Dentist Reveals Worst Hygiene Habits

By Nick Hadji 11 months ago

1. Drinking lemon water every morning

Image source/ healthyfoodhouseThere had been in the last few years a gear towards healthy eating and drinking. And, while drinking lemon water each morning can be positive for your health...for your teeth it's not so good. The acidity can weaken your enamel which can damage your teeth if you have it too frequently. Using a metal/ paper straw can combat this.Original content sourced from

2. Biting your nails

Image source/ dantagamaBiting your nails for some people is a habit that just seems too hard to kick. But it's not only our nails that suffer, but it may also wear down your teeth if you are continuously biting your nails. Since we only get one lot of teeth - it's a good idea to look after them. And save your nails as well...

3. Brushing too hard

Image source/ thesuperdentistsBrushing your teeth too hard may damage your enamel as well as your gums. Damaging your gums may then cause your gums to start receding, which can in turn make them more sensitive. Using an electric toothbrush can monitor the pressure you use which can help let you know when you press too hard.

4. Vaping

Image source/ unthscNow most of us probably would not have equated vaping with poor dental hygiene. The different flavours in vapes can have a high sugar content which can damage your teeth. And it is thought that nicotine causes gum problems including, dry mouth, sores and bad breath.

5. Drinking wine

Image source/ nurissHaving a red glass of red wine in the evening may actually be having a negative impact on your teeth and guns. Teeth aren't usually the first thing we think of when considering the negative effects of drinking alcohol. The sugar in these drinks can affect your teeth and can also sain your teeth.

6. Chewing on pens

Image source/ beraxambriefChewing on pens is a subconscious habit for a lot of people. But chewing on the plastic can actually wear down your teeth. Even if you think that it is a harmless habit. It may not be. Plus, who knows where that pen has been or WHO has been chewing on it before you...

7. Continuously snacking

Image source/ delishIt may actually be better than to eat more, less often rather than a little bit continuously when it comes to the health of your teeth. This is because the sugar reacts with the bacteria in your mouth to make acid which may then cause decay. Because it takes around 30 minutes for our mouth to naturally neutralise the acidity from the food or fruit, it is better to not snack continuously throughout the day every day.

8. Smoking

Image source/ newsweekAs we know, smoking is not recommended for our heath in any aspect - and it seems as though it can even be bad for our teeth. Smoking may slow down healing processes in your mouth as well as stain your teeth. And it may increase the chances of oral cancer.

9. Not changing your brush enough

Image source/ pinterestEverything else we clean after using it, but when it comes to our toothbrush most of us can be a little bit neglectful. If it's been two years since you last had a new toothbrush, then it's time to change. After all, they don't need changing all of the time, but it may collect up bacteria after a while.

10. Using mouthwash STRAIGHT after brushing

Image source/ dentalyPerhaps you're feeling proud that you've got a rigorous teeth and gum cleaning regime going on - brushing, mouthwash... Well, if you are amongst the many people who think they're doing something good by using mouthwash straight after brushing then you may be wring. It can actually just wash the more powerful toothpaste effects straight off.

11. Regularly drinking fruit juice

Image source/ preserveyourteethDrinking fruit juice or fruit smoothies and the likes can feel like you're making healthy choice. But it may not be the best option for your teeth if you are drinking them very frequently, due to the high sugar combined with acidity. If you want to drink them frequently, then try a reusable straw.

12. Indulging in too many sweet things

Image source/ janetsparadiseIt's normal to have a sweet tooth, a lot of us do. But it's good to have a balance. And TOO many sweet things may not be so good. Of course, sugar is not great for our teeth, so if you are drinking milkshakes and eating biscuits and cakes all of the time it could be having a detrimental impact on your teeth.

13. Chewing on ice cubes

Image source/ businessinsiderindiaWe bet you never considered how crunching on the ice cubes in your drink may actually be bad for your teeth. In fact, it can feel quite satisfying to some people. But it could be wearing down your teeth because ice is particularly hard against your enamel.

