We all have our imperfections and guilty pleasures, but some of them can be more harmful than you realize. Your oral health requires daily action and awareness, and that means keeping your bad habits in check.

You might be thinking “stop avoiding the dentist” or “cut back on the caffeine.” While we wouldn’t argue with you, we’re talking about more unconventional habits you might not even realize you’re doing.

Here are some very common behaviors that can produce some unwanted and unhealthy outcomes.

The Avid Snacker

While snacking is completely normal, it shouldn’t replace your daily meals. Snacking constantly throughout the day rather than dining just a few times can put unwanted strain on your teeth. You’re increasing the chance for food to get stuck or lodged in your teeth, which could lead to pain, discomfort, and dental issues. Not to mention, most of those snack foods you’re eating are probably not the best option for your oral health.

The Multi-Tasker

When you’re doing multiple things at once, you might catch yourself sticking things in your mouth that don’t belong there – pens, tacks, keys, safety pins, bottle caps, and whatever else you might have in your hand. You should never put a hard object inside of your mouth, as it can do serious damage to your teeth and gums, especially if you’re biting down on it. And on that note…

The Overachiever

We all know how frustrating it can be to get stuck with a bottle or package you can’t open. Your rip and tear to no avail, so you start to search around the house for a useful tool. When there’s nothing close in sight, you decide to use your mouth like a swisscard to solve the problem. That’s a big no-no. Save your teeth from unwanted chipping and breaking by thinking twice next time.

The Perfectionist

Having a beauty, healthy smile is a source of pride and confidence. However, taking your dental routine too far can actually cause more harm than good. Brushing your teeth too hard or too often can wear down the enamel on your teeth, leading to toothbrush abrasion. Stick with a balanced routine of three times a day and be gentle during the process.

The Enthusiast

You might assume that brushing your teeth regularly is all you need to protect your teeth from daily wear and tear. However, frequency is not only thing you should consider. Take into consideration what you’re consuming throughout the day. If you eat something that is heavy in citric acid – including a large list of fruits – you should hold off on brushing for at least half an hour. You might be inclined to brush right after a meal but doing may lead to increased enamel erosion.

Habit formation is the key to maintaining a long-lasting smile that is most beautiful and healthy. If any of these personas apply to you, consider making an adjustment in your daily routine to strengthen your oral hygiene. You might not even notice you’re doing many of these things – but your teeth and gums will look and feel better when you start taking positive action.