bad dental habits smile sarasota

Just Don’t Do It!

This is a subject that we have discussed in the past and felt it was time for a reminder! There are a hundred different things that we do every day which can harm our teeth. While some of these things are unavoidable, many can be prevented. For example, using the teeth to open bottles, jars, and packing is a common habit. We are probably all guilty of it, because it’s more convenient than getting up and finding some scissors. However, this is a good example of a habit that is damaging to teeth, and should be avoided. In addition to daily brushing and flossing, one of the best things you can do to keep you teeth healthy is to educate yourself on foods and habits that damage your teeth. Here are a few things to be aware of:

  • Using the Wrong Toothpaste: A mistake in this area can wear your teeth down for years without you having the slightest idea it’s happening. Ask Dr. Still or one of our hygienists to recommend the best toothpaste for your individual needs.
  • Chewing on Anything Other Than Food: This includes ice! Sometimes we develop the habit of chewing on pencils, pens and pen caps when we’re bored or focusing intently on some task at work.
  • Constant Snacking: This habit causes your enamel to be in constant interaction with acids from food, which can wear away at your teeth. Even worse is snacking on sweet or starchy foods like mints, candy, throat lozenges or pretzels.
  • Guzzling Fruit Juice: We know it’s hard to believe, but fruit juice packs nearly as much sugar as soda. Stick with water (either carbonated or flat).
  • Drinking Sports Drinks Instead of Water for Hydration: Popular drinks in this category are high in acid as well, which eat away at tooth enamel.
  • Opening Packages with Your Teeth: Teeth are meant for eating and smiling! Any other use can be unhealthy; your teeth are not knives, and they’re not scissors either. Although it may seem convenient in the short term, opening potato chip bags, bobby pins, or even bottle caps with your teeth can cause teeth to chip or fracture. To save your teeth, reach for the proper tools for such tasks instead.
  • Grinding Your Teeth: Check with your dentist since they’re able to tell by looking for signs of wear on your teeth. Then, ask them about mouth guards or splints to protect your teeth. Read more here about grinding your teeth on our Smile Sarasota Blog.
  • Getting Pierced: Other than the fact that tongue and lip piercings can harbor bacteria that can lead to an infection, those little shiny objects also cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
  • Not using a mouth guard: Mouth guards protect against the loss of teeth and damage to the jaw. There’s really no excuse for not wearing one if you’re involved in a contact sport. An estimated 5 million teeth are knocked out every year through sports. According to the American Dental Association, mouth guards prevent 200,000 sports-related mouth injuries every year.
  • Excessive Bleachers: If you’re experiencing excessive gum and tooth sensitivity, you may want to take a break and speak with Dr. Still before continuing. Read more here about teeth whitening.

If you have any questions whatsoever…call Smile Sarasota!!


Sources and Credits: American Dental Association,,