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Are Toothpicks Good at Improving Oral Health?
Posted on 9/23/2018 by Crossroads Family Dental
If you have a grandpa you have probably seen him using a toothpick to take food that's stuck between his teeth out or (gasp!) chew on it. Both these practices are bad for your teeth and can cause more harm than good.
Toothpicks date back to the 19th century and were invented after American Charles Forster saw South American natives use slivers of wood to clean their teeth. There was a time when using a toothpick was seen as fashionable, but that is not the case anymore.
Toothpicks Can Damage Your Gums
When you eat food, you will invariably get some particles stuck between your teeth. Depending on how deep those crevices in your mouth are, it can be a very uncomfortable situation, and you will not rest until that piece is removed. One of the main problems with using a toothpick is that you can hurt your teeth and gums.
If a toothpick breaks while you are using it, it can make your gums bleed. Moreover, chewing on a toothpick can cause tiny slivers to break from it, and those particles can get stuck in your throat. The fragments can also become lodged in your gums and cause an infection.
While cleaning between your teeth is essential for good oral hygiene and the prevention of cavities, toothpicks are not the way to do it. If you have bothersome spaces where food is always getting stuck, you can ask us how to close those.
We recommend that you carry floss with you in your pocket or purse when you go out to dinner, so you can remove any pieces of food left behind until you can brush your teeth. Nowadays manufacturers make on-the-go or travel size packs of floss that are easy to carry around. Even excusing yourself and going to the bathroom to use your fingernail, is a better choice than using a toothpick.
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