Teeth serve many functions. They were designed to chew food, support our lips and cheeks structurally, and help us speak clearly. A healthy set of teeth can also add to your overall appearance and give you a very attractive smile. Unfortunately, many people use their teeth for things other than chewing. Teeth are not tools! Here are a few things that you need to avoid doing with your teeth so you can keep them healthy and strong.
Do Not Use Your Teeth to Open Things
It doesn’t matter if it’s a beer bottle, candy bar, or a waterproof delivery envelope-do not use your teeth to help you open it. Your teeth were not meant to open things like this. Using your teeth on objects like these, especially bottle caps, can crack and chip your teeth, cause malocclusion (poor law alignment), and wear down your teeth unevenly. Malocclusion can lead to a type of jaw pain known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
Do Not Use Your Teeth as Wire Cutters or Scissors
A lot of people try to use their teeth to cut through packing tape instead of using scissors. Others try to use their teeth like wire cutters. A man said the easiest way he found to remove insulation from copper wiring was to bite on it with his two front teeth. He got to the point to where he was very good at doing it this way. It’s a good thing his dad caught him one day and told him he would ruin his teeth if he continued doing it. He could have broken or cracked his front teeth. Fortunately for him, no permanent damage was done to his front teeth and he started using actual wire cutters.
Do Not Use Your Teeth as a Third Hand
An oral pathology teacher once showed his class a picture of an old woman that had used her front teeth to hold pins while she was sewing. Over time, the woman had worn small holes in her teeth where she would hold the pins. Each time she would smile, the small holes were visible on the bottom of her upper teeth. The same thing can happen if a construction worker holds nails in their teeth. Using your teeth to hold things can damage your teeth after a long time of doing it. Also, if you had to yawn or hiccup while holding foreign objects in your teeth you could choke.
Do Not Use Your Teeth to Chew on Foreign Objects
We’ve all seen grownups and kids chewing on their pencils or lids to pens. We do it when we’re bored or just out of habit. Kids would even compare who chewed their pens up the most. We also see people get in the bad habit of biting their fingernails. If people continue this bad behavior it can permanently damage their teeth. Your tooth enamel can weaken causing your teeth to chip and lose tooth structure.
Do Not Use Your Teeth to Crack Open Nuts or Shellfish
Sure, nuts and shellfish are edible, but do not use your teeth to crack open the shells to get to the good stuff inside. Over time, the shells are like sandpaper on your teeth and you will eventually be able to see where you have worn away your enamel. You must use a nutcracker or shell cracker to open your nuts and shells. It’s the only way to save your teeth from damage.
If you want your teeth to serve their intended purpose, you must protect them and take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you the proper way to care for and protect your teeth. You’ll be able to keep your smile working well for your lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!