Your teeth are not a tool. Ok, you might argue that your teeth ARE a tool for helping break down your food, clearly articulate words, and supporting your facial bone structure. And, you’d be right on those counts. What we mean here is a more basic idea of tool- an inanimate item which helps you accomplish a task easier. All too often when we need a third hand and there’s no friend available, we grip things with our teeth instead. The danger in this type of misuse of your teeth is, although they are strong bone, they have limitations. Unfortunately, our teeth have limits, and they are an invaluable resource that’s not easy to replace.
So, we give you…
6 Dumb Ways to Lose Your Teeth
As a Bottle Opener
Can’t put your hands on that bottle opener, but dying for a refreshing sip? Resist the temptation to use your jaw for leverage on that metal bottle top! Metal bottle tops can chip the edge of teeth, and the force of bending the bottle top can crack your teeth. Take the extra minute to locate a metal bottle opener and save yourself a dental bill!
As an Ice Crusher
Chewing on ice can be amusing, satisfying, and function. The issue is, ice is actually hard enough to wear down the enamel on your teeth. As the enamel wears thin, you risk exposing the dentin and tooth roots. Bacteria can enter these fissured in your enamel and cause cavities, micro-fissures, and tooth sensitivity.
As a Nut Cracker
There’s a good reason Wilhelm Fuchtner invented the nutcracker in 1872. Repeated use of your teeth to open nuts can cause chipping, cracking, or crumbling of your teeth. It’s not just walnuts and peanuts either! Sunflower seeds can damage your teeth as well. Opting to use a tool instead of your teeth to de-shell your seeds & nuts can really pay off!
As a Fishing Line Cutter
When your hand are full with your fishing pole, lures, hooks, and bait, it’s tempting to rip fishing line with your teeth. But, repeated pressure on certain spots in your teeth can actually cause chipping or dips in your teeth from the line. Not only does this lead to unsightly teeth, these dips can harbor bacteria and lead to decay. Pro tip: grab a small pair of fingernail clippers and keep it in your tackle box. They’re perfect for snipping line, even in tight spots!
As a Literal Candy Crusher
Hard candy is hard on your teeth. Whether you choose to suck on it and drag it out, or you lose patience and crunch it up, it’s bad news for your teeth. Savoring that candy can increase your chances of tooth sensitivity and decay as prolonged exposure to sugar weakens enamel! But crushing through that candy can scratch your enamel, especially since it’s been weakened by the exposure to sugar. Enjoy a hard candy from time to time, but make it an occasional treat, not a habit!
Working Out Nerves
This one can be difficult to stop because it is usually unconscious. Do you find yourself chewing on pen caps, biting your nails, or gnawing on cloth? While these may help you work out anxious feelings in the moment, they will lead to a lot more trouble down the road when you wear through your enamel. Invest in a fidget spinner, stress ball, or take a few deep breaths or a quick walk to work out anxiety instead.
Is this blog too late for you? If you have some of these bad habits and are worried about chips, cracks, sensitivity, or decay, reach out to our office at 719-633-8766 for an appointment! We also have emergency treatment options.