Teeth Are Not Tools: 6 Things To Never Do With Your Teeth

Teeth Are Not Tools: 6 Things To Never Do With Your Teeth

Teeth Are Not Tools: 6 Things To Never Do With Your Teeth

Teeth Are Not Tools: 6 Things To Never Do With Your Teeth

Teeth Are Not Tools: 6 Things To Never Do With Your Teeth

Your teeth serve many important purposes. They allow you to chew your food, help you form words and enunciate clearly, and provide the underlying structure that makes your face beautiful. They are also the brightest part of the best thing on your face — your smile.

Sometimes, it's tempting to use teeth for jobs they are not intended for, but teeth are not tools. When you use them for the wrong tasks, you risk permanent damage. Here are six things you should never do with your teeth.


1. Don't Try To Open Things With Your Teeth


From bottlecaps to envelopes, clamshell packages to shrink-wrapped plastic, you shouldn't try to open things with your teeth. Using your teeth in this way can cause them to not only chip but to crack and break.

Keeping the proper tools for these jobs at hand can minimize the convenience to use your teeth instead. For example, having a set place where you open your mail allows you to store a letter opener and a box knife right where you will need them and can alleviate the temptation to use your teeth.


2. Don't Put Pens and Pencils in Your Mouth

Pens and pencils do not belong in your mouth. Not only is chewing on them an unsanitary habit, but it can also be very hard on your teeth. Unnecessary chewing can cause damage and result in weakened teeth that are more likely to chip and crack.
People who put pens and pencils in their mouths are often looking to chew on something as a soothing technique. Chewing gum is a much better option for satisfying that need.


3. Don't Chew Ice

When you chew on ice, you create another opportunity to crack or chip your teeth. The American Dental Association has said that chewing on ice is the equivalent of chewing on rocks. In addition to damaging your enamel, it can increase your sensitivity to cold or hot foods.
If you enjoy the cold sensation but want to avoid the damage associated with ice cubes, you can try replacing regular ice cubes with other forms of ice. Shaved ice, slushies, or nugget-shaped ice will provide that cold sensation you love without causing the same damage to your teeth.


4. Don't Crack Nuts or Seeds in a Shell

If a squirrel can open a nut with its teeth, you should be able to as well, right? It seems so convenient to use your teeth to open a nutshell since you want the nutmeat in your mouth anyway, but you are very likely to end up with a cracked tooth instead of a cracked shell.
Take the time to look through your kitchen drawer for a nutcracker, or buy your nuts and seeds already out of their shells. It just might save you an emergency trip to the dentist.


5. Don't Drink Soda

Avoiding soda may be difficult, but drinking too much can significantly damage your teeth. Both regular and diet sodas can wear down your enamel due to the chemicals, sugar, and acid they contain. This leaves your teeth more susceptible to cavities. It can also cause your teeth to discolor and look unattractive.

If you choose to drink soda, try to cut back as much as possible. Always drink it through a straw to minimize the contact of the sugar and acid with your teeth.


6. Don't Use Your Teeth as Nail Clippers

You likely know why nail-biting is a horrible habit to have, but you may not realize the amount of damage that it can cause to your teeth. Nail-biting creates unnecessary wear and tear on the front teeth, weakening the enamel and leaving them prone to chipping. The overuse of those teeth can even shift them out of place, creating the potential need for orthodontics in the future.

Additionally, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to properly clean the area underneath your fingernails, and the germs that grow there can transfer to your mouth when you bite your nails. 


Using proper nail clippers is a much better way to keep your nails at a comfortable length. If nail-biting has become routine, addressing the problem as early as possible in order to break the habit is the best way to keep yourself healthy.

The friendly professionals at Pediatric Dental Group hope that you follow these tips and remember that teeth are not tools. If you have any concerns about the health of your teeth and gums, do not hesitate to reach out for an evaluation today at our offices in Lihue or Honolulu, Hawaii.

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