Madison Heights Dentist Tells You Why You Shouldn’t Use Your Teeth as a Tool

The enamel on your teeth is stronger than steel, but it isn’t invulnerable. It’s important to practice great oral hygiene to keep your teeth healthy, but what about caring for them in other ways?

Without proper knowledge, you may be utilizing the strength of your teeth in a harmful manner, like nail-biting or opening packaging with them. These practices can slowly harm your mouth, causing difficulties for the future of your oral health. Below are the most common ways that people use their teeth as tools and why you should avoid doing them.

Nail-biting

Biting your nails can cause harm to your teeth, jaw, and joints. It opens up the possibility of cracking, chipping, or wearing down your front teeth over time. Nail-biting is also a common cause for issues with the temporomandibular joint, resulting in discomfort and dysfunction where your jaw and skull connect. If you are having trouble quitting this habit, we recommend asking a close friend or family member to remind you to stop, or to always have a pair of nail clippers with you.

Opening Packaging

It may be a quick solution for a stubborn bag or bottle, but using your teeth as a tool is not worth the risk. These movements can harm your jaw, or damage your teeth. We encourage you to reach for a pair of scissors or a bottle opener instead.

Chewing on Items

Teeth are made to chew food, not pen caps, pencils, or straws. These items put your teeth at risk for chips and cracks and can even tear or damage gum tissue. Chewing on items may also be a sign of bruxism, which causes unintentional teeth grinding. This overactive use of your teeth and jaw can result in headaches, tooth sensitivity, and gum recession. We recommend chewing on sugarless gum instead if you are having a hard time breaking this habit.

Stay proactive in keeping your mouth healthy by not using your teeth as a tool. If are experiencing any difficulties with your oral health, we can help. Contact our Redwood Dental Madison Heights office today.

255 W 13 Mile Rd.
Madison Heights, MI 48071

(248) 583-9888

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255 W 13 Mile Rd.
Madison Heights, MI 48071

(248) 583-9888