For the protection of your teeth, there are many bad habits you should consider giving up. This doesn’t just include skipping brushing or avoiding flossing your teeth, in fact there are a number of habits which you may not realise have a negative impact on your teeth. Biting your nails and brushing your teeth too hard are also bad for your teeth. Portobello Dental have helped to highlight some of these bad habits so you can begin to cut these out and continue to care for your teeth. Maintaining a healthy, white smile and avoiding damaged teeth.  

Brushing Your Teeth and Gums Too Hard

This may come as a surprise to some, but you can indeed brush too hard! Advice tells everyone that brushing your teeth twice a day is key, but do you know how to brush your teeth properly? 

When brushing you should treat this as though you are massaging the teeth, do not press too hard with your toothbrush else you could cause more damage than good. By applying too much pressure when brushing your teeth, you may be slowly eroding the enamel on your teeth. Healthy enamel on your teeth is important because it protects the inner layers of your teeth from damage by acids found in food and drink. If you erode the enamel away, this cannot be naturally repaired and will increase your risk of dental sensitivity and cavities. 

Grinding Your Teeth

Teeth grinding (also known as Bruxism) can sometimes be something many people do without even realising they are doing it. Often as a result of stress, anxiety, or general sleeping habits. This means it can be a slightly harder habit to cut out. 

Signs you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep include: 

  • Tooth sensitivity caused by erosion of enamel on your teeth 
  • Your jaw feels sore
  • Chipped teeth or teeth which feel loose 
  • Headaches at your temples

As so many people grind their teeth without realising, particularly those who do this within their sleep, it is important to keep an eye out on the signs mentioned above. You can discuss these with your dentist, who could recommend a solution such as a mouth guard for when you sleep, to reduce this issue.  


Notorious for its negative impact on our general health, smoking is no good for our teeth either. Products containing tobacco can severely stain your teeth and may even cause them to fall out or contribute to the onset of gum disease. Smoking cigarettes is linked to many cancers, including cancer of the mouth. For any smokers concerned by the health of their teeth, mouth, and gums, this is certainly one other reason to consider quitting smoking for good. 

Consuming Sugary Treats and Drinks 

The majority of people should be aware by now that sugary drinks and snacks are bad for your teeth. Dentists will encourage sweet treats and fizzy drinks to be consumed only in moderation. Many sweets, like gummy sweets and hard candies, will become stuck in your teeth, leaving the sugar to break down, turning into the acids which cause cavities. 

Skipping Dentist Appointments 

By regularly visiting your dentist, they can carry out a thorough health check of your teeth, mouth, and gums. If you choose to skip these important appointments, going several years without seeing a dental professional, you could have underlying dental issues. If left untreated, concerns such as gum disease, tooth decay and cavities could lead to long-term damage. Check out dentist City of London for more information on how regular dentist appointments can help.

Biting your nails 

Biting your nails can be quite a difficult habit to cut out, as many people tend to do this in moments where they feel anxious or stressed. By biting your nails, you can actually chip your teeth, as well as cause jaw dysfunction. When trying to kick this habit, there are some options. For example, painting your nails with clear polishes which have been designed to prevent nail biting thanks to their bad taste.

Getting into good teeth cleaning habits from an early age is essential; for example toddlers can benefit from cleaning their teeth and getting into that routine. Check out my tips on getting your toddler to clean their teeth for more information.

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Last Update: Friday, 8th September 2023