Why Opening Things With Your Teeth is a Bad Idea
June 01, 2018 ABC Children's Dentistry
Opening things with our teeth is a bad habit many of us pick up as a child. Whether it’s using our teeth to open a bag of chips, a bottle or a walnut, we’re risking fracturing or cracking a tooth in the process.
In this issue, we’ll talk more about how to teach your children to use their teeth for chewing food only.
Is using my teeth to open things that bad?
Remember, our teeth have one sole purpose: chewing food. You should not use your teeth as a substitute for pliers or scissors. While nuts are good snacks, you should tell your children to stay away from ones that still have their shell. Instead, teach your child to use a nutcracker.
Using your teeth to open a bottle is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your teeth. In addition to a cracked tooth, you’re also risking having your tooth enamel scraped away by the metal or plastic top.
What about holding things in my mouth?
Many people like to use their teeth as a “third hand” to hold things like pens, pencils, toys, clothes pins, etc. In addition to being a choking hazard, things held between your teeth can result in serious oral injuries if you trip and fall.
Can I cut thread with my teeth?
This may seem like a harmless shortcut, but cutting things with your teeth can eventually lead to the development of grooves, which can easily change the overall appearance of your mouth.
What should I do if my child cracks or loses a tooth?
We wrote about this in a previous entry. Your first step should be to try to comfort your child. If a tooth has been lost, grasp it by the crown, not the root, and gently rinse of any debris. To keep the tooth moist, wrap it in a clean cloth soaked in tap water or salt water. Then, call your child’s dentist for the soonest available time for an appointment.