Dental Patient Education: Habits That Hurt Teeth

2-minute read


While your patients are patiently waiting, give them something fun and educational to look at.

Simply slip this sign into an acrylic 8.5 x 11 frame and place it in your practice.

Click here to download the “Habits That Can Hurt Teeth” sign

5 Habits That Can Hurt Your Teeth:

1. Chewing ice, hard candy, pencils or fingernails

2. Opening anything with your teeth

3. Slowly sipping soda or sweet beverages

4. Sucking often on cough drops

5. Forgetting lip balm

This sign is also a great conversation starter and can lead to questions about your patient’s own habits. Here’s a closer look at how each of these bad habits impact oral health:

Chewing ice, hard candy, pencils or fingernails

This bad habit can lead to chipped or fractured teeth. The American Dental Association also found that nail biting can lead to jaw dysfunction.

Opening anything with your teeth

Using teeth as a tool to open a bottle, a barrette, a bobby pin, or anything else that is hard is a bad idea. Biting down on these can chip your teeth or the item could slip and cut the gum line.

Slowly sipping soda or sweet beverages

The sugar from a single sip can sit on your teeth for 20 minutes and the accumulation of sugar can lead to tooth decay. If you can’t give up these types of drinks, brush your teeth or swish with water to help wash away cavity-causing sugar.

Sucking often on cough drops

Many brands of cough drops contain sugar which can erode tooth enamel. 

Forgetting lip balm

If your lips get sunburned, they can become tender and swollen, which can make it painful to brush and floss. Plus, extended sun exposure can lead to lip wrinkles, blisters, or even oral cancer.

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