14. Not scheduling regular dentist appointments

Image source/ frazerdentalSome people don't like going to the dentist. It can feel intimidating to them. But it is important to keep up with your dental appointments so that you know exactly what is going on in your mouth and if there is anything that needs to be done. Our dental health is important.

15. Brushing MORE than twice a day

Image source/ [interestWhile you may think that you are being the dental queen or king by brushing more than twice a day, you may actually be doing more harm than good. It is considered optimum dental hygiene practice to brush twice a day for two minutes. More, some people suggest can harm your enamel and gums.

16. Not flossing

Image source/ lovetodentistyFlossing can seem like such a chore, or that annoying extra thing you have to do that you never manage to remember or get around to incorporating into your daily routine. Yet it takes just a couple of minutes, and it may help keep away the plaque which may lead to gum disease.

17. Not cleaning your toothbrush

Image source/ RedditInstead of switching your toothbrush and buying a new one all the time, just clean it regularly. Some people have claimed that washing the toothbrush with fairly liquid can be a way to do this. Others suggest the easy method of soaking your toothbrush in mouthwash for a while.

18. Sharing your toothbrush

Image source/ AllureSharing your toothbrush is not a sign of love we are afraid to inform you. It may actually be bad for your dental health. This is because each mouth can contain thousands and thousands of different bacteria - some of which are not good. So, instead of switching bacteria, keep to your own brush.

19. Not brushing twice, a day

Image source/ waterstonefamilydentistyWe should all be brushing our teeth twice a day, for around two minutes - this is what experts have claimed for many years. If we are not doing that, or regularly forget, or just cannot be bothered - then we could be affecting the health of our teeth and mouth.

20. Not brushing with a good technique

Image source/ dentalyBrushing is all well and good...but are you brushing with the right technique. According to experts, they claim we should be brushing our teeth in circular motions (rather than simply brushing from side to side) to properly remove the plaque from our teeth.

21. Rinsing after you brush

Image source/ medicaldailyOnce you finish brushing your teeth, apparently, we should not then rinse out mouth out with water. Most of us do this to get rid of the excess toothpaste from our mouth. But in doing so, we are probably washing away the benefits of the toothpaste. If you want to rinse, wait around 30 minutes.

22. Not having a healthy diet

Image source/ scitechdailyNot having a healthy diet does not just impact on our bodily health but also on our dental health too. In fact, having a healthy diet may also be very important in maintaining the health of our teeth and gums due to our bodies getting the right vitamins and minerals.

23. Biting your lips and gums

Image source/ toothbrushliveWhen you bite your lips and gums you could be opening yourself up to an increased risk of them getting infected. Because once you bite them, it may create little cuts which may be open for bacteria to get inside. So, whether consciously or subconsciously, try to keep your biting at bay.

24. Opening things with your teeth

Image source/ howngCan't open it with your fingers? Let's try with our teeth.... Or NOT. Because this may actually not be good for our teeth for a variety of reasons. One, it could wear them down faster. Two, the packet may cut your mouth. Three, if it slips you could end up cracking a tooth. And finally, it could be full of bacteria and germs.

25. Always drinking flavoured water/drinks

Image source/ The IndependentSome people love drinking water. Others struggle a little bit and crave a little bit more flavour in their drinks. Which can mean that instead of water they always have cordial, or fizzy drinks, or juice of some sort - which all have sugar in. But water is the best thing we can drink for our teeth because it causes no harm.

26. Not using the right products

Image source/ naturalinspirationAre you using the right products when it comes to brushing your teeth? First off, it is recommended that we should be using fluoridate toothpaste. And oral hygiene products such as mouthwash which are in line with 'ADA Seal standards for safety and efficacy'.

27. Sleeping with your mouth open

Image source/ homeologyliveSleeping with your mouth open is not a necessarily bad thing. It just means, that your mouth is not staying moist as it could dry out. Which may possibly lead to you having bad breath in the morning as the saliva has not been able to keep your mouth fresher.

