Eight Dental Habits You Should Avoid

Sep 10, 2015

Brushing the teeth, flossing, and scheduling regular dental appointments – most people know that these are just a few of the good dental habits that patients should practice in order to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile. However, when it comes to oral health, avoiding bad dental habits can be just as beneficial in maintaining strong, healthy teeth and gums. Bad dental habits can compromise our Bridgeport patients’ oral health, leading to the need for restorative dentistry care to address damage to the teeth or gums. Because Dr. Phillip DeJesus strives to help patients avoid oral health problems to begin with, we are discussing eight bad dental habits that should be avoided in order to protect the smile.


  1. Aggressive brushing: Regularly brushing the teeth is a good habit, but it can wear the teeth when done incorrectly. The most common mistake that patients make when brushing the teeth is using too much pressure, which can break down tooth enamel and weaken the teeth. It does not take a great deal of force to clean the teeth. Patients should use gentle strokes to remove food particles and bacteria without damaging tooth enamel.
  2. Grinding: When people are stressed or anxious, they often grind or clench their teeth. This can damage tooth enamel, lead to TMJ disorder, and pose a threat to the alignment of the teeth and jaw. If signs of grinding or clenching are present, a dental mouth guard may be needed to prevent damage that can be caused by this harmful habit.
  3. Nail biting: Nail biting can be just as harmful to tooth enamel as grinding and clenching. Biting the nails puts too much force and pressure on the teeth. It can cause enamel to wear down, increasing the risk of decay or infection.
  4. Using the teeth as tools: The teeth should not be used to open bottles, tear packages, or hold your pens. These will cause the teeth to become weaker and more vulnerable to other oral health problems.
  5. Eating too much sugar: Candy and soda may taste great, but too much sugar can greatly increase the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria feed on sugar; to avoid the build up of bacteria, patients should limit their sugar intake.
  6. Consuming acidic foods and beverages: Citrus fruits, wine, coffee, and cola are highly acidic foods and beverages. When the acidic level of the mouth rises, tooth erosion can occur. For this reason, patients should limit exposure to highly acidic foods and beverages.
  7. Smoking: Think smoking is just bad for the lungs? It can discolor teeth, inhibit oxygen flow to gum tissue, and make recovery from dental treatments slower. In short, smoking is bad for your oral health.
  8. Thumb sucking: Thumb sucking is a common among babies and young children. If children continue to suck the thumb when the permanent teeth come in, the alignment of the teeth and gums can be compromised.

Schedule an Appointment

If you have questions about these bad dental habits, or would like to discuss treating oral damage that has already occurred, book an appointment online. Dr. DeJesus looks forward to working with you to build a healthy and beautiful smile.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Consult a qualified dental professional to determine the best dental/orthodontic treatment for your needs.