Certain bad oral habits cause or create damage to the teeth and the mouth in general. Every day we make choices, big and small, that affect our teeth.
Every day we make choices, big and small, that affect your teeth and overall oral health. Some of the small ones seem, well, small – but they still make an impact.
These are referred to them as bad oral habits because they are not part of the normal use or function of teeth or the mouth.

At Healthsoothe, We’ve have listed 17 common bad oral habits that could be harming your teeth more than you realize.

1. Tongue thrusting: 

Tongue thrusting It is a behavioral pattern in which the tongue protrudes towards the front teeth (interior) during the swallow speech, and while the tongue is at rest. Nearly all young children exhibit tongue thrusting, but by the age of 6, most have switched to a normal swallowing pattern. 
Bad Oral Habits
People whose tongue thrust do it naturally affect the teeth and mouth. It causes interference with the normal self-cleaning action of the tongue as well as places teeth in abnormal positions in the jaws. Speech is not frequently affected by the tongue thrust. The”S” sound (lisping) is the one most affected.

2. Mouth breathing :

  Mouth breathing is another bad oral habits that cause dryness of the mouth. It may be due to either incomplete lip closure or nasal obstruction that may exaggerate a plaque cause inflammation reaction in the mouth. 

Dryness of the mouth is a serious problem and it should be well treated. 

3. Un-replaced missing teeth: 

Space unreplaced missing teeth may have an injurious effect on the teeth. Missing teeth can lead to drifting, tilting, and extrusion of teeth. These alterations in the position and functional relationships of teeth can result in increased plaque formation, food impaction, soft deposit retention, malocclusion, and occlusal disharmonies.

4. Filing of the teeth: 

This is what some people call artificial open teeth. It is abad oral habits and abnormal. Unfortunately, some people come to the dental clinic to cut or file their teeth for aesthetic, cultural purpose or reason. Whichever reasons or purposes, it must be discouraged and abolished completely. This is mostly seen in girls, young women and a few cases young boys. It is important to note that filing of the teeth can cause teeth sensitivity and damage to the pulps of the teeth, discoloration of the teeth, toothaches, etc.

5. Clenching and clamping of the teeth:

 It is a bad oral habits and abnormal use of teeth. Clenching and clamping of the teeth involve holding teeth in position tightly, usually due to angry or determining to do something that requires extra energy. Clenching and clamping of the teeth may be a symptom of illness for some people. 
Clenching and clamping of the teeth are not part of the Functions of the teeth. If the degree and duration of these habits are strong enough to create forces that exceed the adaptive capacity of the teeth, occlusal trauma can develop.

6. Grinding of the teeth is another bad oral habits you need to avoid

This is also called bruxism. It is a bad oral habits. Grinding of the teeth is associated with the psychological stability of an individual. All individuals, at one time or another, experienced the bodily effect of anxiety, stress, tension, fatigue, and worry. 
All this may affect the mouth by altering the metabolism of the tissue and lowering the host resistance. In addition, if the degree and duration of grinding of the teeth are strong enough, it may cause wearing off or smoothing the grinding surface of the teeth, the cusps.

7. Chewing of sharp or pointed objects  : 

Chewing on objects is also a bad oral habits such as metals, pencils, pen, knife, needle, pipes, broken bottles, etc. These are not part of the normal chewing function of the teeth. Chewing on sharp or pointed objects can cause scratching of the teeth and damage to soft tissues of the mouth.

8. Opening bottled drinks with teeth: 

It is very abnormal and bad oral habits to open a drink with teeth. This may cause scratching of the teeth, cracked teeth, fractured, broken teeth, the mobility of the teeth or extraction, that is, removal of the teeth.

 Apart from aesthetics and speech making, it is very important to know the other functions of the teeth which include cutting, chewing, biting and grinding or crushing of solid food into smaller particles for easy digestion, absorption, and assimilation.

