Oral & Dental

5 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth And Decline Oral Health

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on - 09 November 2022, Updated on - 05 December 2022

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Oral health is an important part of your overall well-being. While regular dentist visits and proper oral hygiene are vital for maintaining healthy teeth and gums, it's not always enough. To keep your teeth in good shape, it's essential to cultivate teeth-friendly habits and ditch the bad ones. Your teeth can experience significant damage due to some common habits that you don't even give a second thought to. So, here is a list of the top 5 bad habits that hurt your teeth more than you know. 

1. Brushing Too Hard

It is known to all that brushing twice a day is vital to ensure good oral health. However, using a hard-bristled brush or brushing your teeth too aggressively can cause damage to your teeth and gums. It can wear down the enamel of the teeth and recede the gum line, exposing the teeth's sensitive roots. To avoid this, it's highly recommended to use a soft or ultra soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth in a circular motion for not more than 2 minutes, twice a day. 

2. Chewing Tobacco or Smoking

Chewing or smoking tobacco is associated with an array of health issues, including oral health problems. Tobacco is highly damaging to your gums and teeth as it increases the risk of gum diseases, tooth decay, and even oral cancer. Moreover, it can lead to bad breath and discolouration of teeth. You can also take professional help if you are unable to quit smoking or tobacco. 

3. Clenching or Grinding

Medically called bruxism, the habit of gnashing and grinding the teeth can be quite harmful. Some people do it all through the day and even while sleeping at night. This can damage teeth, restrict jaw movement, and cause muscle pain. To protect your teeth, you can use a mouth guard at night. Also, you can work to reduce stress, which is one of the most common causes of bruxism. Moreover, sleeping enough (8 hours a day) and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can also help in ditching the habit. 

4. Biting Nails

Biting nails might seem harmless but it can be quite harmful to your teeth. Biting your nails puts a lot of stress on your teeth, which can result in cracking or chipping. It also damages the enamel of the teeth, increasing the chances of decay. Moreover, nail biting can lead to jaw dysfunction as it causes you to hold your jaw in a protruded position for a prolonged duration. To prevent yourself from biting your nails, try keeping them trimmed short or paint them with nail polish. 

5. Using Teeth as Multipurpose Tools

Your teeth are for chewing food and are not meant to be misused as multipurpose tools. Many people use their teeth to carry out odd tasks like tearing off tags, opening a package, or even holding something when their hands are busy. Using your teeth in these ways can make them more susceptible to damage. It harms tooth enamel, resulting in chipping, weakening, and cracking. Moreover, it can also cause injury to your jaw. 

It’s essential to remember that your teeth, though strong, are not indestructible. You need to treat them well to ensure their health in the years to come. In addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene and consulting with a dentist for routine check-ups, it’s highly advisable to ditch all of the above-mentioned bad habits that you might have immediately. Need an expert opinion?

Consult An Apollo Dentist


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

Oral & Dental

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