Ten ways you’re harming your teeth without realising

Everyone knows that eating sugary or acidic foods can do some serious damage to your teeth. However, there are other ways to harm your teeth, most of which aren’t well known! Here we have a list of ten things you’re doing that won’t help your teeth.

Opening packages with your teeth

Sometimes you just can’t find your scissors, whether it’s for opening packages or getting the tag off your clothing, and when in doubt, just use your teeth, right? Wrong. By using your teeth instead of scissors, you can cause cracks and chips to develop. Prevent this by making sure to use the correct tools instead of your teeth.

Biting your nails

Not only is biting your nails unhygienic, it can result in your teeth moving out of place and can potentially splinter tooth enamel.

Drinking fruit tea

It has been shown that certain flavours of herbal teas can cause your teeth to rot quickly by dissolving tooth enamel. Teas containing lemon, raspberry and blackcurrant are some of the main culprits. Experts recommend drinking fruit-free herbal teas such as camomile and peppermint.

Eating dried fruit

Although getting your five a day is important, be aware that dried fruits such as raisins have a high sugar content, which can result in tooth decay and cavities. These outcomes can be avoided by brushing twice a day to remove any lingering sugar, and by only eating these foods in small amounts.

Brushing too hard

You’d think that brushing your teeth enthusiastically would mean that they’re the cleanest they can be. However, brushing your teeth too hard can cause tooth enamel to be worn down, irritate gums, make your teeth sensitive and potentially cause cavities. Try using a softer bristled brush if you clean your teeth with vigour, or use an electric toothbrush as they provide an extensive clean whilst needing less pressure.

Chewing pens and pencils

Chewing on pens and pencils can cause your teeth to move out of place, as well as creating stress fractures on your teeth and irritate your joints. Teeth are not meant to bite hard objects, so use chewing gum as a replacement if needed, sugar-free if possible.


Forgetting to drink 8 glasses of water to day is a regular occurrence for many, however having a dry mouth as a result of this can harm your teeth. Not drinking the required amount of water can result in a reduction in saliva production, which increases the risk of cavities as saliva is responsible for the dilution of the acid in food and drinks. Make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent this!

Drinking sugar-free fizzy drinks

Turns out sugary drinks aren’t the only ones bad for your teeth – even sugar-free drinks are ‘bathing your teeth in an acid environment’, according to the experts, and so are just as bad for your dental health.

Drinking citrus drinks

Citric drinks such as grapefruit juice are high in acid, which can result in the erosion of tooth enamel. Drinking orange juice instead is a better idea, as it is less acidic, however as this is high in sugar be careful not to drink too much, as it can also harm your dental health.

Clenching or grinding your teeth

Clenching or grinding your teeth can wear your teeth down, and cause micro fractures in your teeth because of the pressure out on them. If you clench or grind your teeth unconsciously when asleep as a result of stress, consider investing in a mouth guard to wear when asleep to protect your teeth.

For more top tips on protecting your teeth, pop in for a check-up with us – you can book an appointment with a member of our friendly team by calling 0121 354 1922.