Four bad habits that can affect your oral health

Dr. Jessica Wyatt, General Dentist, Elite Dental and Aesthetics

131 NW 100th Ave

Plantation, FL 33324


Bad habits are hard to break, we all know this. But did you know that your teeth are actually not that hard to break? You only get one set of adult teeth in life, and it’s crucial that you take good care of them. Here are four tips I share with my patients on how to keep your teeth lasting long and strong:

1) DON’T chew on non-food items, including ice! Our teeth may appear hard, but they’re actually quite flexible and can be broken. Habits such as chewing fingernails, pens, toothpicks, and even ice can easily fracture teeth. Sometimes when teeth break, we can save them, but other times teeth can fracture and have to be removed!

2) DON’T use your teeth as tools. Using your teeth to open bottles or packages can be very dangerous. Even if your tooth doesn’t break right away, the repeated stress on your teeth when you use them as tools can lead to microfractures in the teeth that can lead to sensitivity and future fracture.

3) DON’T smoke. Smoking is an obvious bad habit for many reasons, and its impact on the oral cavity is no exception. Not only does smoking cause yellowing of the teeth, bad breath, gum disease, and can increase risk of decay, it can also greatly increase your chases of getting oral cancer! The sooner you stop smoking, the better.

4) DON’T grind or clench your teeth. This one may be easier said than done, but thankfully there are treatments we can offer to help you with this. Grinding and clenching your teeth can wear down and even fracture them! In my office, one of the more popular procedures to help with this is Botox® to help relax the muscle that can cause grinding and clenching. It’s a virtually pain-free procedure that can work wonders and can have the added bonus of helping with headaches caused by grinding and clenching.

Old habits are hard to break but these 4 bad habits are ones you’ll certainly want to avoid in order to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Your smile will thank you!

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