As a dentist, it pains me to hold my tongue when I see one of my pet peeves out in public. Perhaps the single thing that drives me bonkers most is when I see people using their teeth as tools. Our teeth are meant to bite and chew our food. But I’m constantly seeing people using their teeth as scissors, miniature crowbars, letter openers, and other household tools. Using our precious teeth against their design is NOT healthy! This habit presents risks of wearing down your enamel and breaking or chipping your teeth. We always see a spike in dental emergencies around the holidays – most of which stem from people using their teeth as tools. 

As cheesy as it may sound, I remind my patients about a simple pneumonic – “Your teeth are jewels, not tools!” Just because teeth are playfully referred to as “chompers” by some people, we strongly advise you use your teeth to help you eat… and for nothing else.

Silly, I know. But think about it. You don’t use your engagement ring or earrings to open things. We should treat our teeth with the same respect that we show our jewelry. Unlike other tools, our adult teeth are the only ones we get, and they can be costly to repair, or to synthetically replace them. So please, as your dentist… be careful with your teeth! There is always another tool for the job. It’s always best to cut tape, open presents, and snipping ribbon or string with the correct tools. Anything but your teeth.

Thanks for taking the time to read about this holiday tip! We hope to see you soon for your next cleaning! For top-tier dental counseling, advice, and superior cleaning, come to the experts. Advance Smile Care for life. 

PS: We are closed on Christmas Day and on New Year’s Day at Advanced Smile Care. So are our friends at Scuba Smiles for Kids. But in case you are having a dental emergency, you can call us at 210-289-3275.

 – Written by Dr. Tony Thomas

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