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7 Surprising Everyday Habits That Harm Your Teeth

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Whether you realize it or not, there are some everyday habits that you do that can seriously harm your teeth. From crunching on ice constantly to sucking on lemons, here are seven bad habits that can have a devastating effect on your teeth.

1. Crunching on Ice

Teeth are designed to crush through most food items, but not hard substances. While chewing ice may seem harmless, keep in mind that when a blender does it, it requires special blades.

2. Eating Lemons

Lemons are highly acidic, which can corrode the enamel on the teeth. In fact, repeated exposure often leaves teeth with a rough texture, instead of the smooth texture they should have.

3. Brushing Teeth Too Hard

While brushing is a crucial aspect of good oral health, brushing too hard can cause significant issues, including:

  • gum irritation
  • wearing down the enamel
  • making teeth overly sensitive to the cold
  • causing cavities

If you feel the need to brush hard to remove plaque, try using a pre-rinse to help loosen it up.

4. Using Teeth as a Mouth-Tool

It's not uncommon for someone to use their teeth to rip off price tags, unscrew bottle tops, or open a bag of pretzels, but that doesn't mean it's not harmful. Not only can this do damage to existing dental work, but it can also result in your teeth cracking.

5. Using Teeth to Hold Items

From glasses to pencils and pens, many people put things between their teeth, particularly when they are trying to concentrate on something difficult. However, this puts pressure on the teeth that can cause them to shift or crack. It can also break existing dental work.

6. Biting Nails

Regular nail biting can result in teeth moving out of place or even breaking, as well as causing the enamel on the teeth to split.

7. Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking can continue well into adulthood. It could be a habit just never broken or because of a nervous condition one may have. Unfortunately, besides just embarrassment, this can have serious consequences. Even children who are still sucking their thumb can cause permanent damage to the structure of their jaw and teeth. Frequently, it leads to a misalignment that can make it difficult to chew or breathe.​

If you are engaged in any of the behaviors discussed above, understand that it is time to put an end to these bad habits, maybe with the help of your dentist. These everyday habits can hurt your oral health.