Most of us are guilty of indulging in several bad habits. These bad habits can take a toll on our oral health. Listed below are some common bad habits that can ruin your oral health:

Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common bad habit that can damage our oral health. The action of repeatedly gnawing on our fingernails can cause damage to our teeth and cause issues like inflammation of gums and tooth sensitivity. Furthermore, this bad habit can result in unsightly stains on your teeth or the development of small white marks on them. If you bite your nails, try distracting yourself.


Tobacco use in any form is unhealthy for your teeth and the rest of your body. All of the chemicals in tobacco affect your oral health. It stains your teeth and can cause gum disease. It also affects your immune system, making you more susceptible to infections, which can impact the health of your teeth and gums. The habit can also make you more prone to oral cancer. All of these reasons add up to one clear message: quit smoking now or as soon as possible.

To quit smoking requires some planning ahead to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for the lengthy process. Quitting can be hard on the body, but there are several things you can do to make it easier on yourself along the way. First, it’s always best to visit a dentist to make sure your mouth is free of infection and disease. If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the dentist, your dentist can help you with any oral health problems that might pop up related to quitting. Next, talk with a therapist about your addiction and find other ways to manage stress other than with cigarettes. Finally, start exercising and increase the number of fluids you take in every day. Water is essential to your overall health. Nicotine is a stimulant, so naturally, you’ll crave nicotine when you quit. Drinking water can help fight your cravings and provide your body with the hydration it needs to stay healthy and fight infection.

Aggressive Brushing

When our gums bleed or appear red and inflamed after brushing, it’s usually because we’re brushing too hard or using a toothbrush with bristles that are too firm. We want to brush every day to remove plaque bacteria that cause cavities and other oral health problems. But when we brush too hard for too long, we can cause gum recession and even tooth sensitivity. We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes twice a day. Anything longer isn’t necessary! We also recommend flossing at least once a day to clean between the teeth and under the gum line. If your gums still hurt after a week of gentler brushing, visit the dentist to rule out gum disease or tooth decay.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a common oral health problem and can be very damaging to the teeth over time. When we grind our teeth, we are putting excess pressure on the surfaces of the teeth, which can cause cracking or chipping of the enamel. With repeated instances of teeth-grinding, it is possible to cause fractures in the teeth that may require restorative treatment to correct.

Bruxism is the fancy word people use for clenching and grinding their teeth. Stress can be a big factor in bruxism and is a habit that can be broken with proper stress management techniques. Behavior modification therapy is also an option that can help to reduce teeth grinding. If you suffer from this bad habit, be sure to visit your dentist so that they can be on the lookout for any signs of damage and provide treatment options like a nightguard if necessary.

Using Teeth As Tools

The enamel on our teeth is very strong, but it can also be damaged if we use teeth for anything other than chewing food. This can occur if you’re trying to open a package with your teeth or if you’re trying to break off a piece of ice. These actions put unnecessary pressure on the enamel and can lead to damage, such as fractures and chips. Enamel can also wear down over time if we don’t take proper care of our teeth. So, instead of using teeth for these purposes, use appropriate tools instead.

Not Visiting the Dentist Frequently Enough

Did you know that you should be seeing a dentist at least twice a year? We understand that sometimes it can be difficult to make it to the dentist’s office for regular visits, which is why we offer convenient payment plans that are designed to help you keep up with your dental care needs on your budget.

When you don’t visit your dentist often enough, you put yourself at risk for a variety of issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. Both of these issues can cause immense pain and make it hard to eat food or even speak properly. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll give you the thorough and gentle care your smile deserves!

If you’d like to learn more, then contact our dental office at (503) 581-2446 today. We’d be happy to help answer any questions that you may have. Get the bright smile you’ve always wanted this winter!

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