We all have little quirks that make us who we are. Maybe you jostle your leg as you sit. Or perhaps you tap your fingers while at your desk. Although these habits may aggravate others, they’re not necessarily bad for you. However, a few practices are harmful to your health — your oral health that is. These may be things you do without even thinking about it, but they can lead to damaged teeth that diminish the appearance of your smile.

Here we’ll discuss what damages teeth, including some of the more common bad habits that could be wreaking havoc without your knowledge. We’ll also include some tips on how you may be able to break each negative habit.

Nail Biting

Whether you’re cleaning your nails with your teeth, giving them a little trim or chewing them as a nervous habit, nail biting can actually have a serious impact on your teeth and jaw. Even if you don’t think you’re biting down too hard, your teeth can chip under the pressure. However, the impact on your jaw is the real concern. When you bite your nails, you protrude your jaw. Over time, this protruding position places unwanted pressure that can lead to jaw dysfunction.

The solution? Try painting your fingers with bitter-tasting nail polish or dipping them in a solution with an unpleasant taste. If your nail biting is due to stress, keep your hands occupied with something small and handy, like a stress ball.


Most children learn in school the health risks associated with smoking. However, one of its most significant downsides is the effect it has on your oral health. The first thing most people notice when they smoke is a slight discoloration of their teeth. Both nicotine and tar can become embedded in the pores of your teeth. As people continue smoking, a multitude of oral consequences can occur, such as:



Because of the addictive nature of nicotine, most people find it quite difficult to quit smoking. However, several treatment plans are available to those who want to stop.


Using Your Teeth as Tools

Having difficulty opening a bag of chips or ripping off a plastic tie cord? Why grab a pair of scissors when your teeth are such convenient tools? We rip, pull and even hold things in our mouth all the time, but unfortunately, this negative habit can cause some serious repercussions to teeth. Teeth are for eating, and they shouldn’t be used as stand-ins when you can’t find the proper tool for the job. Otherwise, you put yourself at a much higher risk for cracked teeth or even a jaw injury.

The solution may not be convenient, but it is obvious. Don’t use your teeth for any old job. Take the time to find scissors or the right tool for what you need done. Your mouth will thank you.

Keep Your Teeth Healthy With Dental Choice

One simple solution for keeping your teeth as healthy as possible is by visiting your local Dental Choice office. We’re proud to provide our services to patients in Edmonton, Calgary and Airdrie, Alberta. We strive to keep our patients smiling brightly, so be sure to schedule your appointment today.

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