8 Harmful Habits to Your Teeth

8 Harmful Habits to Your TeethAre you harming your teeth without even knowing it? Everyone knows how important it is to take care of your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing, but many don’t know that some daily habits can damage your teeth. While some of these habits can cause immediate damage, others may affect your oral health over time. Here are 8 harmful habits that you may need to put to rest for the sake of your teeth.

1. Nail-Biting
This nervous habit not only ruins your nails but can also chip and increase tooth sensitivity. It can also impact your jaw as you place your jaw in a protruding position and use pressure to bite down onto your nails. Over time, nail-biting can lead to chipped or cracked teeth, tooth sensitivity, and jaw dysfunction.

Pick a nail color that you love so you won’t be tempted, keep your nails trimmed short, or coat them in something bitter to prevent mindless biting. If stress is causing your nail-biting, consider other solutions to stress relief.

2. Brushing Too Hard
Brushing twice a day for at least two minutes is one of the best habits you can have for your oral health. However, brushing harder and faster doesn’t mean you are brushing better. Brushing with a hard-bristled brush can irritate your gums and damage your teeth.

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with the ADA seal of approval and think of massaging your teeth when you brush, not scrubbing them clean.

3. Grinding and Clenching
Many people grind or clench their teeth, especially while sleeping. Tooth grinding, also called Bruxism, can result in wearing down your teeth, cracking or chipping teeth, muscle tenderness, joint dysfunction, and chronic pain. Damage from grinding may also require additional replacements to crowns or other dental implants.

Grinding is often caused by stress. At night it can be difficult to control, so patients should consider wearing a nightguard to limit the damage. During the day, practice relaxation exercises by stretching your jaw and making an effort to keep your feet apart.

4. Chewing on Ice and Pencils
Chewing on ice is a common habit that is very dangerous for your teeth. Tooth enamel is crystal and ice cubes are another form of crystal. When you push crystals against each other, one will break. Thankfully it is most often the ice that breaks, but sometimes a tooth or filling will break instead.

Instead, use a straw so you won’t be tempted or consider chewing on a piece of sugarless gum if you get the urge.

Biting down on pencils or pens while you concentrate is also a bad habit that may cause your teeth to crack and chip. They may also irritate the inside of your teeth.

5. Using Your Teeth as Tools
It might seem convenient to open a package with your teeth or to use them as an extra hand, but your teeth were made for eating. When you use your teeth as a stand-in for a pair of scissors or to hold something while you open a door, you put yourself at a greater risk of damaging your teeth. Common injuries include cracked teeth, cuts on the lips and tongue, injured jaw, or accidentally swallowing something you shouldn’t have.

Instead, keep yourself safe and ask for help, grab a pair of scissors, or decide to make multiple trips if you don’t have room in your hands for all your items. Always practice safety first, even for your teeth.

6. Playing without a mouthguard
A hit to the mouth during a big game can cause your teeth to loosen, chip, crack, or you may even lose a tooth. Not to mention, you may bite down on your tongue, lip, or cheek. Many people play recreational sports without using a mouthguard, even though nearly all professional athletes wear them. Protect your oral health and purchase a self-fitting mouthguard that conforms to your bite or talk with your dentist about a custom-made mouthguard so that you can protect your smile while you play sports.

7. Loving Lemons
Remember when you were young and you would take a cut orange and smile with it in your mouth? You were probably told by a teacher or parent to take it out of your mouth because you’d damage your teeth. They were right! Lemons, oranges, and other highly acidic foods can damage your tooth’s enamel. These acidic substances can cause erosion and tooth sensitivity. This may lead to tooth discoloration as well and make a rough texture on the surface of your teeth afterward.

Avoid eating highly acidic foods in large quantities. Remember to rinse out your mouth with water after eating acidic foods. Brush your teeth after waiting 30 minutes or so, as brushing immediately afterward may result in increased sensitivity and lead to more damage.

8. Forgetting to Floss
We know that brushing and flossing are important and that more often than not, flossing can fall to the side during a busy week. Forgetting to floss can cause serious damage to your oral health. Regular flossing helps to reduce plaque buildup from between your teeth and under your gums.

Commit to brushing and flossing. Do them together in the morning and night so that you don’t forget one or the other. Establish a routine and stick to it.

We understand it is hard to break bad habits, but amending your ways will significantly improve your dental health. If you recognize one or two of these habits as your own, contact our office so that we can work with you to break these bad habits.

For more information on habits that are harmful to your teeth, please contact Sunset Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today.

Our Mission:

We want to be your dentist here in the Miami, FL area.

We have our own independent
in-house dental lab.
Most dental offices send all their laboratory work to outside labs, but here at Sunset Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Ubieta is utilizing an in house lab that fabricates most of our Crowns, Inlays/Onlays and Veneers.


  • Lilianet S. Avatar
    Lilianet S.

    My whole life I have been afraid of the dentist. When they told me o had to remove my wisdom tooth I was already looking for a place with general anesthesia because I was afraid of the process and didn’t wanted to be afraid. A friend of mine talked to me about Dr Ubieta. She promised I wouldn’t feel a thing.

    At the end of the procedure I almost cried. Dr Ubieta was so gentle and nice through the whole process that I felt super comfortable and to be honest I didn’t felt pain at all. Only from the injections with the anesthesia.

    Absolutely going back to get the rest of them out.

  • Casey A. Avatar
    Casey A.

    The entire staff is very kind and professional. Everyone is amazing at what they do and they make the experience very pleasant. Dr. Ubieta is very good at what he does and will go above and beyond to make your experience the best one possible. I had all 4 wisdom teeth extracted and the entire staff did the most to make me comfortable and have a smooth procedure. By far the best staff and dental service I’ve ever come across! Highly recommend for any type of dental service!

  • Nikolas I. Avatar
    Nikolas I.

    This was my first time attending and they treated me amazing. Everyone was kind and very helpful. They did a great job. Highly recommend!

  • Lianet S. Avatar
    Lianet S.

    My experience with Sunset Family & Cosmetic Dentistry has been nothing less than extraordinary! Dr. Ubieta is not a typical dentist, he is highly skilled and very passionate about his profession. He is also well-informed of the latest dental techniques and what treatment is best for me. His staff is one of a kind, they always provide an outstanding service making me feel very comfortable every time I visit the office. I highly recommend Dr. Ubieta and his practice!

  • felix &. Avatar
    felix &.

    Overall great experience with this practice, great costumer service from the moment I steped in the office they made me feel like family. Advance technology to get procedures done faster than other offices. I highly recommend them to everyone I know.


Sunset Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
9777 SW 72nd St, Miami, FL 33173

Contact Us:
(305) 596-2815

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