Bad Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Bad habits are often hard to break. Habits like biting your nails, chewing on ice, and clenching your jaw are all habits that can affect your oral health. These habits can cause damage over time, so the sooner you break them, the better. Here are some habits that can affect your oral health.

Not brushing and flossing your teeth often enough

Brushing at least twice a day can help limit the amount of plaque and tartar buildup on teeth, but brushing alone isn’t enough to protect your oral health. If you don’t clean between your teeth or floss once a day, you could still be at risk for decay and gum disease. It’s also important to brush your tongue, though many people don’t realize that bacteria can grow on the tongue and cause bad breath.

Brushing the teeth hard

Using a brush with bristles that are too firm can cause damage to your gums and enamel over time. Hard brushing can also cause receding gums, which exposes the bone below your gum line and can cause sensitivity and pain. Instead, choose a toothbrush with a soft-bristle head. You should use light pressure and short strokes to brush your teeth and avoid pressing down too hard on your teeth when you brush. You should also change your toothbrush regularly so that it doesn’t become worn or damaged. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your toothbrush, it’s time to renew your collection.

Using too much toothpaste

Many people use way too much toothpaste when they brush their teeth. This can lead to problems such as tooth sensitivity, gum irritation, and receding gums. When you brush your teeth, just use a small amount of the paste -- about the size of a pea. This amount of toothpaste is plenty to thoroughly clean your teeth without causing any damage.

Chewing on ice

Some people are especially fond of chewing on ice cubes. However, ice is a hard substance that can damage the surface of the teeth. Hard substances are known to wear down tooth enamel and expose dentin, which can increase your risk for tooth decay. This habit also increases your risk for cracked or chipped teeth and may irritate the soft tissues of the mouth. In addition to increasing the risk of oral injuries, chewing on ice can also increase the risk of developing jaw pain and TMJ disorder. If you’ve tried breaking the ice-crunching habit on your own but have been unsuccessful, then contact your dentist to schedule an appointment for an exam and professional cleaning. Dental professionals may be able to provide additional recommendations to help you kick this bad habit for good.


Biting your nails not only damages your teeth, but it can also cause them to abrade the soft tissue inside your mouth. This can cause canker sores or ulcers to form in your gums and mouth. What’s more, nails are often dirty and can harbor viruses that can make you sick. The habit of biting your nails can also chip your teeth or cause cracks to develop in them. Additionally, nail-biting can lead to tooth misalignment over time. A habit like nail-biting can be difficult to break, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. 

To find out more about the dental services offered at Arlington Family Dental Care, call (817) 274-8439 or schedule a consultation online. You can also visit a Dentist in Arlington, TX, at 2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015.


2621 Matlock Road, Suite 103, Arlington, TX 76015

Phone: (817) 274-8439

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