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Habits that Affect Oral Health and Tips to Fix Them

Habits that Affect Oral Health and Tips to Fix Them

Good oral health is essential for overall wellbeing, but many of us don’t think about the habits that can negatively affect it. Common bad habits such as smoking, consuming sugary drinks, poor hygiene, and even seemingly harmless things like grinding your teeth at night can all have an impact on your oral health. In this article we will explore some of these habits, the effects they have on your oral health, and tips to break them.

1. Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst offenders when it comes to negatively impacting oral health. The toxins in cigarettes are known to cause plaque buildup on teeth, resulting in stained teeth and bad breath. It can also cause receding gums, and even increase the risk of gum disease.

Effects on Oral Health

The chemicals in cigarettes can have an immediate effect on oral health. It stains teeth, dries out the mouth, and increases plaque buildup which can lead to cavities and gum disease. Smoking is also a major contributing factor in oral cancer and can make it difficult to detect signs of the disease until it is too late.

Tips to Quit Smoking

The best way to reduce the negative effects smoking has on oral health is to quit. Quitting smoking requires time, dedication, and support from family and friends. Here are some tips to help with the process:

  • Set a quit date and stick to it.
  • Join a support group for smokers who want to quit.
  • Speak to your doctor about medication or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
  • Reward yourself when you reach milestones in your quitting journey. 

Alternatives to Smoking

If you are looking for an alternative to smoking cigarettes, there are products such as nicotine gum, patches, and even e-cigarettes that can help you reduce your cravings. These alternatives don’t have the same negative effects on oral health as smoking cigarettes.

2. Sugary Drinks

Excessive consumption of sugary drinks can cause serious damage to teeth, resulting in tooth decay and a greater risk of cavities. Sugary drinks contain acid which wears away at the enamel on your teeth, leaving them more vulnerable to infection and decay.

Effects on Oral Health

Sugary drinks can have a huge impact on oral health, as they contain large amounts of sugar and acid. The combination of the two can cause cavities and tooth decay. If left untreated, this can lead to gum disease which increases the risk of serious complications such as heart disease and stroke.

Tips for Limiting Sugary Drinks

Limiting your consumption of sugary drinks is a great way to protect your oral health. Here are some tips to help you cut down:

  • Drink more water and unsweetened beverages such as herbal tea.
  • Don’t keep sugary drinks at home.
  • Always brush your teeth after drinking something sugary.
  • Choose drinks with lower sugar content or no added sugar at all.

Alternatives to Sugary Drinks

If you’re looking for alternatives to sugary drinks, try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime to plain or sparkling water. You can also try tea made with natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia.

3. Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of tooth decay and gum disease. This can be caused by not brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly, or using the right kind of toothbrush for your teeth and gums.

Effects on Oral Health

Poor oral hygiene can have serious effects on your oral health. It can lead to plaque buildup which makes teeth more vulnerable to cavities and gum disease. Poor oral hygiene also increases the risk of bad breath and staining of teeth.

Tips for Better Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Here are some tips to help:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.
  • Floss at least once a day to remove plaque from between your teeth.
  • Use the correct toothbrush for your mouth size and toothbrush type.


Oral health should not be taken lightly, as poor oral habits can have serious consequences on overall health. Taking care of your teeth and gums is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing diseases such as cavities and gum disease.



Q: What are the effects of smoking on oral health?

A: Smoking has a negative effect on oral health, as it increases the risk of gum disease, bad breath, and tooth staining.

Q: Are sugary drinks bad for your teeth?

A: Yes, sugary drinks can cause serious damage to teeth if consumed in excess. The acid in these beverages wears away at the enamel, leaving teeth vulnerable to infection and decay.

Q: How often should I brush my teeth?

A: You should brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. Additionally, flossing once a day is essential for removing plaque from between the teeth.