28. Kissing people with poor dental hygiene

Image source/ viddettonlineNo matter how good your own dental hygiene is, if you are kissing somebody who does not - then their bacteria may transfer into your own mouth. This may mean that it could have a negative effect on your mouth and teeth. So, maybe it's worth checking first...

29. Or chewing/sucking unclean objects

Image source/ newlifeticketIt seems to be some kind of natural instinct within us to chew on things or suck things - just like babies. However, when we pick things up and subconsciously put it on our mouth, what we don't see are the hundreds of bacteria which may be lurking on it.

30. Using lots of sports drinks/ snacks

Image source/ eatyourselfbrillianceSports drinks and snacks can differ to normal drinks or snacks because they often may contain a lot of sugars in comparison. So, if you are eating or drinking these on a regular basis then it may be a good idea to have an extra rigorous dental hygiene regime.

31. Grinding And Clenching Your Teeth

Image Source / Williamsburg DentalIf you're a teeth grinder, whether while awake or in your sleep, it's going to grind your teeth down over time. A lot of things can cause you to grind or clench your teeth, such as stress and anxiety - or you may not even know you do it if you do it in your sleep. Mouth guards can help with controlling damage from grinding.

32. Playing High-Contact Sports Without A Mouth Guard

Image Source / GlenhavenPlaying sports is always dangerous, no matter which part of the body we're talking about, but if your face and mouth is exposed in a high-contact sport, you're risking knocking out or chipping a tooth or two. If you don't wear a mouth guard you're putting your oral health at risk.

33. For Babies: Having A Bottle Of Bedtime Juice

Image Source / beautiful balloonsWhether your baby has started teething yet or not, giving them a bedtime bottle of juice (or milk) can actually negatively impact their oral hygiene in regard to tooth decay. Having a drink so close to their bedtime means the sugars in the drink will soak in the baby's mouth. Water is a much better option.

34. Having A Tongue Piercing

Image Source / Medical News TodayDespite tongue piercings being another way to express yourself and another aesthetic choice, the reality is that it can cause a lot more bacteria in your mouth. With the metal constantly there in your tongue, it means more germs that could result in more infections and sores, too. There's also the risk of accidently cracking a tooth on the metal piercing!

35. Sucking On Cough Drops

Image Source / WikipediaYou might never have thought about the negatives of taking a cough drop when they're supposed to be to help you and make your sore throat feel better - but if you're sucking on tons of them during a sore throat, that just means you're sucking on loads and loads of sugar, which can damage your teeth.

36. Eating Gummy Sweets Particularly

Image Source / WikipediaAll sweets are bad for your teeth, but if Gummy sweets are your favourite, we have some bad news. Gummy sweets like gummy bears are not only packed with sugar - like all sweets are - but the consistency of them means they very easily get stuck in your teeth and stay there for a long time between brushing.

37. Drinking Lots Of Coffee

Image Source / WikipediaThe downside of drinking that amazing cup of Joe is obviously going to be an impact on your teeth - in particular, this is the acidity levels of coffee which result in the staining of the teeth. The more coffee you drink, the more at risk your teeth are to stain over time.

38. Binge Eating Junk Food

Image Source / Brainz MagazineEating junk food like sweets, burgers and cakes, is bad for your teeth anyway - but binge eating junk food is considerably worse because it means a massive overload of sugar all at once when you're chewing all in one go - and sugar can of course result in tooth decay and cavities.

39. Using A Manual Toothbrush

Image Source / WikipediaObviously using a manual toothbrush is better than using no toothbrush at all - but you could be compromising better oral hygiene if you're not using an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are much more effective at removing plaque from your teeth than a manual brush, due to their high speed rotation.

40. Using Toothpaste Without Fluoride

Image Source / WikipediaUsing the right toothpaste is very important for the effectiveness of oral hygiene, and any toothpaste which contains fluoride is the best you can use if you want consistent and thorough cleaning of your teeth. Most main brands of fluoride will have fluoride, but it's worth checking in case you're using one that doesn't!

