You may not notice it, but your teeth play a significant role in your day-to-day life and functions. They’re what help you enjoy your favorite food, talk with your friends, or present your report at work. Let’s not forget to mention that they’re also essential in shaping your facial structure. 

That said, it’s easy to take these pearly whites for granted, especially when you’re not experiencing serious problems as of yet. Moreover, you may also have habits and mannerisms that are negatively impacting your dental health—without you even knowing it!

As much as we love having you drop by our clinic, watch out for these tooth-damaging habits to reduce your dentist visits for dental emergencies!  

1. Thumb Sucking 

It’s natural for teething infants to thumb suck, but this must be discouraged for children five years old and above. This is because the habit can cause an incorrect alignment of the permanent teeth, which then requires orthodontic treatments and procedures to correct. 

2. Nail Biting 

Some people unconsciously bite their nails when they’re bored, nervous, or hungry. If you know that you have this habit, you must learn how to break it, because it can cause your teeth to crack, chip, or wear down. 

Additionally, it can cause jaw dysfunction as your lower jaw is pushed out of line whenever you bite your nails. It’s also important to remember that you may be allowing harmful bacteria into your mouth whenever you do this! 

3. Opening Things With Your Teeth 

Using your teeth to effortlessly open packages may seem cool, but it’s really not healthy for your teeth. Your teeth can get chipped or cracked while doing this, and, in some cases, it can even lead to more serious dental emergencies that would need a dental implant. As such, it’s best to let the scissors do the cutting to save your teeth some trouble.

4. Aggressive Brushing

Brushing your teeth too hard doesn’t necessarily clean your teeth or remove plaque better. Instead, what it does is irritate your gums and cause the enamel in your teeth to erode. The best way is to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and moderately brush your teeth for at least two minutes. Make sure to cover every area to avoid the build-up of plaque and bacteria!

5. Too Much Coffee 

Coffee is okay—as long as it’s consumed in moderation. Having several cups of coffee every day, however, can make your teeth dull and yellowish. Moreover, its sugar content can also contribute to tooth decay.  

6. Smoking 

Like coffee, cigarettes and other tobacco products can also stain your teeth and cause several dental problems. Aside from discoloration, you can also develop tooth decay and periodontal disease from smoking. Most importantly, it can damage your overall health, so avoid smoking as much as possible!

7. Not Drinking Enough Water 

It’s common knowledge that proper hydration is essential to your health. However, did you know that it also plays a crucial role in keeping your teeth healthy? 

Water helps wash away the food particles, bacteria, and acid from your mouth after a meal. It also helps rinse away the stain-causing chemicals from coffee and other stain-causing foods so that your teeth stay white and bright. 


Keeping your teeth clean and healthy requires more than merely flossing or brushing your teeth regularly. You will also need to pay attention to your habits and mannerisms which are potentially damaging your teeth. We hope that those we shared above gave you a great place to start, so be on the lookout for the harmful habits that might be destroying your teeth!

Looking for a seasoned family dentist in Chattanooga, TN? We have got you covered! Our four dentists here at Shallowford Family Dental Group have been serving the community for decades with dedication and care, and we’ll be glad to be of service to you, too! Get in touch with us to schedule an appointment today. 

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