A bad habit is a behavior pattern that has a negative impact. We all have them. They’re often born from stress or boredom, and some are relatively harmless. Unfortunately, others aren’t. In fact, some can be downright dangerous for your smile. We understand no one sets out to have bad habits, but we’ve also learned that many people don’t know these are bad habits for your teeth. We outlined a few bad habits for your teeth you should try to break if you value a happy, healthy grin.

Biting Your Nails
Biting your nails is bad for both your manicure and your oral health. It can leave you with ragged fingernails and skin infections. It may seem to do more harm to your hands than your teeth. However, habitual nail-biting also puts you at risk for chipped teeth, enamel erosion, misaligned teeth and jaw dysfunctions.

Grinding Your Teeth
Bruxism involves teeth grinding and jaw clenching. This unconscious behavior can happen while you’re awake or asleep. Many times, patients don’t even know they are grinding their teeth. But instead, they will feel pain or the dentist will see tooth wear. Either type of bruxism can cause significant troubles for your teeth. Thankfully, effective treatments are available.

Using Tobacco
Smoking or using chewing tobacco is bad for your health in numerous ways. What places tobacco use on the list of bad oral habits? In addition to staining, tobacco use is associated with cavities and gum disease and oral cancers. Over time, it can even lead to tooth loss. If you want to quit, please reach out to us. There are many reputable cessation treatments available.

Skipping a Mouth Guard
An athlete who takes a blow to the mouth on the playing field may find themselves dealing with a dental emergency. Loose, chipped, broken or even lost teeth are possible when injury or trauma occurs. A mouthguard offers valuable protection.

Drinking Sugary Beverages
No list of bad habits for your teeth is complete if it fails to mention sugar. A sweet drink delights more than your taste buds. The bacteria that help drive tooth decay absolutely love the sugary, acidic coating that a sweet sip leaves on your teeth. Sugar-sweetened punches and teas, sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks, and wines can all be problematic. It’s best to limit your intake of these beverages. If you do drink them, clean your teeth soon afterward.

Consuming Sweet, Sticky Foods
Like sugary drinks, sweet, sticky foods can leave a gummy film on your teeth that stirs up bacteria. Limiting these foods is smart. Alternately, consume them as part of a larger meal so that you’ll have plenty of saliva available to help rinse your teeth. If you don’t enjoy your sweets with a meal, be sure to brush soon after your sweet treat.

Dodging the Dentist
If you want a healthy, happy smile, a regular routine of brushing your teeth and flossing is important. However, it’s no substitute for a professional dental cleaning. These regular checks go beyond surface cleanings. They provide a chance to catch dental problems while they’re small so that they can be dealt with before they become serious issues. Believe it or not, these visits may even help safeguard more than your smile. After all, your oral health is connected to your overall health.

At Wekiva Dental, we take pleasure in providing top-quality care. Offering both general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients in the Longwood, Apopka, Altamonte and greater Orlando area. We work hard to create a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for all our patients. We’re passionate about beautiful smiles. If you have questions about breaking bad habits for teeth or are eager to learn how to foster healthy ones, we’ll be happy to help. Contact us today at 407-869-7333 to schedule an appointment with Dr. O.