Bad habits that can damage your teeth

We munch on different types of food and drinks that please our palate without realising we are forming dangerous habits that may harm our teeth.

Chewing on ice

Although ice is natural and sugar-free, it harms your teeth more than sweets do. A lot of people love to chew on ice cubes, unaware of the damage they are inflicting on their teeth.

Truth is, ice cubes are hard enough to crack your teeth. It also irritates soft tissues that can in turn cause toothaches.

Drinking milk before bedtime

This dangerous habit forms very early in life. Parents often feed their babies a bottle of milk or fruit juice just before bedtime in the hope that they don’t get hungry in the middle of the night.

However, drinking milk or fruit juices can cause tooth decay as baby’s teeth gets coated with sugar throughout the night.

Piercing your tongue

Tongue piercings may look fabulous but accidentally biting down on the metal studs can break your teeth.

Lip piercings are not safe either. As the metal studs rub against your gums, it may cause gum damage and lead to tooth loss.

Your mouth also has countless bacteria residing in it, and piercings create a great environment for bacteria to thrive.

Grinding teeth

Many people unconsciously grind their teeth and this causes their teeth to wear out.

Tooth grinding is believed to be linked to stress and often happens during sleep. Hence, it’s a hard habit to break.

If you have this habit, it’s best to avoid eating hard food.

You should also wear a mouth guard to prevent further damage.

Cough drops

Although cough drops are considered a type of medication, it is not very healthy. To mask the taste of medicine, manufacturers often coat cough drops with loads of sugar, making them as harmful as candies.

Therefore, after sucking on a cough drop, remember to brush your teeth thoroughly.

Sipping sodas

A cup of soda may contain up to 11 teaspoons of sugar. In addition, sodas are full of phosphoric and citric acids, which can wear down your tooth enamel.

Don’t think you are safe if you only drink diet sodas. Diet sodas use plenty of artificial sweeteners that have higher levels of acidity.

Tearing open packages with your teeth

It’s convenient to use your teeth as a package opener. However, the act of tearing things open can crack or chip your teeth.

It’s best to use a pair of scissors or bottle openers. After all, your teeth are designed to help you eat, not open stuff.

This article first appeared in and was reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le. The Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.