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

A Reminder From Your Pediatric Dentist: Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools

January 29, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drforester @ 6:28 pm

A happy family of four. As children learn how to navigate their world, there are some tasks that may seem daunting. Your child may be resourceful and decide that it’s a good idea to use their teeth to help them out for activities other than chewing. However, your pediatric dentist wants to remind you that teeth should only be used to chew food – and nothing else. Here’s why it’s dangerous to use your teeth as tools.

Holding Things

Your son or daughter might think it’s a good idea to hold onto a bag or other item with their teeth if their hands are full. This causes a host of problems and could result in them falling and sustaining facial injuries or putting undo pressure on their teeth. Although we know how much fun going to the dentist is, multiple trips to carry items in is much better than an emergency trip to your pediatric dentist due to injury!

Biting Into Hard Items

Believe it or not, there are many food items that can cause your teeth to fracture such as nuts, hard breads, or carrots. Show your children how to use nutcrackers and remind them to cut other hard foods into smaller pieces to avoid fractures to their teeth.

Opening Bottles

It does not matter 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 gums, cheeks, or lips

Cutting Items Other Than Food

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

Protect Your Child’s Oral Health

Make it clear to your children that teeth should only be used chewing for food. This will help them develop respect for their teeth and good habits for the future.

If your son or daughter encounters 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 loves caring for children! In order to become a pediatric dentist, he completed additional training in the postdoctoral program in Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. As a pediatric dentist, 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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