Teeth As Tools

Chewing Ice, Using Teeth As Tools Among Worst Habits For Teeth
Posted on 11/26/2018
At Tennessee River Dental, our mission is simple: help patients of all ages throughout Hixson, Red Bank, Soddy Daisy, and the greater Chattanooga area achieve healthy, beautiful smiles through quality dental treatment. But in order to maintain a healthy smile, how you care for teeth at home is just as important as our in-office treatments – and this goes beyond simple brushing and flossing. Some habits, in particular, can have serious negative consequences on dental health, and it turns out that using teeth as tools is one of the worst. 

The Dangers of Using Teeth as Tools

A new article in Reader's Digest lists 13 of the most dangerous habits you can have for dental health, citing things like eating lemons, chewing ice, and biting your nails, all of which can either contribute to decay or crack teeth. But it turns out perhaps the most dangerous thing you can do for teeth is to use them as tools. Using your teeth as tools – to open a bottle, for instance – poses a serious threat of breaking the tooth, either with a small chip or a serious, structural fracture. 

Dr. Randall backs this up:

"There's a saying in dentistry that seems to ring true in many situations - "Don't use teeth as tools," explains Dr. Randall. "Unfortunately, we see situations where teeth have been used for tasks they weren't designed to handle and the results can be catastrophic for the tooth or teeth involved."

According to Dr. Randall, the problem doesn't always happen all at once. And in some cases, you may not even notice it at first.

"Frequently, what we see is situations where the tooth is gradually weakened over time and small, undetectable micro-cracks develop," says Dr. Randall. "Then something ends up being the straw that breaks the proverbial camel's back and the tooth breaks. Like most things, the best answer is often prevention and this is no exception."

Contact Your Chattanooga, TN Family Dentist

Strong oral hygiene is the most important part of keeping your smile healthy and beautiful, and thanks to Reader's Digest, there's one more thing you can add to your list of oral hygiene care: never use your teeth as tools! As always, feel free to contact us if you have more questions about dangers to your teeth or oral health in general. We look forward to hearing from you, and we hope you'll take heed of this important warning by only using your teeth for what they're meant for: chewing food, speaking, and smiling!