3 Dental Habits You Should Avoid

3 Dental Habits You Should Avoid

We all know that good oral hygiene is important for healthy teeth, but are your lifestyle habits sabotaging your efforts? Many people have bad dental habits without even realizing how harmful they can be, causing teeth problems and even more serious issues down the line. Here are three common bad dental habits you should break if you catch yourself doing any of them.

Nail Biting

Nail biting seems harmless but can actually damage your teeth over time. Chewing on your nails increases the risk that your teeth can crack or chip, and the constant biting wears away the enamel on your teeth, as well.

Studies also show that patients who bite their nails are more at risk for bruxism, a condition where you subconsciously clench or grind your teeth. Avoiding the habit is better for your all-around oral health.

Chewing Ice

Many people chew crushed ice without thinking that it might be bad for their teeth. Even if ice seems to break down easily, it can still crack or chip your teeth if you bite down at the wrong spot. The ice shards can also puncture the soft tissue of your mouth and cause gum issues. If you need something to chew on, try sugar-free gum instead.


Smoking and tobacco aren’t just bad for your overall health, but they can ruin your teeth, too. Tobacco stains and yellows your teeth over time, and teeth whitening treatments can’t always undo the damage.

On top of that, smoking gives you bad breath that even mouthwash can’t take away, and can cause oral cancer as well as upping your risk for other oral issues. If you smoke or chew tobacco, the best thing you can do for your smile is to quit.

If your teeth have been hurt by any of these bad habits, don’t worry: your dentist can help. Call Hanley Family Dentistry today to talk to a professional about restoring your natural smile.