3 Dangerous Habits That Lead to Tooth Decay


The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research Statistics shows that dental carries or tooth decay is still the number one chronic disease affecting both children and adults alike. People who have poor dental hygiene suffer different kinds of oral diseases, low-self esteem, and general feeling of unhealthiness.

Many people think that regular brushing can solve all their oral problems, but this isn’t mostly true. The food you eat and the activities you do can affect your overall oral health. In fact, there are a lot of seemingly good habits that actually damage our teeth without us knowing. Here are the three most damaging habits that is actually bad for your oral health.

1. Drinking Sugary Beverages

There’s a reason why your mom used to scold you when you eat too much candy. Sugar tops the list for foods that causes cavities. Sugar works like a magic feed for the growing bacteria  in your mouth that’s usually  caused by food leftovers and  poor brushing. It helps bacteria multiply and grow faster, endangering your tooth enamel which is your teeth’s protection from harmful effects of everyday crunching, grinding and biting.

Sugary Drinks That Are Bad For Your Teeth:

  • Fruit juices – enamel erosion is caused by high levels of citric acid which can be found in many fruits like pineapple, lemon, and orange.
  • Coffee – coffee contains dark pigments that can stain your teeth over time.
  • Red wine – Alcohol can dry your mouth and suck calcium from your teeth. The dark color of this beverage also leaves dark stains in your teeth.
  • Soft drinks – contains on an average 9 teaspoon of sugars which promotes growth of bacteria that turns sugar into acid that’s bad for your teeth.

Alternative Drinks

  • Water – Drinking water helps prevent tooth decay. Water contains fluoride which is essentially good for your teeth, as it strengthens one’s teeth enamel.
  • Milk – Our body needs calcium for healthy teeth and gums. Aside from milk, you can also get calcium from low-fat dairy products, almonds, vegetables and rice beverages.
  • Green Tea – Tea like water doesn’t cause erosion on your tooth enamel. It contains zero harmful chemicals that might damage or possibly stain your teeth.

These three drinks are better alternatives to the sugary drinks that only increase your chances of tooth decay.  Moreover, these drinks are 100% organic and contain no chemical stains that can stain your teeth.

2. Smoking

In a study conducted at the University of California, eight out of ten patients with oral cancer were smokers. And in the US Alone, 8,000 people die from oral cancer each year. Smoking has damaging effects on one’s teeth, including teeth discoloration, bad breath, inflammation of salivary glands, and gum diseases.

Living with a chronic smoker, whether it’s your husband or family can be equally damaging for your health and his.  Smoking addiction is one of the hardest to overcome. Nicotine is a highly addictive stimulant and a relaxant which is abused by many smokers. Heavy smokers smoke up to more than one pack of cigarettes a day.

Alternative Natural Stimulants

  • Cacao – dark chocolate is actually good for your teeth. It helps fight cavities, plaque, and tooth decay. Furthermore, it is a good stimulant to give you quick bursts of energy.
  • Maca root – Maca is a whole raw food that is a natural stimulant and energizer. Maca powder is usually used as an ingredient for smoothies and shakes.
  • Ginseng – a herbal plant known for its natural stimulant properties. Ginseng works like coffee and even provides cancer and weight loss benefits.

3. Using Teeth for Unhealthy Purposes

Our teeth should be used for only one purpose: eating. But then some people use their teeth in a number of ridiculous ways which can cause damage in the long run. Examples of these activities are:

  • Using Teeth to Open Bottle Caps – your teeth is not a bottle opener. This will cause enamel erosion and can even take off your whole teeth if you apply too much pressure.
  • Using Teeth to Remove Clothing Tags – Sometimes you don’t have a scissor near you and out of laziness you use your teeth to cut nylon clothing tags. This is extremely unhealthy for your teeth and might cause accidental uprooting.
  • Clenching/ Grinding Teeth While Sleeping – frequent strained teeth clenching can cause serious fracturing, loosening or loss of teeth. Doctors associate grinding of teeth during sleep as caused by anxiety and stress.


Don’t ever take your oral health for granted. Always remember that healthy teeth are a sign of good health. With a healthful diet and knowledge of the proper way to take care of your teeth, you can have those covetous pearly whites everybody wants.


National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

Oral Cancer Foundation

Ventura Specialty Dental


Armela Escalona
Armela Escalona is a blogger, freelance writer, and content marketer. Her works have been published in various blogs, websites and magazines on the web. Find her on Twitter @ArmelaE.