41. You're Brushing Too Hard

Image Source / Wikimedia CommonsYou might think that a hard brush of your teeth with even harder bristles is the best way to scrape all that plaque off your teeth, but it can actually work to damage your teeth. Brushing too hard could damage gums and also negatively impact enamel. It's must better to go for soft bristles with less off an aggressive hand movement!

42. Eating Hard Candy Or Popcorn Kernels

Image Source / WikipediaThere's a reason dentists recommend to not eat very hard candy or the kernels of popcorn: because they're so hard they can damage your teeth if you bite down too hard on them. They could chip, crack and even damage fillings you already have. Not to mention the sugar in them will contribute to tooth decay.

43. Eating Foods High In Acidity

Image Source / MedicineNetFoods which are high in acidity, like citrus juices and sugary drinks, can work at eroding your enamel away. When this happens, your teeth can look more yellow because the worn-away enamel reveals the darker stuff underneath called dentin. This is also irreversible, but you can get veneers to cover.

44. Being Dehydrated

Image Source / InsiderNot only is being dehydrated bad for your general health, did you know it's also bad for your oral health? If you're dehydrated, it means that your teeth and gums can't stay too healthy without water - your mouth will be too dry, which means less saliva production. Less saliva unfortunately means more bacteria.

45. You Don't Scrape Your Tongue

Image Source / Glamour UKYour oral hygiene is about more than just your teeth and gums. Your tongue can also suffer a build up of bacteria and whatever it is you're putting in your mouth, but it's an area a lot of people neglect. Tongue scraping can help to give your oral hygiene a good boost, and a lot of toothbrushes come with a tongue scraper on the back.

46. You're Sipping Your Sodas

Image Source / Medical News TodayDrinking sugary sodas in general is bad for your teeth, but if you down them in one go, it's not half as bad as if you sip them slowly throughout the day. Every time you take a sip you're coating your teeth in fizzy, sugary soda, which means the longer you take to drink it with small sips, the worse it'll be for your teeth health.

47. You Suck Your Thumb Or Your Fingers

Image Source / Press and JournalWhile we'd hope this habit would be left behind as a baby, it can still happen in adults, or it might just be you don't know you're doing it if you often have your fingers by your mouth or rubbing your face when you're distracted. This habit can actually affect the position of your teeth if you do it often enough.

48. You're Using Toothpicks

Image Source / WikipediaToothpicks are not a good replacement for flossing your teeth, even if you are picking food from between your teeth. The reason toothpicks are a risk is because you're poking around with something quite hard and sharp, which could damage your gums - or even infect them.

49. You're Holding Things In Your Teeth

Image Source / WikipediaYou might have thought you'd escaped this one because you don't bite things off or open things with your teeth, but it's just as bad if you hold things in your teeth, too! Even if you don't chew on that pen and merely hold it in your mouth, it's bad; if you clench something between your teeth while you use two hands to root in your bag, it's bad.

50. You Avoid The Dentist When Problems Arise

Image Source / The GuardianThis doesn't mean your regular check-up appointments - this is for everything else. If you have sudden toothache and you think oh I'll just ignore it, I won't go to the dentist; or if you have a cracked tooth and have been putting off going to the dentist because you hate it, it's all putting your oral health at risk!

51. Using Anything Other Than A Toothbrush To Clean Your Teeth

Image Source / RedditWhile you might think that it's obvious to say that you shouldn't use anything other than a toothbrush to clean your teeth, you'd be surprised at how many people using a dirty finger or rag to clean their molars. You might be caught out by forgetting your toothbrush, but make sure to find one, not use your bacteria-ridden fingers.

52. Not Replacing The Toothbrush At All

Image Source / RedditAlthough we have made it clear that you should be changing your toothbrush regularly, there are some people out there that barely changing their toothbush at all. Think of it as a breeding background for bacteria, so when that sucker is looking frayed you should really swap it out.

53. Using String To Floss

Image Source / RedditWe should all be flossing to keep our teeth and gums in good shape and to remove any bacteria, plaque build-up and food remains from between our teeth. However, if you have ran out of dental floss don't consider picking up that random piece of string lying around. It's not good for you?

