Bad Oral Health Habits Compromise the Teeth and Gums

Good oral health habits are simply about prevention. Bad oral health habits will eventually compromise both the teeth and the gums. Prevention begins by visiting the dentist on a regular basis (about every six months). This provides an opportunity to diagnose any potential problems early on. At the same time, bad oral health habits can be revealed, addressed, and even resolved.

The idea behind a preventive approach to oral health is to avert big problems from developing.  Bad oral health habits and inattention can be the start of tooth and gum problems that could be more difficult to correct. Having a good dentist is both necessary and essential. By engaging in a preventive approach, teeth and gum issues can be properly identified and diagnosed. The good news about bad oral health habits is that they can be reversed, with changes made going forward.

Bad oral health habits than can be easily reversed

From time to time, everyone has bad oral health habits. And unfortunately, some may be harder to break than others. Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, there are negative impacts, and especially for the long term. The aim is to identify the habits and make an effort to reverse them.

Crunching Ice

Crunching ice cubes or pieces of ice puts the teeth at risk of chipping and/or cracking. This habit also has the potential of irritating the soft tissue around the teeth – a recipe for future gum issues.

Biting Fingernails

Biting fingernails (or chewing on pens) can actually wear down the teeth. When repetitive, this type of biting action can also put added stress on the teeth, which could cause them to misalign.

Drinking Coffee or Wine

For those who are regular coffee drinkers or wine drinkers, tooth staining is a sure consequence. While both should be moderated, the staining can be offset by proper daily oral maintenance.

Tongue Piercings

Tongue piercings (or piercings around the mouth) always pose the risk of biting down on the metal. Piercings can accidentally chip or crack a tooth, and the metal can also scrape the gums.

Brushing Too Hard

Brushing teeth too hard or aggressively can wear down tooth enamel. In addition, aggressive brushing can damage or irritate the gums, leaving both teeth and gums susceptible to problems.

Hard Candy

Because of the high content of sugar, hard candy and chewable candy can be the cause of tooth decay and cavities. In general, candy has a tendency to stick in the teeth and remain lodged in.

Binge Eating

While there are various reasons for binge eating, this will likely involve foods and food products made with high amounts of sugar. Here again, there’s a potential for tooth decay and cavities.


Teeth grinding and clenching can cause chipping, cracking, and misalignment of the teeth. Long term there can be muscle soreness or joint pain in the jaw. Mouth guards will usually help here.

Food Snacking

For those who “graze” all day long (food and drink) there’s a higher risk of cavities. The problem is that there’s always bacteria feasting on leftover food, and that attacks the enamel of the teeth.

A preventive approach to oral health care

Breaking a bad habit is not easy, but it becomes easier if the bad habit is replaced with a healthy habit. Reversing bad habits goes hand in hand with a preventive approach to oral health. And that means taking care of teeth and gums, having good eating habits, and getting regular check ups.

On the surface, a regular semi-annual dental exam may not seem that important. Unfortunately, this is short-term thinking, mainly because of the importance of early diagnosis. The truth is, a regular dental examination is the best way to detect oral problems and ensure early treatment.

At the Mackenzie Dental Centre, Dr. Lloyd Pedvis treats the entire family, offering treatments and procedures with an emphasis on prevention. From oral exams, to whitening, to cosmetics, to root canal treatments, to implants, Dr. Pedvis will recommend the very best treatment protocol to suit the need.

In Woodbridge, and throughout York Region, patients can contact the Mackenzie Dental Centre at 905-417-8700 or contact us online for more information.




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