Are you one who prefers walking around with a toothpick hanging out of your mouth? If so, as your dentist, we would appreciate it if you would stop. Toothpicks seem innocent, but they really have a lot of capacity to hurt your mouth. Toothpicks are dangerous, especially when you leave them in your mouth and are not paying attention to them. Here are some of the reasons that we ask that you find something else to chew on.
How Toothpicks Become Dangerous
First of all, a toothpick can poke your gums and cause damage. Chewing on a toothpick can lead to it slipping against your gums, plus using it the wrong way can lead it to poking into your gums. Second, toothpicks can splinter, allowing you to have small strands of wood or plastic in your gum tissue. Finally, if you hiccup or take a deep breath, you could wind up breathing in the toothpick. If the toothpick gets into your windpipe, you could struggle to breathe, or it could puncture your airway.
What to Use Instead
If you are trying to figure out something else to chew on when you walk around, then you should consider other alternatives. One great option is gum, especially gum with Xylitol. This type of gum helps keep your mouth cleaner and helps you prevent cavities. Another option is chewing on produce like carrots, celery sticks, or leafy greens. These give you something to chew on when you are busy with your day that also clean off your teeth and provides you with fiber to keep you healthier.
Want some more ideas on what you can do aside from using toothpicks? Then give our office a call. If you get something stuck between your teeth, instead of using a toothpick, use floss, a water flosser, or a dental pick that you can buy from the store. These are all much safer alternatives that protect you from harm.