Oral Health 101: 4 Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth

Taking care of your body is a full-time job so you need to examine all your daily habits to see if you are benefiting from them. Oral health isn’t just about brushing your teeth after meals and flossing every day. It’s also about staying away from anything that can impact the long-term health of your teeth and gums.

Here are five harmful habits that can damage your teeth.

1) Crunching On Hard Food

Chipped and broken teeth happen more frequently due to the type of food you consume. Ice cubes are incredibly brittle, and biting on their surfaces can cause cracks on the enamel of your teeth. If you tend to munch on ice cubes, it’s time to revert to sipping on them like candy instead.

Besides ice cubes, popcorn kernels, hard candies, fruit seeds, and other hard foods can also damage your teeth. If you have a nail-biting habit, you should stop doing it, too. It’s very unhygienic and bad for your teeth. If your teeth gradually chip while you’re munching, this consistent habit can still lead to more serious dental problems in the future.

2) Drinking Coffee, Sugary Drinks, And Wine

Habitual consumption of these drinks causes the enamel in your teeth to break down. Without enamel protection, your teeth are much more prone to staining. The high sugar content in these drinks can also accelerate tooth decay.

The best way to mitigate the damage these drinks can cause is to consume them less. If you do drink these staining beverages, use a straw to draw the liquid toward the back of your mouth and minimize contact with your teeth’s front face.

3) Grinding Your Teeth

If you find yourself grinding your teeth during the day, consciously relax your jaw so you don’t wear your teeth down into nubs. Unfortunately, a vast majority of people unconsciously grind their teeth at night while they’re asleep. This can be caused by stress, anxiety, or something as simple as a misaligned bite.

A trip to the dentist will if you’ve been grinding your teeth in your sleep. They may also suggest wearing a mouthguard at night. Lifestyle changes such as more exercise, counselling, or mindful meditation can reduce your stress and stop your teeth grinding.

4) Using Your Teeth As Tools

Your teeth are undoubtedly convenient tools that you can use to open a stubborn package, tear the price tag off a new shirt, or crack open a bottle. However, you should avoid doing these if you don’t want your teeth to chip or crack.

No matter how many times you’ve done it successfully, it’s a habit you should stop. Don’t risk your oral health because you can’t be bothered to spend a few seconds looking for a pair of scissors or a bottle opener.

Are You Brushing And Flossing Properly?

It’s not enough to brush and floss your teeth regularly. Besides committing to routine, you should ensure that you’re doing it correctly.

For brushing, use a soft-bristled brush, and replace this brush every three to four months. Brush your teeth after every meal—this includes snacks, especially if you’ve consumed acidic or sugary foods. Brushing away residual food particles immediately after eating ensures long-term oral health.

When flossing, do so at least once a day, ideally before you go to sleep at night. If you don’t know the proper flossing techniques, ask your dentist for tips.

To end your oral hygiene routine, rinse with antibacterial mouthwash once a day to further ensure that the bacteria in your mouth is extracted.


If the five habits on this list have been part of your daily habits for months or years, it’s time to wean yourself off them. On average, a person can develop a new habit after 21 days, so soon enough, your teeth will be much healthier. And, of course, another critical oral health habit is to visit your dentist at least twice a year. They will ensure that your teeth are as healthy as possible.

Home of Smiles is a family dental clinic that provides a wide range of services in the Edmonton area, including emergency dental services, root canal therapy, periodontal care, teeth cleaning, and more. We are open seven days a week to accommodate your schedule. Book an appointment today!