Using Your Teeth As Tools – Definitely Not Proper Teeth Care!
You are out with your friends on ladies night. You look great, and you’re wearing your favourite necklace – silver hoops with pearls. It is just long enough, fancy enough, and classic that it goes with everything. You lean over the counter too quickly and it gets stuck on something below it. You pull back but your necklace breaks. Devastating. However, it’s an easy fix; one of the links just opened up when you pulled, so the two halves broke apart. You want to fix it right now but you don’t have any tools – accept your teeth. When you were younger, you used your teeth as tools all of the time. You would break open bags with your teeth; bite the annoying plastic tags off your clothes when you didn’t have scissors; hold your phone or car keys in your mouth when you needed an extra hand; and you even fixed a bent earring once. Your parents always yelled at you though, saying, “That’s not proper teeth care! You could chip a tooth!” However, you never did chip any teeth, so what is the harm in doing it? You decide to jump in and fix your necklace on the spot. Low and behold, a few minutes later, a small piece of your tooth falls off. It is the first time you ever chipped a tooth and it was all because you couldn’t wait for a real tool to fix your necklace – lovely. Now a trip to your dentist… Have you ever been in that situation? Maybe you haven’t, but many of us do use our teeth as tools sometimes. This writer made that unfortunate mistake once. In a similar situation as the story above, a broken necklace turned into a trip to the dentist. It would have been easier (and more intelligent) to wait until later when tools were available; but stubbornness and a mild annoyance on having to wait dictated the end result. At least it also allowed this writer to learn a valuable lesson: not to use teeth as tools. Hopefully, if this has ever happened to you, you have learned the same lesson. It is possible that the first few times you use your teeth as tools you won’t damage them (or maybe you just won’t see the damage). However, why take the risk? Teeth weren’t designed to be used in such a way. While you assume your teeth are hard and sturdy, the pressure will lead to your teeth cracking, chipping, or breaking. Be smart and wait for the proper tools. Just a few final tips on proper teeth care:
- Make sure to brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily. You can even brush once after lunch without toothpaste, as it’s the brushing part that matters most. A pea size amount of toothpaste is good enough for your toothbrush.
- Use a tongue scraper; they clean bacteria, fungi, and dead cells from your tongue, which are related to many dental health problems.
- You should visit the dentist at least every 6 months. Your dentist will be able to tell you if your oral care is on the right track, and will be able to spot potential problems before they get worse. As such, you will be less vulnerable to decay or more invasive surgeries down the road.
- Your toothbrush should be replaced at least every 3 months. It is home to many bacteria; however, so long as you take care of your toothbrush and replace it when it gets too old, you need not worry about those bacteria. Moreover, the more you use your toothbrush the more you wear down its bristles. It will not function properly if the bristles are too worn.