It’s not uncommon for a person to have a bad dental habit(s) and not even realize it. Bad dental habits could be ingrained from childhood, and it’s OK! Bad habits can become ingrained, even when there are good intentions. If you don’t have the proper knowledge or know-how, how are you supposed to know what is correct and incorrect? Some habits can seem innocuous, but in reality, you are harming your teeth. While some habits don’t cause immediate damage, the effects can build up over time and can damage your teeth down the road.

Bad Dental Habits

For the New Year, many people aim to throw away some of their bad habits. This is an excellent time to put some of your bad dental habits to rest. If you have any of the following bad dental habits, you may want to work on ditching them in 2017.

1. Using Your Teeth to Hold Objects

You may not realize the amount of pressure you are placing on your teeth when you hold an object between your teeth. Using your teeth to hold objects can lead to your teeth cracking or shifting. In addition, you run a much higher chance of ruining any finished dental work.

2. Use a Toothpick Carefully

While using a toothpick might be common practice, when you don’t use a toothpick correctly you risk injury to your gum tissue. Using a toothpick can help you keep your teeth clean when it’s used correctly, but there’s a fine line. You cannot be too aggressive, you need to be gentle. However, if you are not comfortable using toothpicks, use soft toothpicks or floss instead.

3. Not Practicing Proper Hygienic Practices

The best habit you can have is practicing proper hygiene daily. Every day you should aim to brush your teeth twice a day and floss in between your teeth. Using an antiseptic rinse to get rid of bacteria is also recommended to help fight against bad breath and gum disease. Also, we recommend that you replace your manual or electric toothbrush head every three to four months.

4. Not Using a Mouth Guard

If you play a contact sport such as hockey or football, you should never get into the game without wearing a mouth guard. You can purchase mouth guards at most sporting goods stores, or you could see your dentist to get a custom made and fitted mouth guard. Playing sports with no mouth guard can quickly lead to chipped or broken teeth, and puts you at a higher risk for concussions.

5. Don’t Bite Your Nails

Biting your nails not only can ruin the appearance of your hands, but it can cause oral issues as well. This nervous habit can chip your teeth, cause your teeth to break and move out of place, and can also make your tooth wear down and enamel splinter. We know this habit can be hard to break, but if you don’t your teeth may suffer as much as your manicure.