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There’s more to oral care than just brushing your teeth and flossing. You might not realize it, but you could have habits that can cause harm to your teeth and gums.

The first step is to identify which harmful oral habits you tend to do frequently. Second, you should be aware that you’re doing it. A lot of our habits are things that we mindlessly do. So, it could be tricky to be aware that we’re practicing a bad habit as we’re doing it. But the more you bring attention to it, the easier it’ll be to have this self-awareness. Lastly, you need to figure out how to break these habits and actually do it.

By reading this article, you’re already at the first step. So, congratulations to you! Figure out if you’re doing any of this and start a habit of breaking bad habits.

1. Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth

This bad habit can lead to your teeth wearing down, loosening, or fracturing. We often grind and clench our teeth when we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or angry. If you’re grinding your teeth due to these emotions, it’s best to examine your lifestyle and find ways to reduce stress. Your dentist could recommend several options, including counseling, physical therapy, or muscle relaxants.

An abnormal bite and crooked teeth could also cause grinding and clenching. If this is the case, it’s best to head to a dentist to try and fix this.

Sleep disorders could also result in grinding and clenching your teeth during sleep. This is harder to identify since you’re not conscious. But if you feel soreness in your jaw or have a constant headache when you wake up, grinding and clenching could be the culprit. For this case, your dentist might give you a nighttime mouthguard.

2. Not Taking Proper Care of Your Toothbrush

A lot of people make the mistake of not replacing their toothbrushes as often as they should. Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4months since they tend to become worn out.

In those months, you should make a habit of taking proper care of your toothbrush. Toothbrushes collect bacteria from both your mouth and its storage area. So, it would be best to properly rinse it with warm water after each use. Let it sit upright and uncovered to dry properly and prevent bacteria growth.

You should store your toothbrush at least four feet away from your toilet. And since your toothbrush should be uncovered, make sure you close the toilet lid when you flush to avoid more bacteria in the air.

3. Chewing and Biting Non-Food Items

Do not put anything in your mouth that shouldn’t be there. Unfortunately, a lot of people have bad habits involving chewing. These bad habits include biting fingernails, using your teeth to open food packages, and chewing pens and pencils.

Now, these bad habits are often mindlessly done, so it’ll be harder to become aware that you’re doing it. But with practice, you’ll get better at it and find the will to stop each time. And there are some things you can do to replace these bad habits. For example, you can chew on sugar-free gum every time you feel the urge to chew something. You can squeeze a stress ball instead of biting your nails. And well, you can make scissors, bottle openers, and other opening tools more accessible to you so that you won’t try to open anything with your teeth.


Oral care is a combination of practicing good oral habits and breaking bad ones. Bad habits may be tough to break, but it’s not impossible. You just need to push through and keep trying even when you make a mistake. On top of avoiding these damaging oral habits, visiting your dentist regularly will help you stay on top of your dental health.

For affordable dentistry in Ann Arbor and Waterford, MI, you can count on Dental House MI to deliver quality service. We cover preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, oral surgery, and many more. Contact us today to make an appointment!

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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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