54. Using A Jagged Toothbrush

Image Source / RedditYou should pay attention to the type of toothbrush you're picking up in the store. While cheapest isn't always best, neither is the most expensive option, and you should look at the type of bristles the toothbrush uses. Jagged bristles can cause more damage than it's worth.

55. Brushing Until You Bleed

Image Source / RedditBleeding gums can be a sign of something more serious, so if it's happening more often than you think is healthy, potentially get it checked out. Some people keep on brushing their teeth until they bleed, or brush so hard that they bleed, and this shouldn't be the case.

56. Using Water Instead Of Mouthwash

Image Source / iStockIf you're going to use mouthwash, use it properly. Some people like to just use water to swish around their mouth after brushing their teeth, and this isn't always the best option. You're essentially just swishing around saliva in your mouth, and it's not helping much.

57. Allowing Your Teeth To Build Up With Plaque

Image Source / RedditI think it's been stressed enough that your teeth should be checked out regularly by a dentist to avoid problems that may be arising. However, some people don't take care of their teeth well at all, and allow plaque to build up, which in turn causes tartar and decay.

58. Smoking Cigarettes

Image Source / NBC NewsThere's a number of harmful consequences to smoking cigarettes, and I don't think it comes as any surprise. By quitting smoking, you might avoid health concerns like stained teeth, gum diseases and even in some extreme cases mouth cancer. Always be mindful!

59. Drinking Sugary Beverages

Image Source / Mr YumAlthough we have mentioned the overconsumption of soda, it's worth mentioning that this point refers to any kind of sugary beverage you fancy drinking. The temptation can be a lot, and it's okay to treat yourself from time to time, but don't get carried away. They erode the enamel on your teeth and can cause cavities.

60. A Harmful Diet

Image Source / RedditBe mindful of your diet all around if you're concerned about your dental hygiene. Dentists stress that while a balanced diet is obviously optimal, too many people aren't aware of how their diet may be affecting their teeth. Sugary and processed foods can stick to the teeth and cause harmful bacteria to breed.

61. Biting Your Cheeks

Image Source / RedditBiting your cheeks is hard to stop doing when you're feeling anxious or are embarrassed. Sometimes we can even bite them hard by accident. However, you should try and cut the habit, as biting your cheeks too much can cause damage to the mouth tissues, sores and ulcers too.

62. Clenching Your Jaw

Image Source / RedditAs much as teeth grinding, jaw clenching is another bad habit that can cause significant damage to your teeth. Some aren't aware that they're even doing it, and a lot do it while they're sleeping. The pressure between your top and bottom sets of teeth can cause dental abscesses and gum damage.

63. Using A Hard Toothbrush

Image Source / RedditAs mentioned above, the right toothbrush can take your dental hygiene a long way. However, brushing with a toothbrush with hard bristles can begin to wear away the protective enamel on your teeth, which in turn can lead to gum recession, teeth sensitivity and decay.

64. Drinking A Lot Of Carbonated Goods

Image Source / RedditSo we've cleared up that sugary beverages are the antagonist to our teeth but, guess what, any kind of carbonated (even the sugar free kind) can be just as harmful. The acids in these drinks are too powerful for our teeth, and erode away our enamel.

65. Neglecting Your Discomforts

Image Source / NBC NewsIf you're experiencing discomforts or pain within your teeth and gums don't try to ignore the problem, it will only lead to worse problems later on. Neglecting the signs of degrading oral health can lead to condition such as gingivitis or periodontitis.

66. Using Any Kind Of Tobacco Product

Image Source / BBCIt's not just cigarettes that can cause damage to your teeth, it's any kind of tobacco product you continue to use, and that includes chewing on it! As mentioned, it never leaves your teeth in good nick and along with stained molars can cause further medical conditions.

67. Chewing Foreign Objects

Image Source / RedditYou shouldn't be putting anything in your mouth other than food, drink and dental hygiene products. So when it comes to chewing your pen and other foreign objects, try your best to avoid it. It can cause the teeth to crack, chip and shift, and the bacteria can linger in your mouth.

