We have all done it—used your teeth to rip open plastic packaging or to help open a bottle. Especially if there are no scissors or an extra pair of hands immediately available, it is much more convenient to utilize your teeth.
However, you should be extremely cautious about using your teeth as tools rather than chewing food. You could damage your teeth and gums, which may have significant consequences.
Tearing with Teeth Poses Dental Dangers
One of the more common ways that people use their teeth as tools is by opening plastic packaging. Some plastic may be soft and thin, which may not pose a threat to your teeth because of its material, but the action itself could cause you to chip a tooth.
The way that you line your teeth up to pull on plastic is unnatural for your bite. The plastic could slip, and your teeth could clash together causing them to chip or fracture.
Harder plastic poses a couple of problems. Biting and tearing into plastic with your teeth could potentially chip, fracture, or break one (or several) of your teeth.
Also, the plastic could scrap against your gums, leaving a scratch. Injuries to the gums leave you at risk of developing an infection. Not to mention, scratches on your gums hurt!
Biting Abnormal Items Could Hurt Your Smile
Another thing you should avoid doing is using your teeth to hold objects. It is tempting to put a portion of your keys or phone in your mouth when you need another hand, but you are putting yourself at risk of harming your teeth or gums.
We also tend to not notice the dirtiness of most of the things that we carry everywhere daily. They are full of harmful bacteria that shouldn’t go in your mouth. If your car keys scratch your gums, you are at a much higher risk of developing an infection.
Many kinds of nuts are healthy for your diet, but you should avoid using your teeth to crack any open. Pistachios, walnuts, pecans, and many others have hard outer shells that can damage your teeth if you were to bite into them. It is much more effective for you to use a nutcracker or a similar device designed to shell nuts, and it will help you to avoid chipping or breaking any of your teeth.
It can seem like a good idea to use your teeth to help you open a stubborn bottle, but your teeth are not designed for that purpose. You can easily chip or break a tooth by using them to break the seal on a bottle.
Your teeth can also slip, and you might hit the bottle on your gums, which can be painful. Try using a rubber mat or grabbing help from a friend to open stuck bottles rather than your teeth.
Generally, healthy teeth are pretty strong, but they have their limits. Even some foods are too much for your teeth, such as chewing ice, so it is best to be cautious. Avoid chips and breaks or potentially crowns or implants by using your teeth properly.