Habits that damage your teeth

You might brush your teeth twice daily, floss regularly and visit your dentist each year without fail, but did you know there are a wealth of daily habits that could be undoing all this good work?

Each day many people unwittingly partake in a host of habits that damage your teeth. From grinding to nail-biting, here are the top habits to avoid…


Around half the population grinds their teeth from time to time, with five per cent of people believed to do it regularly. Often the result of stress, tooth grinding and clenching have a range of negative impacts including tooth wear, cracks, chips and cavities, but as it tends to occur in our sleep, it can be a tricky habit to catch.

Symptoms you may be grinding your teeth include sore jaw muscles when you wake, a dull headache, sensitive teeth and even loose teeth.

The top tips for stopping this habit include reducing alcohol and caffeine intake before bedtime, making an effort to relax and, if the problem persists, see your dentist about getting a mouthguard that you wear overnight.

Nail Biting

It may seem fairly innocuous but the ongoing habit of biting your nails can have very real effects for your teeth.

Nail-biting can result in cracked, chipped or broken teeth, and over time may even cause jaw problems.

Thumb sucking

Typically associated with children, thumb sucking sees gentle, yet persistent force applied to the front teeth. This can see those teeth shift from their natural position, and it can become a real problem if the habit extends beyond the age of about six when permanent teeth emerge.

Brushing too hard

Yes, there can be too much of a good thing, and brushing your teeth too vigorously is testament to that fact. Vigorous brushing can remove vital enamel from your teeth and also damage the gums.

Enamel is the essential element that helps protect your teeth against cavities, while healthy gums are vital to maintaining general oral health.

The wrong food

It should almost go without saying that food has a major role to play in the health of your teeth. The worst type of foods for your teeth are those that are high in sugar, as the residue left behind is a breeding ground for bacteria that ultimately leads to plaque.

There are however, even healthy foods that can negatively impact your teeth. For example, citrus fruits can strip tooth enamel while drinks like coffee and red wine can stain them.

Using your teeth as tools

Your teeth are the perfect implement for devouring a steak but are not built to open bottles or pull apart Lego.

Using your teeth as tools can see them chip, crack or break.

Constant snacking

Grazing all day sees food residue and bacteria build up in the mouth, especially if those snacks are high in sugar. The trouble with bacteria is that it produces acid. This then works to attack the enamel on your teeth and ultimately leads to cavities.

Chewing ice cubes

When something hard meets something equally hard, well chances are one of them will give. And in the case of chewing ice, the risk is your teeth will come off second best. Chewing ice can lead to tooth cracks, chips and breakages.

About Brite Dental

Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.

Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.

You can learn more about our dental services, or contact us to book your next appointment.