11 Bad Habits That Can Harm Your Teeth

Many times in our daily lifestyle practices, we indulge in habits that we consider normal or harmless but are harmful bad habits for our teeth.
The adverse effect of these bad habits is that they accumulate over time although some effects are immediate.

What Are Bad Habits?

Bad habits are recurrent, often unconscious patterns of behavior that are acquired through frequent repetition or an established disposition of the mind or character. Simply put, bad habits are seen as negative behavioral patterns.

What Are These Bad Habits That Can Harm Your Teeth?

Here are 11 bad habits that could be damaging your teeth and how to fix some of them;

Brushing too hard

You must have heard this phrase; “the harder you brush your teeth, the cleaner it is!”
Brushing is one of the ways to keep your oral cavity healthy but brushing too hard can cause damage to your teeth and gum. Brushing hard wears away the Enamel; the outer surface of the teeth which serves as a protective layer thus increasing sensitivity and pain.

Hard brushing is a bad habit that can also recede your gums or push them backward. This exposes the root of your tooth which also increases sensitivity and susceptibility to infection.

Chewing ice

Chewing on ice is a bad habit that causes your teeth to crack and chip. It causes irreversible damage depending on the severity of the crack. Substitute chewing ice with chewing sugar-free gum or munching on crunchy snacks. Biting your nails Another common bad habit is biting your nails which can fracture or chip your teeth.

These fractures can be managed with composite bonding, which involves placing resin in the fractured teeth to repair them.
If this bad habit continues, the composite bonding can chip and break too.

Grinding of teeth

A lot of people grind on their teeth while sleeping and don’t even realize it. Grinding your teeth is a bad habit that can wear your teeth and increase the risk of fractures and cavities.

Some indicators that you’re grinding on your teeth are; noticing you are clenching your jaw during the day, waking up with a sore jaw, or dull headache and damage on the inside of your cheeks. This bad habit can be prevented with the use of a mouth guard while sleeping.

Using your teeth as tools

Many times, you use your teeth to remove the lid of a bottle, open a bag of snacks, hold stuff like nails, etc. This bad habit can fracture or chip your teeth as the main function of the teeth is biting and chewing food to aid proper digestion.


Smoking is not only dangerous to our health but to our teeth in particular. Individuals who smoke are more likely to develop bacteria plaque which causes other gum diseases. This oral bad habit also reduces blood flow to the gum thus slowing down the healing process. It can also cause bad breath.

Drinking without a straw

Drinking certain beverages, highly carbonated or acidic substances without a straw can damage your teeth. Sugar-containing drinks like soda, lemonade, or sports drinks can be very harmful to the teeth as the sugar in the drink feeds the bacteria which are the initiators of cavities. Some coffee and wine can leave stains on your teeth making them appear brown or yellow.

Using a straw can reduce the effect on your teeth as the drink is directed toward the back of your
mouth and away from your teeth. Rinsing your mouth with water after taking these drinks can also reduce the harmful effects as it
rinses away the acid and sugar.

Playing sports without a mouthguard

This is one bit of an anxious bad habit. Playing sports can be harmful, mouthguards are designed to protect your teeth in a case like this. Your teeth are vulnerable to being fractured or chipped if the action gets rough.

Cough drops

This is a common habit that people don’t refer to as being a bad habit. Cough syrups are loaded with sugar despite being a medicine. Just because they are medicine doesn’t make them entirely healthy. After soothing your throat with a lozenge, ensure to brush and rinse your teeth well.

Binge eating

This is a bad habit of eating an excessive amount of junk food, snacks, and sweets. Their high sugar content can turn into cavities and start decaying your teeth.

Gummy Sweets

Everyone knows that sweets aren’t entirely healthy for our oral health but the gummy ones can be really bad. They stick to your teeth because of their texture making sure the sugar stays in your teeth for longer and turns into acids which causes cavities.

Now that you’ve gone through this blog post, you are more enlightened as to what bad habit you
indulge regularly without realizing the harmful effects on your teeth.
Avoid them and keep your teeth healthy!

Associate writer: Eunice Okoro