Good Oral Habits to Embrace And Those To Avoid

Better Oral Health …

There is more to good oral hygiene than simply brushing our teeth and flossing. What you do with or to your mouth can significantly impact its overall health in the long run. Most acquired habits, such as smoking and using your teeth as a bottle opener, can have several devastating effects on your oral and dental health. Other habits, such as sticking to a healthy diet plan and drinking lots of water, can be particularly beneficial to your mouth.  Outlined below are some of the bad habits you should quit/avoid and good practices to continue or adopt now for better oral health.

woman breaking a cigarette

Oral Habits to Avoid


We all know what smoking does to your lungs. Many people don’t realize that smoking not only causes bad breath and discoloration of teeth but can also lead to oral cancer, low bone density (jaws), and gum disease, among other conditions. Quitting cigarettes for healthier habits can see a person’s oral and overall health improve significantly. Talk to your doctor to see how he/she can help you quit smoking safely.

Drinking Very Hot Beverages

While a hot cup of tea is a wonderful treat on a chilly day, drinking anything more than 65 degrees Celsius can be harmful to your oral health.  Researchers believe too hot beverages to be carcinogenic and could lead to esophageal cancer. You are better off enjoying a warm cup of tea than a hot one.

Brushing Aggressively

The idea behind brushing your teeth is to remove food particles and potentially bacteria from the teeth. However, brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush only erodes the tooth’s enamel and could irritate the gums as well. It would thus be advisable to be gentle when brushing and always use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Using Your Teeth as A Tool

Most people subconsciously use their teeth to cut strings, chew on pen containers, or even to open food packaging. Although they might seem strong and tough enough for the job, doing so could cause your teeth to chip or crack.  A cracked enamel paves the way for tooth decay and could lead to excruciating toothaches or tooth loss.  Don’t use your teeth as a tool!

Grinding and Clenching

A good number of people grind or clench their teeth when stressed or while asleep. While the situation might be beyond your control, grinding your teeth only accelerates enamel erosion. It could also cause your teeth to crack. Your dentist should be able to help you correct this habit.

woman holding a toothbrush

Good Oral Habits to Embrace

Visiting Your Dentist Regularly

Make a habit of seeing your dentist at least twice per year. Doing so makes it easier for the dentist to catch and fix a condition before it manifests. The dentist will also help clean those hard-to-reach areas, which again reduces the risk of plague and oral infections. Many Canadians (75%) visit their dentists at least once annually. This is according to data provided by the Canadian Dental Association.

Stick To a Balanced Diet Plan

Focusing on a healthy but balanced diet plan goes a long way in protecting your oral health. Your body, especially teeth and gums, get all the essential nutrients and minerals needed for healthy growth from these foods.  Cutting down on sugar intake also helps improve good oral health. Bacteria feed on these sugars causing plague and tooth decay.

Quit Smoking

As we discussed above, smoking exposes your teeth and gums to tar and nicotine. These compounds not only cause your teeth to discolor but also start eating your gums and teeth away. Smoking also alters the mouth’s acidity levels, creating just the perfect breeding ground for bacterial. Quitting the habit can help lower your risk of oral cancer and gum disease.

Use The Recommended Brushing Technique

While doctors advise us to brush our teeth at least twice per day, you still need to use the proper technique for it to be effective. You can do this by holding the brush at a 45-degree angle from the gum line, then use circular but gentle motions to clean between the teeth and just below the gum line. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid brushing aggressively.

dental tools


Flossing helps reach or clean parts of the mouth/teeth that toothbrush bristles cannot reach. A fresh floss is required for each flossing session and use your index fingers to hold the floss in place.  Be sure to use up and down motions to break up food particles and plaque from the teeth.  Visit your dentist for help and pointers on how to floss effectively for improved dental and oral hygiene.


For all of your family dental needs, contact us at Collin’s Bay Dental to book an appointment today!

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