20 Bad Teeth Habits to Break

Habits that Damage Your Teeth Say Experts at The Chicago Dental Society

Most dental health groups agree that there are some things that are just bad for you and often you don’t even know that these things can be damaging to your teeth. If you did – you would probably refrain from the activity, or from the foods and beverages that cause the damage.  With the experience we have gained by talking to our expert dentists, and of course, with a little additional consultation from the Chicago Dental Society, we have put together a list of 19 bad habits that can wreck your teeth.


Chewing on Ice

At City Dental we are always surprised at how innocuous people believe chewing ice to be.  This is just water, right? So it can’t be bad for you. You believe this is true of ice. After all,  it’s natural and sugar-free, but it is not necessarily harmless. Chewing on ice can cause damage to your teeth. This habit causes chipping and even cracks your teeth. So one day you could be mindlessly chomping on that cool ice, and suddenly Ouch you cracked or chipped a tooth. Ice also harms the gums and the dentin inside a tooth, and can cause regular toothaches. Hot foods and cold foods bring on quick, sharp jabs of pain or a prolonged type of pain. So the next time you walk by the fridge, forego the ice and try a stick of sugarless gum instead.

Not Using A Mouth Guard When You Play Sports

No matter the sport, whether it is football, hockey or soccer, you don’t want to go without a mouth guard. The Chicago Dental Society says sports accidents are often a reason for tooth loss. These are small pieces of plastic molded to protect your front teeth. Without a mouth guard, you can easily break or chip teeth, and in some cases, even knock out a few. And this happens, all because of a sports accident. You can find over the counter mouth guards, or your dentist can make one for you.

Infants Need to Avoid Bed-Time Bottles

New studies have found that parents need to pay attention to infant oral health, and one of the worst things you can do is to give a baby a bed-time bottle. Avoid giving a baby a bedtime bottle of juice, milk, or formula. Bottles tend to pool liquid in the baby’s mouth and this allows bacteria to infiltrate.  The baby may become used to falling asleep with the bottle but it seriously harms his teeth.

Piercings in Tongues

City Dental dentists say they often see tongue piercings in patients, and they just don’t realize how dangerous these can be. Tongue piercings may seem cool and trendy, but they are a hazard. People with piercings tend to play with the stud in their mouth and this can cause the barbell to come into contact with the teeth, and at some point chip or crack them.   Lip piercings are just as bad. The mouth is also a fun place for bacteria to live, and when you get a piercing you just add another fun place for the bacteria to harbor. Besides, when you get a piercing, you risk getting a vein pierced, and this can cause severe bleeding. So stay away from piercings, or at the very least,  discuss the health risks with your dentist first.

Grinding Teeth is A Very Bad Habit

The  Chicago Dental Society also says that teeth grinding can be a real problem as well. This is a bad habit that can damage the teeth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, wears  teeth down over time. This is usually a bad habit that is usually brought on stress and poor sleeping habits. It is an unconscious habit, so it is hard to control. Ask your dentist to check to see if you might have an issue with night clenching. Your dentist may recommend using a mouth guard at night as this can prevent further damage to teeth.

Cough Drops

Dental health groups insist that cough drops are not medicine and are not necessarily healthy, although the sugar-free variety are not damaging.  Normal cough drops are loaded with sugar. so you want to brush your teeth well after soothing your throat with a lozenge. Note that all hard candy, including throat lozenges, create the sticky plaque that coats your teeth. This is the food of bacteria, and they convert this into an acid that eats away at tooth enamel and this causes cavities.

Gummy Candy

Chicago Dental Society says this is the worst type of candy. All sugary candy creates tooth decay, but some types of candy is worse than other types. Gummies are the worst because of their sticky nature. The sugars stick in the teeth, and cause acids that come in contact with your enamel for long periods of time. If you insist on eating them, do so during a meal instead of at a different time. This is when you produce more saliva that can help rinse out the sticky candy.

Colorful Candy


Candy isn’t the only bad boy when it comes to sugar, say experts at City Dental. Soft drinks also have a large amount of sugar. However, pop also contains other bad substances for your teeth, like phosphoric and citric acids. Diet soft drinks forego the acid making sugar, but they also contain acids that weaken your teeth, so they are not a better option.

Using Your Teeth as Scissors or An Opener

Stop opening bottle caps, bags and things with your teeth. This can be easy, but it is horrible for your teeth.  Using your teeth as an opener can cause damage. you can crack or chip a tooth this way. Just use a bottle opener or scissors. Remember, you only want to use your teeth for eating.

Sports Drinks

Contrary to what you think, sports drinks are not good for your teeth. They are usually high in sugar and produce the samean acid attack on the enamel of your teeth as juice and soda. This leads to decay. Try water instead.

Fruit Juice

City Dental health groups can not stress enough in suggesting that people look at the ingredients on products they buy. After consulting with the Chicago Dental Society, we found out that even fruit juice has a large quantity of sugar. Juice may be full of vitamins and antioxidants, but unfortunately, you are also getting too much sugar. Some juices can have as much sugar per serving as a soft drink, and that is about 10 spoonfuls. Fruits are a better and more natural option. If you have to have your juice, try diluting it with some water.


This junk food is not good for your health and definitely unhealthy for your teeth as well, say the dentists at City Dental. It turns this starchy food into acids that  attack the teeth for about 30 minutes afterwards, and even more when pieces get stuck in your teeth. If you insist, on eating the then you at least want to brush and floss afterward.

Continual Snacking

When you snack all the time, you cause your mouth to produce less saliva, and bits of food continually get left behind.  forget about snacking all the time, and when you do, choose vegetables and fruits that that are low in sugar and starch.

Break the Stress Habit of Chewing on Pencils

This might be a stress-breaker, but when you chew on your pencil, you might cause damage to your teeth. Instead of that pencil, choose Sugarless gum.

Coffee Can Harm Teeth

It causes stains on the teeth over time. Fortunately, your dentist can treat these stains with a good whitening procedure. Talk to your dentist about the different whitening methods.


Cigarettes also stain teeth,but they also cause other problems like tooth loss and even cancer. If you were looking for one more reason to quit, think of your oral health.


Red Wine

Red wine has acids that  eat at tooth enamel. It can create rough spots that stain teeth. It also has a pigment known as chromogen. Colloquialy we know these as tannins, and ths is another factor that stains the teeth. It is this staining combination of ingredients that makes the color stay in your mouth for a long time. Minimize the damage by brushing your teeth after you drink that glass of red wine.

White Wine is Just as Bad

Even the acids in white wine can damage teeth by weakening the enamel, and make teeth porous. This gives your teeth the ability to absorb stains from other foods and drinks like coffee. Rinse your mouth with water after you drink white wine. Use toothpaste with a mild whitening agent to fight off stains.

Ove-Eating Is Bad for Your Oral Health

When you eat too much, but especially when you eat too many sweets and foods that are bad for you, this leads to cavities and tooth decay. So when you eat too much and then try to compensate by purging (vomiting) you can do more harm than good for your teeth. Throwing up brings up strong acids which are now known to erode your teeth. This can make your teeth weak. Besides, it also leads to bad breath.  Bulimia is dangerous to your health and to your teeth. Talk to your dentist about binge eating and the consequences say the experts at City Dental.



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