Habits That Harm Your Teeth & Gums: What to Avoid


A smile is one of the first things people notice about you, and having healthy teeth and gums can help you feel confident and look attractive. However, there are some habits that can be detrimental to your oral health. Knowing what to avoid can help keep your teeth and gums in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of practices that could damage your teeth and gums—plus, some tips on how to break bad habits for good!

Biting Your Nails

One of the worst habits you can have for your teeth and gums is biting your nails. Not only does it put stress on your teeth, but it also exposes them to bacteria that could lead to infections or inflammation. Additionally, nail biting can wear down the enamel, which can make your teeth more sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. If you have this habit, it's important to stop as soon as possible.

Tooth Grinding & Clenching

Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause excessive wear, which can lead to pain and sensitivity. If you grind or clench your teeth during the day, try doing exercises like clenching a ball between your jaws to get used to relaxing them instead of keeping them tightly clenched together. This will prevent further wear from nighttime grinding or clenching by providing a protective barrier between the upper and lower rows of teeth.

Chewing Hard Objects

Chewing on hard objects such as ice cubes or pens can cause chips or cracks in your enamel over time. Additionally, if the object is sticky (like candy) it could adhere particles of food to the tooth surfaces, leading to plaque formation and decay. To kick this habit for good, opt for sugar-free gum instead—it helps freshen your breath without damaging your enamel!

Drinking Sugary Drinks

Sugary drinks are one of the main causes of cavities because bacteria feed off sugar and produce acid as a result. Acid erodes away tooth enamel over time, leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities. That's why it's important to reduce or eliminate sugary drinks from your diet whenever possible.

Habitual Snacking

Snacking throughout the day on sugary foods can increase your risk of cavities as well as erode tooth enamel over time. Bacteria in the mouth feed off these sugars which then produce acids that attack tooth enamel. To reduce snacking cravings during the day, try swapping out unhealthy options with fruits or vegetables that contain less sugar but still provide essential vitamins and minerals.

Tooth decay is a serious problem that affects millions of people every year—but with the right habits and regular visits to Optima Dental in Lawrenceville, GA, you can keep yours healthy for years to come! From avoiding sugary drinks and chewing ice cubes to stopping nail biting, there are plenty of steps you can take today that will help keep your smile looking bright for years down the line! So don't wait—contact Optima Dental in Lawrenceville, GA today for help preserving that perfect smile!