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3 Things To Avoid To Have Healthy Teeth

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Author: Hai Le

Updated on April 12, 2024 • Estimated read time: 11 minutes

Think you've got your oral health routine "right", but still not having the healthy smile you want? You brush twice a day, flossing like a champ, and yet, your teeth aren't quite where you want them to be.

Here's the surprising truth: Some everyday habits help fight plaque buildup, while others sabotage your smile and invite tooth decay. Even with the most dedicated oral routines, you still need to avoid certain habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Having healthy teeth requires more than just regular brushing and flossing. That is why in today's blog, I'm going to show you the top 3 sneaky culprits you might not even realize are harming your smile, leading to decay, cracked, discoloration, or other issues.

Nobody wants a smile that looks like it belongs in a horror movie! right? Again, these 3 things must be avoided if you want to have healthy teeth!

Why You Should Have Healthy Teeth?

Fun Fact: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most common disease for children aged 6 to 19 is tooth decay.

We all know a bright, healthy smile is a great asset. But beyond aesthetics, here's why healthy teeth play a vital role in several aspects of your life:

  • Digestion: Imagine trying to enjoy your favorite crunchy meals with a sore mouth. Ouch! Strong and healthy teeth allow you to chew food effectively, aiding in proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
  • Speech: Now this time, imagine trying to pronounce a word with a missing tooth. Kinda awkward right? Healthy teeth play a significant role in speech and pronunciation, ensuring you can communicate clearly and confidently with everyone around you.
  • Confidence: Who doesn't love showing off a flashing bright smile? Knowing your teeth look great can boost your confidence and self-esteem, impacting your social interactions.
  • Money: I haven't found any studies showing that healthy teeth make you more money, but I surely know that preventive dental care is much more affordable and less painful than treating dental problems that arise from unhealthy teeth.
  • Overall health: Believe it or not, your dental health is closely linked to various health conditions like respiratory infections, diabetes, and heart disease. By keeping your teeth healthy, you're also taking care of your body as a whole.

Having healthy teeth goes beyond just a beautiful smile, and there are many other reasons why maintaining good oral health is crucial for your overall well-being. (That is why we'll explore 3 common habits to avoid in order to keep your teeth strong and your smile bright!)

Summary: By prioritizing good oral health, you're not only preventing cavities and gum disease, but you're also investing in your overall well-being and the quality of your life. Poor oral health has been linked to various diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and respiratory infections. Additionally, untreated dental problems can be costly and lead to chronic pain, difficulty eating, and even affect your self-confidence.

Woman pushing donut plate away while holding an apple

1. Limit/Avoid Sugary Food And Sugary Drinks

You are what you eat, and there is no better place to see that than on your teeth. Unfortunately, nowadays, many foods and beverages contain lots of sugar, which can do serious damage to your teeth!

After you eat a sugary snack or meal, the sugars cause bacteria to release harmful acids that attack the tooth's enamel. When the enamel breaks down, cavities develop. So it's not surprising that candy is bad for your teeth.

Tip: To protect against tooth decay from eating sugary snacks, some dentists recommend that individuals after consuming any type of sweets, must follow up with a good tooth brushing session with fluoride toothpaste.

Also, it would be best if you tried to stay away from diet soda.

A study done in 2013 showed that drinking soda (diet or not) can cause damage to your teeth. When you drink diet soda, you're basically coating your teeth with acid that attacks your tooth's enamel.

Tip - Drink Water Instead: Not only does water act like a natural mouthwash, rinsing away food particles and bacteria that can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Water can also help your body hydrate, keep your saliva flowing, and aid your digestion.

Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to weight gain, which in turn increases the risk of obesity and related health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Summary: Some foods help fight plaque buildup, while other foods invite tooth decay. Sugary foods and drinks provide fuel for harmful bacteria in your mouth, leading to tooth decay and cavities. So try to avoid or limit sugary foods and drinks to have healthier teeth!

A man biting a pencil with his mouth in a gray background

2. Limit/Avoid Chewing On Hard Stuff

You know that eating sugary foods leads to tooth decay. But did you know chewing on seemingly harmless objects like ice can also pose a serious threat to your teeth?

You'll be surprised at how many people think chewing on stuff is good for their teeth. However, according to many dental experts, chewing on a hard substance can damage your tooth's enamel and cause problems such as chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. (These types of injuries can be painful and may require dental treatment, such as a filling, crown, or even tooth extraction!)

