Don’t Use Your Teeth As Tools

Your teeth are designed to perform many functions. However, many people use their teeth for behaviors that can cause damage. For example, we may open a package or chew on a pen every day without thinking. Unfortunately, these unconscious behaviors may lead to chipped or broken teeth. Additionally, you may find yourself with a painful cut on your gums. Here are several habits you should avoid to keep your teeth healthy. 

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Habits to Avoid

Although it can be difficult to break some habits, these are behaviors that you should avoid. This will help protect your teeth and gums from breaks and cuts. 

Opening Packages

Imagine you have just gotten a package in the mail, but you can’t find any scissors. What might you use instead? Unfortunately, most people resort to using their teeth to open boxes, tape, or plastic packaging. You can break or chip your teeth from thin plastic packages to heavy plastic or thick tape. With thick plastic, you are at risk of cutting your gums if the packaging slips. 

Using your teeth to open packages can be tempting, but you can damage your teeth and gums. It is worth taking a few minutes to find your scissors than it is to chip a tooth. In fact, if you cut your gums significantly, you will need to make an emergency trip to the dentist. In addition, you may need stitches or antibiotics for an infection. 

Carrying Things

Many of us are guilty of using our mouth as another hand in a pinch. It is normal to try and optimize your body, especially when your hands are full. For example, you may put your house keys in your mouth when you carry several bags of groceries. However, this can cause damage to your teeth. Not to mention, your keys are full of germs that can make you sick. Also, you risk swallowing or choking depending on the item you carry. 

Your teeth cut and crush food; you shouldn’t use them to carry anything. Using your teeth for behaviors outside of eating can chip or break them

Chewing Non-Food Items

Sometimes when we are distracted, we may chew on the end of a pen. For example, many people chew ice from cold drinks. Additionally, some people have a habit of chewing their nails out of anxiety or boredom. Teeth can crush and chew a variety of items. However, certain materials can damage teeth or put too much stress on your jaw joint. 

Chewing ice is one way you can break or chip a tooth. Most dentists recommend avoiding eating ice, cracking nuts with your teeth, and crunching hard candy. These may be food items, but they can be detrimental to your teeth. Also, chewing your nails can hurt your teeth and your health. You pick up germs on your hands and under your fingernails as you touch things. When you bite your fingernails, you ingest those germs, making you sick. Additionally, pieces of your fingernails can get stuck between your teeth.