68. Eating A Lot Of Chips

Image Source / RedditIt might be surprising to hear that it's not just the sugary devils that are doing harm to your dental hygiene, it's the starchy foods like potato chips too. While they can be super high in calories, the bacteria in your mouth also breaks down the starchy foods into acid.

69. DIY Teeth-Whitening

20 Teeth Whiteners That Work So Well, It's Like MagicImage Source / BuzzfeedProfessional teeth-whitening can be expensive so it can be tempting to conduct some of your own home-based teeth-whitening tactics, but beware of the consequences. While mixing lemon juice and bicarbonate might seem like it's a good idea, it can damage your enamel.

70. Wrongly Treating Ulcers

Image Source / NI DirectInformation says that clove oil can be a good antiseptic to relieve the pain of ulcers. Dentists do sometimes recommend it, but it should be highly diluted and applied by a trained professional. However, some online sources claim that there are no regulated manufacturing standards for the oil.

71. Wrongly Treating Tooth Aches

Image Source / RedditSimilarly to the above, clove oil can be prescribed in the cases of toothache too. However, overusing clove oil can cause sore and swollen gums, bleeding and mouth irritation. You should always get advice from a doctor if you suffer from liver disease, weak immune system, or allergies.

72. Overflossing Your Teeth

Image Source / RedditSome people think that flossing every time they've eaten will be good for their teeth, but that's not really correct. According to Bondi Dental, it's sufficient enough to just stick to flossing once a day, so try not to to go too hard with this dental hygiene stuff.

73. Brushing Too Soon After A Meal

Image Source / Keep MemeWhile you might feel like you need to brush your teeth straight after a heavy meal or acidic drink, you'd be wrong to. The acid in the foods and beverages softens your enamel, so brushing too soon cause cause damaged to it. Maybe wait an hour or so afterward.

74. Decreased Saliva

Image Source / RedditSaliva is essential to the health of our teeth. It contains all sorts of healthy minerals that fight bacteria, protect our enamel and prevent decay. However, a dry mouth proves to be inefficient. Try to breathe through your nose during exercise and hydrate with water.

75. Eating Too Many Coloring Agents

Image Source / RedditA lot of food and drinks contain coloring agents which are never good for our teeth. It's easy to tell when somebody is consuming a lot of these agents as their teeth are often discoloured. Try looking for some teeth-friendly alternative milk or vegetable juice.

76. Eating A Lot Of Gooey Foods

Image Source / Mama's Guide RecipesGooey and sticky foods are the worst, aren't they? There's nothing worse than getting them stuck in your teeth! However, with gooey foods like dried fruits and syrups comes sugar, and we all know the problems that sugar can cause to the health of our teeth and gums.

77. Consuming Too Many Starchy Foods

Image Source / RedditStarchy foods, fresh fruits and vegetables can cause more harm to our teeth than good. While they are healthy and can be consumed in a healthy balanced diet, the sugars and acids they contain wear away the enamel on our teeth. On the other hand, though, they contain useful nutrients.

78. Cleaning Your Dentures Wrong

Image Source / RedditIf you wear dentures you want to make sure that you that you clean them properly to avoid harmful bacteria attacking your gums. You should soak and brush them daily with a soft-bristled brush and nonabrasive cleanser to make sure that any residue is gotten rid of.

79. Overconsuming Alcohol

Image Source / RedditWe all like a good drink of wine, beer or spirits after a long day in the office, but be careful. Alcohol can inhibit our salivation, which is crucial in preventing harmful bacteria attacking our teeth, which makes it harder for our body to clear up the residues.

80. Not Addressing Your Medical Conditions

Image Source / RedditMedical conditions and treatments like tuberculosis, chemotherapy and dialysis, can inhibit salivation. While you should consult your doctor to detail what preventatives you can do to keep your teeth in top shape. Stay vigilant when it comes to your teeth hygiene.