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Almost everyone has bad habits they wish they could break. While some of these don’t affect you too much, others can impact your health negatively, and continuing to do them can lead to different concerns in the long run.

Just as poor communication habits can harm your relationships, poor dental habits can hurt your teeth. To ensure your teeth and gums as healthy as possible, here are some harmful habits you need to avoid and tips for breaking them:

1. Constant snacking

Constant snacking on sugary foods and drinks can not only cause you unwanted weight gain but also put you at a higher risk of forming cavities. When this happens, the cavity-causing bacteria will feast on the leftover food and produce acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth.

Reduce your snacking by opting for healthy meals that make you feel fuller longer. If you are tempted to satisfy your craving for sweets, drink a glass of water and brush your teeth right after eating to wash away.

2. Brushing too hard

Brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day is advisable, but brushing too hard can cause tooth damage, gum recession and irritation, and inefficient teeth cleaning. Therefore, use a soft toothbrush and apply proper pressure instead of brushing hard. Place the toothbrush bristles on your gums at a 45-degree angle and reduce the force of your brush.

If you encounter any dental problems from brushing your teeth too hard, consider reaching out to our local dentist in Ann Arbor. We specialize in affordable dentistry, and we accept walk-ins. We can help you deal with various dental emergencies, such as severe toothache, partially dislodged teeth, knocked-out teeth, and more.

3. Grinding and clenching

Grinding and clenching can cause teeth chipping or cracking, muscle tenderness, and joint pain. In the long run, you may also have a hard time opening your mouth wide or suffer from pain every time you chew.

Stay aware of your harmful habit and use relaxation exercises to avoid doing them. You can also wear a mouthguard while you sleep to protect you from grinding and clenching your teeth, reduce your tooth pain or muscle soreness, and enjoy a more restful sleep.

4. Nail-biting

Prolonged nail-biting can impact your tooth, chip your teeth, or tear or damage your gums as it places pressure on your jaw when you leave it in a protruding position for a long time. Get rid of this nasty habit by wearing a mouthguard, reducing your stress, using therapy techniques, or applying non-toxic nail polish with a bitter taste, created to discourage biting.

5. Using your teeth as a tool

Your teeth are designed to help you chew your food correctly and not open bottles, cut through a tread, or even hold items. Doing this can put you at risk for chipped or broken teeth or jaw injuries, so look for the tool you need instead or ask for help to avoid potentially costly and painful dental concerns.


Some harmful habits are not only unsightly to witness but can also lead to various dental problems. If you have one or several habits that can impact your dental health, be proactive in breaking them by following the tips mentioned in this guide to ensure healthier teeth. Meanwhile, you can always head to skilled dentists like us if you experience any oral health problems from making the habits listed above.

Here at Dental House MI, we offer a wide range of dental services, including preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, and more in Ann Arbor and Waterford, Michigan. Book an appointment today!

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Ann Arbor Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Thur 9am - 6pm, Fri & Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 4860 Washtenaw Ave D, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Waterford Dentist Office
Hours : Mon to Fri 9am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 3pm
Address : 5979 Highland Rd, Waterford Twp, MI 48327
West Bloomfield Dentist Office
Hours : Monday, Wednesday to Friday 9am - 6pm
Address : 6595 Orchard Lake Rd, West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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