13 Everyday Habits That Are Actually Ruining Your Teeth

Some of the most normal things that you do every day could be slowly damaging your teeth, and you don’t even know it. For example, did you know that grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw too often could lead to fractures in your teeth? And did you know that regularly biting your nails could make your teeth shift out of place? It’s hard to notice any immediate effect when you do these things, but they can all add up in the long run and eventually ruin your beautiful smile.


But don’t panic! While these harmful habits can actually do serious harm to your teeth, there are ways to avoid further damage to your teeth. This does not mean that you should start obsessing over trying to make your teeth look stark white, because blindingly white teeth look artificial and it’s just not what normal teeth look like. Instead, you should focus on avoiding these 13 habits to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

Using Your Teeth To Open Things

Did you know that using your teeth as a tool to cut through things, rip them open or cling to objects can cause them to chip or crack? Rather than using your teeth to rip open your next bag of snacks, try your best to stick with using your hands.

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Chewing Your Pencil

If you’re one of those people who absent mindedly chew on their writing utensil while concentrating on something, then you seriously need to stop. Doing this can cause your teeth to shift or crack because of all the added pressure you’re putting on your teeth.

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Overdoing It With The Chewy Candies

Gummy, chewy candies are pretty sugary, which is bad for your teeth. But on top of that, gummy candies can stick to your teeth, creating acids that stick to your enamel for really long periods of time. If you can’t resist eating gummy worms or gummy bears, drink a lot of water afterwards to help rinse away the remaining bits of candy.

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Snacking Constantly On Potato Chips

I know, potato chips are just SO good! But hear me out. The more often you snack, the more food you get stuck in your teeth for a long period of time. And also, starchy foods like potato chips are usually broken down into acids by the bacteria in your plaque. Those acids will then weaken your enamel.

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Eating Ice

The ice cold temperature and the toughness of ice can actually wear down and crack your teeth. According to Elisa Mello, a cosmetic dentist at NYC Smile Design, "Our teeth are designed to crush through things, not against something."

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Clenching Your Jaw Or Grinding Your Teeth

Grinding your teeth is a common response when you’re super annoyed, angry, or stressed. But doing this puts way too much pressure on your teeth. It can weaken certain areas of your teeth and even lead to small fractures.

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Brushing Your Teeth Too Roughly

Though you have to brush your teeth regularly to maintain good oral hygiene, brushing it vigorously will only irritate your gums, wear down your enamel, and cause more sensitivity in your teeth. When you go to shop for new toothbrushes, avoid those that are hard-bristled and go for the soft or medium ones that are sturdy enough to remove plaque.

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Eating Sugary Foods

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a sugary treat once in a while, but constantly eating sweet foods can speed up tooth decay and lead to more cavities.

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Drinking Soda

Sodas are loaded with sugar, and you already know how harmful that can be for your teeth. But on top of the sugar content, it has acids that can totally destroy your teeth’s enamel over time. Sodas with low sugar content can be just as harmful, since they are even more acidic due to artificial sweeteners.

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Biting On Tongue Piercings

On top of the fact that mouth piercings can lead to infections, biting on them or using your teeth to fiddle around with them can end up cracking a tooth. So leave those piercings alone!

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Drinking Too Much Coffee

Coffee can easily stain or yellow the teeth because it's dark and acidic. But on a bright note, these stains can be removed with safe whitening methods, such as whitening strips and over the counter whitening gels.

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Eating Highly Acidic Foods

Eating a lot of highly acidic foods, like lemons, pickles, and tomatoes, can eat away at the enamel and eventually cause it to erode. Losing the outer protective layer of your teeth can make it painful to eat very hot and very cold foods, and your teeth may also begin to chip.

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Biting Your Fingernails

You probably think that it's totally harmless to bite your nails from time to time, but you couldn't be more wrong. This could actually cause your enamel to splinter and your teeth can also shift out of place. So think twice before nibbling on those nails.

Were you surprised by this list? Which of them shocked you the most? Tell us in the comments below!

You can follow the author, Nakeisha Campbell, on Twitter and Instagram.

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