Are You Ruining Your Teeth With These Bad Habits?

Over 100 million Americans are missing teeth, and over 35 million lack teeth entirely. This number is extremely large, especially when you consider it only includes those living in the United States. Around the world, many people lose teeth due to various factors, including improper dental hygiene. For the sake of your teeth, it’s important to break these habits moving forward. 

Smile Boutique in Mount Vernon, New York, is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental care to everyone. This includes professional cleanings, advice, and other forms of preventive dentistry. The best way to preserve your teeth is to care for them, and our dentists aim to give you the knowledge and tools you need to break bad habits and care for your teeth properly. 

What bad habits can impact my teeth?

Some bad habits might be obviously frowned upon by your dentist, like neglecting to floss or consuming a lot of sugar. However, some seemingly harmless vices can have negative effects on your teeth as well. Here are a few habits you should break sooner rather than later. 

Infrequent or improper cleaning

Many people consider their bases covered if they brush twice a day, but that isn’t the case. You might have gotten scolded by your dentist for not flossing, but forgetting to rinse after meals is also a bad habit. Brushing, flossing, and rinsing all play an important part in removing debris and preventing plaque buildup. 

If you truly dislike flossing, consider investing in a water flossing system that replaces floss with jets of water. 

Improper brushing is also a problem. Although brushing hard might feel more productive, you’re actually scrubbing away enamel and making your gums sore. Instead, you should use soft toothbrushes and make gentle circular motions over your teeth. You should also lengthen the time you brush your teeth; quantity and quality are both important. 

Nail biting, chewing ice, and gnawing on pens

Life can be stressful, and many of us have a habit of absentmindedly sticking things in our mouth. However, biting down on hard surfaces like our fingernails, ice, and pen caps can put you in danger of chipping or damaging your teeth. These absentminded habits can also put stress on your jaw, worsening conditions like TMJ disorders and giving you headaches.

Grinding or clenching your teeth

Stressed people also tend to clench their jaw or grind their teeth. This can wreak havoc on your teeth and jaws. Make sure to unclench your jaw often, and set reminders to ensure that you aren’t clenching. If you grind your teeth at night, get fitted for a night guard as soon as possible. 

Foregoing sports guards during games

If you play football, rugby, or any other sport where your teeth can get injured, you need a sports guard. A custom-fitted guard can be more comfortable and safe than a generic one, so be sure to get professionally fitted before game season. 

Sucking or chewing on hard candy

There’s no good way to eat hard candy. Holding them in your mouth allows the sugar to linger on your teeth, promoting tooth decay. However, crunching down on them can put you at risk of chipping your teeth. Either way, you should ditch the candies and opt for sugar-free gum instead. 


If you’re interested in getting fitted for mouthguards, want a quick check-up and cleaning, or just want to discuss your dental health with a professional, you can get in touch with the Smile Boutique team by calling 914-664-7400 or booking an appointment online.

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