Bad Habits That Can Wreck Your Teeth

penDeveloping good habits is a good thing. Developing bad habits, not so much. Some good habits include practicing proper oral health, exercising, and eating healthy. Some bad habits include smoking, picking your teeth or nose in public, burping out loud, not covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and the list goes on. There are also bad habits that can wreck your teeth such as biting your nails, chewing ice, chewing pencils or pens, and grinding. Being mindful of your bad habits can help protect your teeth.

Teeth Wreckers

Biting your nails: Biting your nails can wear away your tooth enamel, wear down your teeth over time, and result in uneven biting surfaces.  

Chewing ice: Chewing ice can chip, crack, or break teeth, and also wear away your tooth enamel over time.

Chewing pens and pencils: Chewing on pens or pencils can chip, crack, or wear down your teeth. If chewing your writing utensils is a bad habit of yours, try chewing sugarless gum instead.

Grinding: Grinding and clenching is referred to in the dental field as bruxing. Bruxing can lead to chipped, cracked, broken, worn, or loose teeth. Often, bruxing is a habit people are unaware of, especially if they only brux while sleeping. Wearing a mouth guard can help prevent damage from nighttime bruxing.

Tongue piercings: Barbell type piercings are the most damaging and can cause chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. Also, if the metal piercing rubs against your gums it can cause tooth loss. Tongue piercings are also known to become infected easily, and can cause mouth sores.

Using your teeth to open things: Your teeth can come in handy when you don’t have a scissors, and many people take advantage of that fact by using them to open plastic packaging or other things. Improper use of your teeth can cause cracks, chips, and breakage.  


As a native of northwest Indiana, Nicholas Cain, DDS, is dedicated to providing excellent general, preventive, and family dentistry services to the community that raised him. To schedule your appointment, call Healthy Smiles today at 219-938-2637.