinking.
7. Tooth Grinding and Jaw Clenching
These are two habits that most people don’t realise they do, which can be a reflex due to stress, anger or even a habit they do whilst sleeping. By doing so, this can cause jaw pain, headaches and damage to your teeth, such as chipping them away. You can try wearing a mouth tray to prevent this from happening whilst you sleep as well as visiting your dentist to find ways to fix this. Although these bad habits can be damaging to your teeth, they can all be easily adjusted within your daily routine to avoid costly dental visits and protect your teeth overall.