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Are You Using Your Teeth Properly?

Our teeth allow us to get through our daily tasks with ease. They help with our verbal interactions by aiding in speech and forming sounds of the words we speak. Due to their robust nature, they can grind, chew and cut a variety of different foods. We can enjoy foods such as soft desserts or enjoying eating a well-done steak due to the versatility of our teeth.

We may also be using our teeth improperly which leads to premature wear and permanent damage. Unlike some animals, we only have one set of permanent or adult teeth. It is important to make them last a lifetime. Avoiding using your teeth as tools and following these tips will help to prevent damage and premature wear to your teeth.

Avoid These Damaging Habits


  • Don’t use your teeth to tear or rip open any packaging. While it may be tempting to use your teeth to open a bag of chips or peanuts, this increases your risk of premature tooth wear.
  • Avoid using your teeth as scissors to cut open items like plastic ties or tags founds on new clothes. Using your teeth to cut plastic tape is another common practice that should be avoided. Take a few seconds to get a pair of scissors or a box cutter and save your teeth for their intended use.
  • Do not chew on objects such as pen caps, pencils or pens out of boredom or if you are nervous or stressed out. Always chewing on objects that are not intended for consumption will cause excess wear on teeth. It also has the potential to damage existing dental work. Try breathing or relaxation techniques instead.
  • Avoid using your teeth as a holder or an extra hand. Keeping items like nails, pins, screws or a flashlight between teeth causes enamel wear in the affected area. If the item in the mouth gets hit or snagged while it is being held between the teeth, it can cause cracking or chipping to the tooth or teeth.

woman laying down on her hands

In addition to enamel wear and damage, damage to the gums and soft tissues of the mouth can also occur. Remember to take some time to find the right tools instead of using your teeth. If you have teeth that are prematurely worn, cosmetic dentistry can help to restore your smile.


About Dr. Joseph Salvaggio

Dr. Joseph Salvaggio, DDS

Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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