Don't chew on ice: Break the habit and enjoy water in its liquid form. Ice is made of water and doesn't contain any sugar, but chewing on a hard, frozen substance can leave your teeth vulnerable to damage or even cracking.

Don't chew on your pencil: When concentrating on work or studies, some of us have this habit of chewing on our pencil head, but just like crunching on ice, this habit can cause your teeth to chip or crack.

What about open stuff with your teeth? Opening bottle caps or plastic packaging with your teeth may be convenient, but you should avoid doing it because your teeth should only be used for eating.

Don't use your teeth as tools: Again, using your teeth to open bottles, tear packaging, or even bite your nails puts them at risk of chipping, cracking, or even being loosened.

Tip: Speak with your dentist if you have trouble avoiding the habit of chewing on hard objects. Your dentist can identify the triggers and help you reduce the urge of chewing on harmful objects by finding safe alternative to keep your mouth occupied.

Stop chewing on things is challenging, especially when you don't even realize you're doing it, but you must break this habit to avoid potentially requiring costly dental procedures.

Summary: Do you have a habit of chewing on ice, pencils, or using your teeth as tools? These seemingly harmless habits can actually cause significant damage to your teeth over time. Chewing on these types of objects can chip or crack the enamel layer of your teeth. So you must break this habit to have healthy and uncracked teeth.

Woman refuse to take a cigarette. Quitting smoke for health concept!

3. Avoid/Quit Smoking

Smoking is a harmful habit that can have serious consequences on your oral and overall health. Cigarettes, as well as other tobacco products, contain numerous toxins and chemicals that can damage your gums and cause your teeth to fall out as a result of gum disease.

By quitting or avoiding smoking, you don't have to deal with stained teeth, bad breath, or significantly increased risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.

Fun Fact: It is possible to reverse some long-term smoking effects through professional whitening treatments at a dentist's office. However, this does not guarantee success.

If you want to stop smoking, you can try the following tips below! Quitting smoke not only saves you from lung cancer, but it also helps you on your way to having healthier teeth.

Tip for stop smoking:

1. Make a plan to quit smoking: Quitting smoking is difficult, so make a promise to yourself, set a date, and try to stick to it.

2. Identify when you crave cigarettes: A craving can last up to 5 minutes, so have your 5-minute to-do list prepared before the craving happens.

3. Get support: Nothing is better than having support from friends and family members. I also recommend you to get help from your local stop-smoking service.

Summary: Smoking is one of the worst habits when it comes to oral health. It has been known to cause bad breath, yellow teeth, and gum disease. Smoking can also lead to tooth decay, so the most effective way to protect your teeth from smoking is to avoid it altogether.

Quick Takeaway

    Your process of having healthy teeth will be much easier if you avoid the three things I listed in this blog post:

    1. Limit/avoid sugary food and drink will prevent harmful bacteria from releasing acids that attack the tooth's enamel.
    2. Limit/avoid chewing on hard stuff will prevent your teeth from accidental chip or crack.
    3. Avoid/quit smoking not only saves you from lung cancer, but it also saves you from the risk of having stained teeth, bad breath, and gum disease.

    In conclusion, it is important to understand that certain habits can affect our dental health. Avoiding bad habits and practicing good habits will help you speed up your process of having healthy teeth.

    Frequently Asked Questions Relate To This Blog:

    Question #1: Why should I avoid sugary foods and drinks?

    Answer: Sugary foods and drinks can feed the bacteria in your mouth, producing acids that attack and damage your tooth enamel. Over time, this constant acid attack can lead to cavities and tooth decay.

    Question #2: How can chewing on ice or hard objects damage my teeth?

    Answer: Your teeth are designed for eating, not breaking things. So chewing on ice or hard objects can easily chip, crack, or damage your tooth enamel. These types of injuries can be painful and may require expensive dental treatment, such as a filling, crown, or even tooth extraction.

    Question #3: What are the effects of smoking on teeth and gums?

    Answer: Not only does smoking stain your teeth and cause bad breath, but the chemicals inside tobacco products also increase your risk of gum disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.


    This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your dentist to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.

    Again, the content on is for informational purposes only. Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Ecopify is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.

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