9. Chewing Hard Substances: 

We might not realize this every time that we put hard something in our mouths and chew on it we are causing unknown harm to our teeth. Our teeth were made to eat the food and crush the food into smaller particles for easy digestion, absorption, and assimilation. They were not meant to chew on pen caps, pencils or any other hard material. 

Bad Oral Habits

You might chip or fracture your tooth and leave it open to the entry of bacterial and harmful effects. This, in turn, will have to be repaired or extracted. In case you feel the need to chew on something, then you can opt for safer options such as chewing sticks, carrots, celery or Just plain chewing gum.

10. Wrong Use Of Toothpicks 

If you use a toothpick the wrong way then you will go on to cause a lot of damage to your gums and can even result from ln chipping and breaking of teeth. A toothpick needs to be used extremely gently in order to dislodge the food from the crevices of the teeth. 

Bad Oral Habits

If you use it aggressively and try to bring the food particle out then you will have inflicted yourself with a lot of harm. Use the right kind of toothpicks that are the rounded ones at the tip. Do not chew on the toothpick as that might cause harm and that is not the way they are supposed to be used.

11. Chewing Ice

You will be surprised at how many people love to chew on ice as a habit. This will cause your gums to recede and even allow your teeth to crack really bad. The damage might be so bad that you will need to cap your tooth. If you can’t do without chewing on something then you can try to use chewing gum instead. It is a good enough alternative. carrots and pieces of apples are extremely good and healthy stuff to chew on. 

12. Using Teeth As A Pair Of Scissors. 

The teeth are meant for different things but certainly not to work for you like a pair of scissors.
Do not use them to tear or cut things that are meant for scissors. It should be avoided at all costs. 

13. Wrong Use Of Toothbrush 

One of the main causes of loss of bone around your teeth or gum recession is an excessive rubbing of your teeth, which includes brushing too vigorously from up and down or side-to-side. When you brush your teeth too strongly, then the bristles of your toothbrush can force the gums to go away from the teeth and finally lead to uncovered root surfaces, which cause increased sensitivity to touch and cold. 
There is a proper way of brushing that is kind on the gums and efficiently cleans the teeth. 
17 Bad Oral Habits That Could Be Harming Your Teeth

14.     Excessive Consumption Of Drinks Containing Acid 

Generally, people take excessive soda and acid containing drinks, like soft drink etc. The sucking on lemons and excess drink of juice can create much acid contact to your teeth that can damage your teeth in various ways.

 It can cause many problems like a worn and chalky look to the teeth enamel, unrelieved sensitivity to cold drinks and food. deterioration of your teeth leading to cracking and chipping, and a larger incidence of decay caused by the failure of protecting enamel-eating citric acid foods or drinking citrus fruit juices are not essentially harmful, but only when they are not held in your mouth for long periods of time. 

15.  Nail Biting 

Nail biting is the most usual bad oral habits among us. People bite their nails while watching TV, under stress or at the time of thinking. It takes the germs from your nails to the teeth that will create harm to your teeth. 

    Bad Oral Habits

16.   Thumb Sucking 

Other bad oral habits are sucking your thumb. It creates the misalignment of your teeth, It causes the lower teeth to fold up back into the mouth and upper-teeth to extend out. It also causes an open bite of your front teeth. When you have closed together back teeth. 

17. Holding pencils, pens, and other hard things can also harm your teeth.

 This bad oral habits is very common among the people, and sometimes it creates a space between the teeth, that can affect the right position of your teeth. And hence teeth look disordered. So you should keep away from placing these hard objects between teeth. 


These are only a few examples of the bad oral habits that create an impact on your teeth and gums. Sooner we eliminate such bad habits the better our chance for long-term finest health, avoiding these oral habits can help your teeth in many ways. So think before doing these activities that can cause trouble for your teeth.

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional treatment or diagnosis. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Isreal olabanji a dental assistant and public health professionals and has years of experience in assisting the dentist with all sorts of dental issues.We regularly post timely and trustworthy medical information and news on Fitness, Dental care, Recipes, Child health, obstetrics, and more.


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