Your teeth play many important roles. They help you form words clearly, chew up and eat food, fill out your facial features, and allow you to convey a variety of emotions by showing your teeth. But sometimes, it can be tempting to use teeth for something beyond their intended purpose.
Unfortunately, here at Riverside Dental Care, we see the results of using your teeth as tools as patients come in with chipped, cracked, or loose teeth due to misuse. To help you protect your teeth, here are some things you should stop doing with your teeth.
Don’t Use Teeth As Portable Scissors
As we use our teeth to bite through food to make chewable bites, it’s a natural thought that you can use your teeth as a form of highly portable scissors. Plastic wrap not giving? Bite a corner. Need to strip the casing on a wire? Nip in with your teeth.
Except, you should absolutely do none of these things.
For one thing, when you use your teeth as scissors, you are likely using your front teeth. These teeth are not as strong as your back teeth and are far easier to chip. Also, if a chip does occur, it will likely happen to your two front teeth, creating a visible and painful reminder not to use your teeth as scissors.
Avoid Chewing On Non-Food Items
Ever absentmindedly chewed on the cap of a pen? While it is understandable to nibble without thinking, chewing on non-food items can take a toll on your teeth. Food items are meant to crumble and give under the pressure of your teeth. But, something like pen caps, paperclips, and other items will wear down your teeth and potentially cause cracks and chips.
Rather than wearing down the enamel of your teeth, try to catch yourself if you find you are absently getting ready to bite down on non-food items, which includes your fingernails.
Stop Using Teeth As An Opening Tool
Much like you shouldn’t be using your teeth as scissors, you should definitely stop using them as an all-purpose tool. While your molars are strong, using them to unscrew something is a terrible idea. Equally terrible is using your teeth as a bottle opener.
This bottle opening trick may seem cool, but you know what’s not cool? Chipping 2-4 of your bottom teeth with a metal bottle cap. So, while teeth may be a convenient tool, it’s best if you don’t risk them.
Use Your Hands, Not Your Teeth
Lastly, sometimes people will hold things in their teeth while their hands are busy. Everything from extra nails while building something to holding onto your smartphone for a second.
The problem is, the pressure on your teeth is not always even. This pressure can increase and either break the item or create indents in your teeth. You can create divets and cracks in your teeth from holding things with your teeth, so opt for putting the item down, rather than risking your teeth.
What To Do If Your Teeth Are Damaged
If you have damaged your teeth by using them as a tool, there is a variety of dental services you can access at our dental clinics to help repair your teeth. Some options you should consider are:
- Bonding – To help repair basic cosmetic issues and strengthen your teeth after developing cracks, bonding can be a good option.
- Dental crown – After you have cracked or deeply chipped a tooth by using it as a tool, you can still save the natural tooth by having a dental crown placed over the tooth.
- Veneers – For front teeth that have become chipped, cracked, or damaged, porcelain veneers are a great, strong option to protect what’s left of your natural teeth.
- Dental implant – To fix a missing tooth, a dental implant can be a strong replacement that will allow you to eat and speak naturally.
Find Tooth Repair Services In St. George, UT
If you are concerned that your teeth have undergone wear and tear, it’s time to come in for a dental cleaning. During your cleaning, our staff can identify problem areas and give you options for treatment.
Also, if you have experienced a dental accident while using your teeth as a tool, you can also contact us for our emergency dental services. We will do our best to see you as soon as possible to help you recover your beautiful smile.