10 Things to Avoid to Keep Your Teeth Healthy

healthy teeth
Photo credit: FreeImages.com / Jose Rivera

How are you looking after your teeth? Do you just brush them twice a day, thinking that’s all you can do to keep them healthy? Well, that’s not exactly all you can do. There are certain things you should actually avoid doing in order to keep your teeth healthy. Did you know that certain habits could ruin your teeth? We all know that fizzy drinks and high sugar foods are bad for our teeth, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. I am not an expert in teeth health but the dentists from London City Smiles are and I teamed up with them to bring you 10 things you should avoid in order to keep your teeth healthy.

1. Smoking
We all know the damage smoking can do to general health, but often we forget that it can also damage the teeth. Apart from the obvious staining to the teeth caused by nicotine smoking also causes an increase of plaque in the mouth leading to an acceleration of a serious gum disease.

2. Using teeth as tools
Teeth are for chewing food – they are not tools. Using them for things other than what they are designed for is a bad idea as it can cause a chip or a crack to the tooth, especially along the edges which may require dental treatment.

3. Ice
Chewing on ice (Pagophagia) can be very harmful to teeth, which are designed to crush through things not against them. So whilst you might think crushing cold hard ice won’t damage your teeth, it could be doing more damage than you think.

4. Poor Brushing
Brushing your teeth helps them stay healthy, but poor brushing causes all sorts of damage. Don’t brush too hard or you can wear down your enamel and irritate your gums, making your teeth sensitive to cold and possibly causing cavities.

5. Sucking your thumb
Once we lose our baby teeth it is especially important that we don’t suck our thumbs as it can cause permanent changes in the way our teeth and jaw align. This can eventually lead to issues with chewing and potentially breathing problems in later life.

6. Tongue Piercing
Tongue piercings are a heaven for bacteria which could lead to all sorts of infections in your mouth. Accidentally biting down on the metal stud risks cracking a tooth and the metal of the stud can rub against your teeth eroding the enamel.

7. Grinding your teeth
Over time, you can wear your teeth down by grinding them which can lead to micro-fractures (weakened areas) that put your teeth at risk of further damage.

8. Lemons
Lemons are a great source of vitamin C but the high levels of citric acid they contain can quickly wear down the enamel on our teeth, leading to further issues including cavities. If you like having lemon water in the morning make sure you rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards.

9. Chewing on a pencil
This can exert pressure on the teeth potentially resulting in loose or cracked teeth along with other issues that may require a dentist visit.

10. Nail Biting
Biting nails on a regular basis can cause your teeth to become misaligned, cause damage to your tooth enamel or even chip your teeth.

So there you have it, ten things to avoid to keep your teeth healthy. Do you have any other tips to add to this list?


  1. My dentist had regular digs at me to remove my tongue piercing and eventually, about 9 years ago, I did. I still have a slight indentation between my front four teeth (2 top, 2 bottom) where I used to bite the bar to tighten the balls on the end of it! Terrible for teeth! I also am a night-time tooth grinder, and when I’m stressed I clench my jaw. Thanks for the reminder to relax it!

    1. It’s good thing you removed the piercing at the end! I used to grind my teeth at night but I don’t think I do it anymore. There are so many ways we can destroy our teeth and we just need to be aware of those things and try to avoid doing them.

  2. Some great tips here. My top tip is to use a straw, especially when having fruit juice and smoothies, to protect your teeth from the fruit acid.

    1. That’s a great tip Joanne, thanks! This is something I really need to get into the habit of.

  3. I sometimes use my teeth as weapons – hahahahahahahah! Whoops! Probably not the best for them 😉

    1. Oh no, not good at all! I never wanna use my teeth as weapons as I know it might not end up well..