10 ways we damage our teeth 

10 ways we damage our teeth 

It takes more than good oral care to prevent teeth damage.

A lot of people don’t consider teeth to be a high maintenance body part. Without knowing it, you can be peeling away at the enamel of your teeth. There are many ways you can do this – for example, by sucking your thumb or biting your nails.  

The damage may not be immediate, however, over time, the effects add up and have a long-term impact on the health of your bright smile. 

Below is a list of 10 ways you may be damaging your teeth without you having the slightest clue. 

Ice cube eating

Ice cubes seem harmless. It’s just water, right? And isn’t water good for us? Well, apparently not when you enjoy eating/munching down on hard ice blocks. The cold temperature and hardness of these cool blocks can lead to serious teeth damage. 

A teeth specialist pointed out that teeth are designed to crush through things, but not against something. Crushing ice with your teeth may be easy, but if a blender needs special blades to crush ice, then just imagine what harm your doing to your teeth.

Teeth aren’t tools

Breaking tags off from clothing, ripping open a packet or chips or unscrewing bottles are some of the ways you are damaging your teeth.

Teeth are meant to do three things – chew, help you speak properly and add a sparkle to your smile. They are not tools. If you use your teeth as a tools, your teeth are more likely to crack.


Cigarettes and other tobacco products damage your general health and put your teeth at risk. Smoking causes stains on your teeth and can lead to gum and periodontal disease. This may result in premature tooth loss. 

Smoking reduces your production of saliva and this increases your risk of bad breath.


Nail-biting doesn’t only crack, chip and wear down your teeth. It is also the reason for jaw dysfunction. You jaw is position at an unnatural angle when you’re biting your nails and pushes your lower jaw out of place. Eventually, this will lead to temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which is a dental health condition described as a painful jaw. 

Biting your nails is also unhygienic. Your nails can bring harmful bacteria into your mouth.

Too many snacks

Everyone loves to snack, but did you know that snacking too often can harm your teeth? Dentists advise that you minimise snacking and drink water instead or chew sugarless gum.

Misusing toothpicks

First of all, you don’t have to stop using toothpicks. They are specifically designed to remove gunk between your teeth. However, it is possible to misuse a toothpick and cause enamel damage or scratches on your teeth. 

Shoving a toothpick too deep between the crack of your teeth can shift your teeth and form gaps. 

Gas drink acidity 

Gas drinks are very popular and tasty, but because they are carbonated, it is bad for your teeth due to the acidity. The acidity of gas drinks corrodes the enamel of your teeth. It is worse when you slowly sip on a gas drink over a long period of time. Specialists call it ‘bathing your teeth in acid’.

The acid in gas drinks can lead to decay around your gum line.

No pencil chewing

Sometimes, when you hold an object for long, it somehow lands up in your mouth. This happens often with pens, pencils or spectacles, especially when you are focusing on a particular task. 

The pressure that you are placing on your teeth on a non-food object can result in your teeth shifting or cracking. Biting a pen or a pencil can break any existing dental work in your mouth.

Vigorous brushing

Brushing your teeth regularly is a good thing, but brushing them too hard regularly is the opposite, especially if you have a hard-bristled toothbrush. This type of toothbrush added to vigorous brush can wear away your enamel. 

Try to have a soft grip when brushing and at an incline of 45 degrees.

Drinking bottled water

It is hard to believe that filtrated bottle can damage your teeth. Unfortunately, the filtration process removes the minerals in the water, including fluoride, which strengthens your teeth. In Australia, tap water is less acidic than bottled water.

Show more appreciation to your teeth

You don’t need to stop doing everything on this list immediately – maybe more in moderation. Pay attention to what goes near your teeth. If you have questions or concerns regarding your teeth, speak to your dental practitioner. 

Dental Cover for Emergencies

Accidents happen. A chipped tooth from a bad fall, or even the need for an emergency procedure like a root canal surgery can put unexpected financial strain on you. 

Affinity Dental is one of the best dental insurance providers in the country. It offers customers three different cover options, tailored to match consumers’ unique needs and budgets. 

There are three tiers to choose from. Check out the official Affinity Dental website for more information.


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