Harmful Dental Habits to Avoid


It seems we’re always being told what to do … employer, spouse, parent, teacher, doctor … instructions are never ending. But when something as important as your teeth are concerned, listening to the advice from your dentist could save you lots of time, money, discomfort, and aggravation.

As children, our baby teeth fall out and our permanent teeth emerge. How we take care of our teeth can make a huge difference in many of life’s pleasures. Our dentist tells us how to brush, when to brush, what to brush with, and to make sure we floss every day. These are critical steps needed to try to maintain great dental health.

But your dentist may not caution you about what not to do, probably believing you already know these common sense things to avoid:

Tobacco use – We learned over a half century ago about the perils involved with smoking and tobacco use. While many adhere to the cautionary tales, many people continue to risk their overall health and the loss of their teeth to partake of tobacco products.

Neglect – We only get one set of permanent, biological teeth. Lack of daily care and passing up on regular dental visits can lead to the development of dental decay, gum disease, and tooth loss.

Nail biting – A habit often brought on due to anxiety, nail biting is harmful to teeth and very unsanitary. Fingernail chewing is often seen in youngsters and teens, and is often eventually outgrown; but the damage may have already been done.

Grinding and Clenching – Another habit that often is the result of tension or anxiety, teeth grinding may start subconsciously during periods of sleep. If allowed to continue, teeth can be worn down, cracked, chipped, or broken resulting in extensive dental repair.

Opening device – Scissors, clip knives, and bottle openers were invented for specific uses that teeth were never intended to do.

Chewing hard objects – Chewing or biting into ice or rock candy; chewing inanimate objects like pen tops or erasers; or abusing teeth by chewing anything hard or abrasive … these actions can result in broken teeth.

There may be something unforeseen that results in tooth loss. But avoiding the things that are almost certain to have a negative impact on your teeth makes perfect sense. Your teeth are critical to your daily functions of speaking, eating, and smiling.

For more information or to schedule your next exam, contact our skilled team at Anderson Dentistry today.