HOW do you use your teeth? That would seem to be an extraordinary question for us here at Mannamead Cosmetic Dental Clinic to ask – as surely you use your teeth to eat. But that may not be the only use you put them to.
Many of us maybe risking our oral health by using our teeth for jobs they were not designed to be used for, at least according to the results of recent research.
Research highlights worrying tooth use.
Combined research by Philips and the Oral Health Foundation, as part of National Smile Month, revealed that 65% of us (that’s 2 in 3) frequently use our teeth for things other than eating.
Tearing Sellotape is the most common activity, with over four-in-ten, 41%, of us admit to doing this regularly. 26%, or more than one-in-four, bite our fingernails and over a fifth, 22%, use teeth to carry things when our hands are.
Other claims by participants in the research highlighted include 20% of Brits removing tags from of clothing, 16% chewing pens and pencils, 9%, frighteningly, opening bottles and 4% doing up zips. All very alarming.
These alternative uses for our teeth may seem minor, but according to Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, using our teeth in these various ways presents considerable risk to our oral health.
“Anything from opening bottles to chewing foreign objects can damage existing dental work or cause our teeth to crack,” explains Dr Carter.
“There are also examples of teeth shifting out of place, chipping, and in some cases breaking, due to the pressure and strain. Accidents are also more likely to happen, which could result in invasive and expensive emergency dental work.
“We should stick to using our teeth for what they were designed to do – chewing our food so that it’s more easily digestible. Our teeth also help us to talk and make sounds. They also give our face its shape. Because of this, we shouldn’t be doing anything that could unnecessarily jeopardise them.”
At Mannamead Cosmetic Dental Clinic, we have experience in repairing and restoring damaged teeth and smiles, which can be caused by such unusual activity.