5 Bad Oral Habits You Should Quit

5 Bad Oral Habits You Should Quit

Dec 01, 2020

From parking our cars in the wrong slot to crossing the street at a red light, we all have bad habits. However, if these habits harm our oral health, they should be a cause for alarm. This article explores some of the habits that put your dental health in danger and how you can combat them. It is good to stop these bad practices while you still can.

Nail Biting

Already feel guilty? There’s still time to change, though! Besides leaving you with ugly dwarf nails, biting your nails comes with a whole bunch of consequences. First, there are bacteria harbored beneath your nails, so biting them exposes your mouth to these bacteria. If this happens, your immunity weakens, and you will be more susceptible to diseases. Second, this behavior heightens the chances of your teeth chipping and cracking. Another downside of this practice is that it could impact the jaw as moving it outwards could pressure it.

How do you get over your nail-biting habits? It is quite easy. You could try nail polishes with a bitter taste or holding things to keep your fingers away from your mouth. Because stress is a trigger in some individuals, it would be nice to lower your stress levels in ways that best suit you.

Aggressive Brushing!

While brushing your teeth may be important for your oral health, going too hard on them could only cause you trouble. Brushing too aggressively apart from eroding your tooth enamel could also cause gum recession. Your toothbrush should be gentle on the teeth, so ensure you invest in a good soft-bristled brush.


You must be fully aware that smoking is the number one enemy to your oral health. From teeth discoloration to bad breath, its effects are disastrous. Most smokers also suffer from gum disease, oral cancer, reduced bone density, and salivary glands’ inflammation.

Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking involves putting the thumb inside the mouth and sucking on it rhythmically. Infants suck their thumbs for physiological reassurance and oral gratification. While this is normal in babies, you should be concerned if your baby’s thumb sucking is prolonged. When prolonged, sucking of the thumb could misalign your baby’s newly-developed adult teeth. It could cause the emerging teeth to be crooked and even deform the mouth roof.

It is important to note that while some kids simply outgrow this behavior, it isn’t the same for the others. There are those kids that want to quit the thumb sucking but can’t bring themselves to it. This isn’t their fault, and as a parent, you could try to engage a child therapist to help them out. Alternatively, you could use appliances that act as barriers. The appliances also double as physical reminders.

Tongue Thrusting

Tongue thrusting is a behavioral pattern that involves the tongue protruding through your anterior teeth. This happens when you swallow, speak, or even when you are at rest. The condition can be primary, its etiological factors being nasal congestion, learned behaviors, and hyperplastic tonsils. It could also be secondary to an open bite in the anterior or early milk teeth extraction. How do you correct a tongue thrust? The first and most important step is eliminating the etiology. Once this is done, the following lines of treatment can be followed:

  • Muscle retaining exercises to reeducate the muscles that facilitate swallowing
  • Mechanical appliances that prevent the tongue from thrusting.

Habit Breaking Appliances

If you are looking for a habit correction appliance, the Hybrid Habit Correction Appliance (HHCA) is an excellent choice. This is unarguably one of the best habit-breaking appliances offered at Kids First Dental Greenwood. With its multipronged advantages, the tool can treat both thumb sucking and tongue thrusting. In thumb thrusting cases, the beads are a training device that prevents the tongue from being lowly-positioned. In the case of thumb sucking, the bead acts as a reminder to stop the practice.

Here are some other advantages of the HHCA:

  • There is U-loop in the premolar area that allows the appliance’s anterior part to be posteriorly repositioned. This way, it corrects both malocclusion and the issue at hand.
  • It also corrects posterior crossbites
  • The device is flexible in the sense that it can be used alongside fixed appliances. Besides increasing its efficiency, this feature reduces the HHAC’s wear time.

Our dentists in Greenwood, SC care for your overall health. That is the reason we offer habit appliance orthodontics at our clinic. Come meet Dr. Angela Schweiger today.

864-223-1474 Book an Appointment