We’ve all been there – a stubborn package that needs opening or a bottle cap that needs twisting. In these moments, it’s tempting to use our teeth as tools to get the job done quickly. However, convenience can come at a cost. Using your teeth as tools has risks that can significantly damage your teeth. However, there are alternatives that can keep your teeth and gums happy and healthy.
What are the Risks?
Using your teeth as tools may seem convenient at first. In fact, it may provide quick and handy solutions. However, you may experience unforeseen consequences. While it may save time initially, it can lead to dental problems in the long run.
Using your teeth for non-eating tasks can result in chips, cracks, and fractures. Breaking a tooth can leave your tooth vulnerable to other issues. A broken tooth can cause more than just a disproportionate smile. Depending on the break, you may have mild to severe pain. Additionally, any break in the enamel can lead to sensitivity to tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to an infection or abscess without the appropriate treatment.
Gum and Soft Tissue Injury
Forceful actions can injure your gums and delicate soft tissues in your mouth. Say you are using your teeth to open a plastic package. The plastic can slip off of your teeth and cut your gums. Of course, cuts to the soft tissue can cause pain. However, you can also increase your chances of infection. The mouth naturally houses bacteria. So, open sores can become infected.
These are some of the more common scenarios when you might use your teeth as tools.
Many of us are guilty of using our teeth to open packages. Whether plastic or cardboard, you can still face damage to your teeth. For example, long-term use of your teeth as tools can lead to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
A safer alternative for opening packages is a pair of scissors. If you have scissors handy, you can open packages more safely.
Bottle Cap Removal
Sometimes, the plastic caps on bottles are hard to get off. It may be tempting to use your teeth as leverage. However, twisting off bottle caps with your teeth can strain your teeth and jaw muscles. This can cause pain or even a broken tooth.
Rather than using your teeth, you should use a proper bottle opener for your drinks. You could even use a silicone mat to make the process easier.
Eating nuts can be a healthy snack. But, you can damage your teeth if you don’t open them properly. Instead of using your teeth, you should use a nutcracker to crack open nuts safely. You may consider buying pre-shelled nuts to avoid the process altogether.
It is tempting to use your mouth to hold objects. Instead, you should use the appropriate tools or grips to hold objects securely. Also, you can simply use your fingers or hands instead of your teeth.