How to Avoid Using Your Teeth as Tools

army-2186_960_720One of the common ways that people crack their teeth and break fillings is by using their teeth as tools. You might not even realize that you’re doing it until something pops, cracks, or hurts. It’s important that you use your teeth only for what they’re designed for: biting and chewing food. Unfortunately, even if you realize you’re in the habit of using your teeth as tools, it can be a hard habit to break. Try these tips for keeping your teeth doing only the job they were designed to do.

Stop Using Your Teeth as Nail Clippers

Do you bite your nails? This is one of the most common bad habits, and while you already know it’s bad for your nails, you might not realize that it’s also bad for your teeth. When you tear at your nails, you’re introducing bacteria into your mouth. Your nails can nick your gums or the inside of your lip, raising your chances for developing an infection. Also, when your teeth slip off of your nail, the top and bottom teeth hit together. It doesn’t seem like much impact, but if you hit it the wrong way, you can cause a tiny crack or a chip.

What you can do: Carry nail clippers or manicure scissors with you. Also, try chewing gum; keeping your teeth busy with something else will make it less likely that you’ll stick your fingers in your mouth.

Stop Using Your Teeth as Scissors

If you forget to cut a tag off of your shirt and you’re not home, what’s the first thing you do? You probably try to bite the plastic to break it off. You might also use your teeth to start the tear on a packaged snack that isn’t opening the way you want it to. The same problems exist with this habit as the ones that can crop up from nail-biting.

What you can do: The same pair of nail clippers or manicure scissors that are helping you to stop biting your nails will come in handy with these everyday obstacles. Use them instead of your teeth!

Stop Using Your Teeth as Bottle-Openers

How many times have you used your molars to flip a top off of a bottle or to unscrew a plastic cap? Both of these actions can result in lost fillings, broken teeth, and even lacerated gums. Don’t do it!

What you can do: A simple rubber band can help you open a stubborn twist-cap bottle. Just wrap the rubber band around the top a few times to give you some friction when you twist it by hand. You can use many household items to open a flip-top bottle. Even the nail clippers might be useful here!

Not using your teeth as tools will help keep them healthy and strong. If you do forget and damage a tooth by biting something you shouldn’t be, give us a call right away. Prompt attention can minimize the damage and get your smile back to how it should be!