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What Are the 10 Worst Ways to Damage Your Teeth and Gums?

When we were younger, our parents and dentists constantly reminded us about the importance of good oral health. From practicing good oral hygiene, eating the right foods, and scheduling regular dental checkups, these habits help us smile confidently and avoid health issues. Their reminders also include avoiding certain things to prevent tooth and gum damage. 

Unfortunately, as we age, we often develop mannerisms that can hurt our oral health and ruin our self-esteem. Here are ten bad habits to quit to preserve your dental health. 

1. Brushing Your Teeth Too Harshly

Many assume that harshly brushing their teeth can help them get shinier and cleaner teeth instantly. Unfortunately, that’s untrue because this bad habit can harm you. 

When you brush too hard, your toothbrush’s bristles can damage your gums, causing bleeding and gum recession. This bad habit can also weaken your teeth’s enamel, making them more sensitive. You can avoid this issue by brushing gently in circular motions. 

2. Biting Your Fingernails

It’s common for people to bite their nails, especially when they’re nervous. However, dentists don’t recommend it because we touch many things throughout the day which can contain harmful bacteria. This bad habit can also make you sick and cause an infection if you have a cut in your mouth. You can protect your oral health by stopping biting your fingernails. 

3. Binge Eating Too Frequently

There’s nothing more rewarding than relaxing on the sofa and indulging in your favorite snacks while watching TV after a tiring workday. While there’s nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself, excessive binge eating can negatively affect your oral health. You can prevent this by eating a balanced diet, limiting snack intake, and practicing good oral hygiene. 

4. Grinding Your Teeth

When people feel anxious, they usually display their typical behavioral patterns. Some may involuntarily shake their legs or drum their fingers on a surface. However, some may have harmful habits, like teeth grinding, which can cause chipped teeth, enamel loss, tooth sensitivity, and headaches. You can minimize or eliminate this problem by wearing a mouthguard while sleeping and consulting your dentist. 

5. Opening Things with Your Teeth

Many people open packages with their teeth when they can’t find scissors nearby. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless habit can cause harm by cutting the gums or breaking a tooth, which warrants an emergency trip to the dentist. You can protect your teeth and gums from damage by using the appropriate tools for opening things. 

6. Chewing or Smoking Tobacco

Even if dentists and other healthcare professionals have constantly warned about the harmful effects of tobacco, people still regularly use it because of the chemicals’ addictive nature. However, if you don’t quit this behavior soon, it can cause various health problems like dental decay or cancer. 

7. Drinking Too Much Coffee

While it may be delicious, drinking too much coffee can cause stained teeth, and adding sugar can cause weight gain and cavities. You can keep good oral health by limiting your coffee intake to one cup daily. 

8. Consuming Too Many Acidic Drinks

While occasionally consuming acidic beverages like wine and orange juice is okay, remember that excessive drinking can cause rapid deterioration of teeth. 

9. Not Wearing a Mouthguard

Whether you’re playing in a team or with friends at the park, dentists recommend wearing a mouthguard because it can prevent tooth loss or gum injuries from the impact. It’s especially essential if you play full-contact sports like basketball or football. 

10. Not Cleaning Your Teeth Daily

Daily flossing and brushing are crucial for dental health, and neglecting these habits can negatively affect your teeth and gums. Consulting a family dentist can help you get more information and tips on daily routines. 

Final Thoughts 

While you may not realize it now, the listed bad habits can eventually damage your teeth and gums, ruining your best smile and oral health. You can smile better and keep a healthy mouth by stopping these harmful practices and consulting your dentist. 

If you need to consult a dentist in Manassas, VA, to help you stop your bad habits, visit Manassas Smiles! Our clinic offers complete dental services to help patients preserve their best smiles and oral health. Schedule an appointment now!

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