James A. Forester, DDS Diplomate, American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
620 California Boulevard, Suite G, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
(805) 592-2020

Your Pediatric Dentist Advises Not to Let Your Kids Use Their Teeth as Tools

June 8, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drforester @ 4:31 pm

A group of smiling children. Children are constantly learning how to navigate their world, and some tasks seem more difficult than others. Your child may be resourceful and decide to use their teeth to help them out in certain situations; however, it is important to teach children that teeth should only be used to chew food – and nothing else. Your pediatric dentist explains the dangers of using teeth as tools.

Cutting Items Other Than Food

It may not seem like a big deal to open a plastic bag or tear a soft string with your teeth; however, the pressure needed to properly cut items other than food may be greater than what your teeth are used to or are able to handle and could result in fractures or other damage to your teeth.

Holding Things

If their hands are full, your child might think it’s a good idea to hold onto a bag or other item with their teeth. This could cause them to fall and sustain facial injuries, not to mention putting undo pressure on their teeth. Two trips to the car to carry their items in is much better than an emergency trip to your pediatric dentist.

Cracking Nuts or Biting into Other Hard Items

Attempting to crack nuts with your teeth is a good way to crack or fracture your tooth. Teach your children to use nutcrackers and cut other hard foods into smaller pieces to avoid fractures to their teeth.

Opening Bottles

Whether your bottle is made of plastic or glass, it should never be opened with your teeth. This causes a host of problems such as:

  • Cracked or fractured teeth
  • Hard surfaces scraping enamel off of teeth and increasing your risk of developing tooth decay
  • Sharp edges causing injury to your child’s gums, cheeks, or lips

A Good Rule of Thumb

Teaching your child that teeth are only for food is your best bet. This will help them develop respect for their teeth and good habits for the future.

If you should find your child in an emergency situation due to a foreign object in their mouth, contact your pediatric dentist right away for immediate care.

About the Author

Dr. James Forester has a passion for working with children! He completed additional training in the postdoctoral program in Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island in order to become a pediatric dentist and he understands the unique needs of children when it comes to their oral health.

If you would like to contact Dr. Forester at Coastal Pediatric Dentistry, he can be reached by calling 805-592-2020 or through his website.

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