Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health

Habits That Can Harm Your Oral Health


  • Bedtime baby bottles

It’s never a good idea to put your baby to bed with a bottle. Little children who go to sleep with a bottle are at a disadvantage when it comes to oral health. They often end up needing to have those baby teeth capped, and the experience can create a fear of dentists, which can lead to a life-long negative spiral of avoiding preventative care.

  • Tongue piercing

Tongue piercing can be a conduit for bacterial infections and can become life-threatening. These include diseases such as Hepatitis, Endocarditis (inflammation in the heart), allergic reactions to metals, gum disease, and nerve damage. 

  • Chewing ice

Chewing on ice can crack your teeth. Try chewing on sugar-free gum instead. 

  • Binge-eating/purging

Binge eating/purging bathes the tooth enamel in harsh acid which can destroy the tooth enamel. 

  • Hard candy — including cough drops

Eating hard candies like Jolly Ranchers, butterscotch drops and even cough drops is a detrimental habit.  The hard, sticky candy lodges in the crevices of the teeth, inviting bacteria and plaque buildup, which in turn leads to dental caries and gum disease.

  • Gummies

Like hard candy, gummy bears, gummy worms and even gummy vitamins allow sugar to stick to the teeth, creating an environment that allows bacteria to flourish.

  • Soda

Soda has nearly 20 teaspoons of sugar in a 12 ounce can, and when you drink it you are literally bathing your teeth in sugar.  Worse yet, the acid in the soda erodes the enamel of the teeth, speeding up the formation of cavities.

  • Chips and crackers

Potato chips and crackers mix with saliva to create a sticky paste that lodges in the nooks and crannies of your teeth, where bacteria and plaque attack your teeth.

  • Smoking:

We know that smoking causes cancer. Smoking also contributes to gum disease and yellow teeth and is generally detrimental to oral health.

The staff at Distinctive Dentistry is committed to making sure you have the best dental care possible. Dr. Keith Phillips has over 25 years of expertise in advanced dental practice, and continually stays up to date on the latest research and implements best-practice methodology.  Dr. Phillips is one of only twenty board-certified in prosthodontics dentists in the state of Washington, and is certified sedation dentistry and Prosthodontics. Dr. Keith Phillips is nationally recognized for the high degree of both skill and ethics he brings to the practice, and to our patients.

Our office is located just off the freeway in Tacoma, WA, serving patients in the greater Tacoma area including Gig Harbor, Federal Way and Puyallup.

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5615 Valley Ave. E., Tacoma, WA 98424


(253) 922-6822


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