7 worst habits for your dental health

Extended dentistry concept

It is important to take care of your teeth, otherwise you could end up spending a lot of time and money at the dentist.

It’s easy to forget about your teeth when you’re busy with other things, but taking care of your mouth can help you save money. Indeed, the cost of dental treatments and procedures is often higher than that of medical care.

Consider these four ways good dental habits can save you money:

  • You will need fewer visits to the dentist.
  • You’ll avoid expensive procedures like root canals and crowns. You reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which can lead to more expensive treatments later.
  • You’ll be more likely to keep your natural teeth for life instead of having to get dentures or implants later in life.

Now, let’s look at some of the worst habits that can damage your teeth and gums.

Not brushing properly

You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day, but that’s easier said than done. If you keep brushing and flossing, great! If not, here are some tips to get you back on track:

How often should you brush your teeth?

It depends on the type of toothbrush you use. The American Dental Association recommends using an electric or powered toothbrush for best results. These brushes are more effective at removing plaque buildup than manual brushes because they vibrate at high speeds. This stimulates the gums and helps remove plaque from hard-to-reach places where food can accumulate between the teeth (this is called interdental cleaning). The ADA also states that if you don’t have access to an electric toothbrush, manual brushing with fluoride toothpaste is also fine — just make sure you don’t miss any spots.

What kind of toothpaste should you use?

There are several types that do different things: some whiten teeth while others help prevent cavities; some taste like fresh mint while others taste like fruit snacks; some even contain chemicals intended specifically for sensitive teeth. As long as your toothpaste contains fluoride (and most do), any brand will work if you use it regularly.

What type of toothbrush should you use?

A soft toothbrush damages the gums less. Also use a light touch. Brushing too hard can damage gum tissue and cause receding gums, exposing the roots of your teeth, including enamel-covered root surfaces. The best way to avoid this is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head.

Not flossing

Flossing doesn’t just get food out between your teeth, it also cleans around the gum line where bacteria build up and cause bad breath (also known as halitosis). However, many people don’t floss regularly because they find it annoying or difficult to do properly. If that describes you, use toothpicks instead of traditional floss. They are easier to use and take up less space in your mouth than traditional dental floss.

Smoking or chewing tobacco

Smoking and chewing tobacco are two of the worst things you can do for your dental health. They both cause gum disease, which harms your teeth. In addition, smoking causes tooth decay and tooth loss. The chemicals in the smoke also cause bad breath and yellowing of the teeth, while chewing tobacco causes cavities and mouth cancer. Smoking affects more than your heart and lungs; it is also harmful to your gums and teeth.

Eat hard candy, caramel and popcorn kernels

Dentists recommend not eating hard candy. It can damage teeth, making it more likely that you will have cavities. The sugar in hard candy also causes tooth decay. Toffee and popcorn kernels are some of the worst things you can eat if you want a healthy smile. These foods are so hard that they can chip your teeth or even break one entirely. Although nuts are a healthy snack, bite a hard one and it could fracture a filling or even a tooth.

Eating acidic foods

Avoid acidic foods that erode enamel, such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, and sports drinks. These foods and drinks can erode your tooth enamel if you eat them often. When tooth enamel erodes, it reveals the dull dentin underneath and your teeth look darker and more yellow. Whitening will not lighten teeth affected by eroded enamel. The only way to fix it is to get veneers to cover the areas.

Acidic foods include:

  • Citrus fruits and juices (for example, oranges)
  • Tomatoes
  • Sports drinks
  • Soft drink

Become dehydrated (lack of saliva causes dry mouth)

Water is the best drink for your body because it helps keep your teeth and gums healthy. If you don’t drink enough water, your mouth will dry out and you will produce less saliva. A reduction in saliva affects how bacteria grow in your mouth. The result? No more cavities and periodontal disease.

How to avoid this fate? Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. If you have trouble remembering, take a bottle with you wherever you go and drink it every few hours throughout the day. If you don’t have filtered water, the colorless taste of tap water may not be your favorite, but you’ll thank yourself later when those cavities don’t appear.

Not seeing your dentist regularly

Regular checkups allow your dentist to spot potential problems early and treat them before they become more serious or painful. Missing regular visits means you might not receive treatment until the problem becomes acute, which could mean more time and expense down the line. See your dentist every six months and more often if recommended.


Hopefully, this article will make you aware of the habits that can have a negative impact on your dental health. Know how to take care of your teeth and be consistent about it. It will save you time and money later. Plus, you’ll have a better smile! Isn’t it worth a little effort?


  1. “Dental Erosion – American Dental Association.” August 31, 2021, ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/dental-erosion.
  2. « Toothbrushes | American Dental Association. February 26, 2019, ada.org/resources/research/science-and-research-institute/oral-health-topics/toothbrushes.

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