Bad Habits for Oral Health and How They Can Damage Your Teeth

Bad habits for oral health

Oral health problems mostly come from poor oral hygiene and bad oral habits. Practicing good oral habits help maintain the health of your teeth and overall body. The bad habits developed over time, often unconsciously. The longer a habit lasts, the harder it is to let go. We need to learn to recognize which habits, in the long term, can be detrimental to dental health.


Many habits can damage your teeth, gums, and your oral health. Many of them seem like normal habits and do not interfere with health. Those habits seem harmless because people only feel the damage after a while. This reason makes bad oral habits play a role, like silent killers to the teeth. 


Certain lifestyle habits do your teeth more harm than good. This article will look at some daily routines that can be risky for your teeth’ health.


Why do healthy teeth break?

Healthy teeth are not immune from tooth decay and periodontitis risk as they are prone to cavities and getting chipped. Knowing what is good and bad for your teeth will make you more aware of protecting them. The reasons healthy teeth can break include the following:

  • Clenching or teeth grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching can happen unconsciously when you’re awake or sleeping. When grinding happens during a long night’s sleep and occurs every night, it can result in chipped teeth and affect jaw movement.

  • Poor diet

Sweets and sugary foods are your teeth’ enemies. Sugar helps harmful bacteria grow and build up into tartar, causing cavities. To reduce the risk of tooth decay, limit sugary foods and drinks intake in your diet. 

  • Nutrition deficiency

Enamel in your teeth needs vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. Lack of calcium and vitamin D will make your teeth more vulnerable to decay and to crack.

  • Vomiting

Regardless of the cause, vomiting is harmful to the teeth. Highly acidic substances from the stomach that come up to the mouth can damage the tooth enamel. In the long run, the teeth will be weaker and more prone to cavities.

  • Dentinogenesis imperfecta

Dentinogenesis imperfecta is a disorder of tooth development. This genetic condition causes the teeth to be discoloured and translucent. The teeth can cause several teeth problems, making them prone to breakage and loss.

  • Poor dental hygiene

Cavities and periodontitis are mainly caused by poor dental hygiene and improper care. Harmful bacteria can quickly grow on the tooth enamel and along the gumlines if the teeth do not get a regular dental cleaning.

  • Bad dental habits

Bad dental habits, such as chewing ice, biting nails and grinding teeth, can chip or crack teeth. You might not feel the consequences now, but you’ll sacrifice your oral health in the long run. It is better to break bad dental habits as early as possible.


What habits can damage your teeth?

Taking care of your teeth is vital for your overall health. To understand what habits can damage your teeth, we have gathered bad dental habits that can potentially harm your teeth:

  • Chewing hard items

Chewing hard items put a lot of stress on your teeth. Enamel is hard and can withstand most tough foods that can easily harm your tooth enamel. Bacteria from random hard objects like toys, pens or ice can also cause infections in the teeth and gums.

  • Smoking cigarettes

Smoking causes discoloration to your teeth and reduces your body and your gum’s immune to fight bacteria in the gumlines. Not only that but smoking cigarettes can also lead to mouth cancer.

  • Harmful eating habits

Several eating habits can damage your body and your teeth. For example, repeated binge eating (impulsive gorging) can increase the risk of tooth decay. Binge eaters consume a large amount of food (usually high in sugar) very quickly, followed by purging – self-induced vomiting.

The digestive system contains acids that break down food. When repeated vomiting happens, these acids attack tooth enamel and can erode tooth enamel severely. 

  • Drinking too much coffee and tea.

Like smoking, drinking coffee and tea too often can stain your teeth into yellowish colour. Coffee and tea contain organic compounds called tannins. When you consume too much coffee and tea, tannins have a chance to build up and can stain healthy teeth. In addition, coffee and tea are acidic drinks, and they can weaken tooth enamel. Drinking sugary coffee and tea will also increase the risk of tooth decay.

  • Too many soft drinks

These days, soft drinks or carbonated drinks are easy to access. The amount of sugar alone is also terrible for the teeth. The carbonic acid makes it even worse. There’s no doubt that excessive consumption of fizzy beverages can weaken your tooth enamel. 

  • Tongue piercing

Metal is a foreign object for the mouth. Having metal inside the mouth will increase the risk of bacteria buildup. When there is an infection in the gums or inner cheek, piercing in the mouth will make the sore take longer to heal.

  • Using teeth as tools

Using your teeth as a tool – to open packages or bottles is a terrible idea. This bad habit can get your teeth cracked or chipped. When such a thing happens, you might have to get a dental implant to replace the damaged tooth. Use scissors or a bottle opener, as teeth are too precious to be used as an opening tool. 

  • Chewing ice cubes

Consuming a lot of ice cubes seems like a harmless habit. However, this act can damage tooth enamel and cause cracks or chips in the teeth. Other problems may also arise, such as increased sensitivity to temperature and oral pain.

  • Aggressive teeth brushing

Contrary to popular belief, brushing your teeth harder does not equal cleaner teeth. Brushing too hard does more harm than benefit. Hard brushes can wear away teeth enamel, irritate or even damage gums.



Bad oral habits stick. Breaking them and starting good ones can be challenging. However, your dental health is too important not to be taken care of. If you struggle with bad dental habits, talk to your dentist about solutions to help you get your dental health back on track. 

Start by recognizing your bad dental habits, then commit to changing them to ones that will help your teeth stay healthy and strong. For more information, schedule your next check-up with Eastman Dental today.