– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – Dentists have urged people to stop performing everyday tasks with teeth.
In new research undertaken by the U.K.’s Oral Health Foundation and Philips, as part of National Smile Month, experts found that many of us are putting our oral health at risk by using teeth as tools.
According to the study, 65 per cent of us frequently use our teeth for tasks other than eating and drinking, with the most common misuse relating to the tearing of Sellotape, with four in 10 people doing this regularly. More than a quarter of us bite nails, while over a fifth use to carry objects when our hands are full. Other common uses included taking tags out of clothing, chewing pens and pencils, opening bottles and doing up zips.
“Anything from opening bottles to chewing foreign objects can damage existing dental work or cause our teeth to crack,” said Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation. “There are also examples of teeth shifting out of place, chipping, and in some cases breaking, due to the pressure and strain. Accidents are also more likely to happen which could result in invasive and expensive emergency dental work.
“We should stick to using our teeth for what they were designed to do – chewing our food so that it’s more easily digestible. Our teeth also help us to talk and make sounds. They also give our face its shape. Because of this, we shouldn’t be doing anything that could unnecessarily jeopardise them.”
In addition, officials noted that young adults were the “biggest culprits” for using teeth in improper ways, with more than 85 per cent of 18-35 year olds doing so.
In light of the findings, dentist Dr. Ben Atkins reminded people that positive dental habits can have a wealth of benefits.
“By adopting as few as three simple habits, we can dramatically improve the health of our mouth, and our quality of life. Regularly visiting the dentist, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and reducing the amount and frequency of sugar in our diet, can transform our health for the better,” he commented.