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Do You Know Toothpicks are NOT Good for Your Teeth?

Toothpicks are not good for you

After a meal of some kind, usually involving meat, chicken, fish or stringy vegetables – whether in our homes or out at a restaurant, we may feel the need to reach for a pack of toothpicks, we may then pull out one and proceed to flick, pick, scratch and even scrape the mouth just to make sure no food particles are stuck between the teeth.

Removing debris that is likely going to cause the formation of dental caries is necessary but is toothpick the best object to use? Obviously not, as it has been proven to cause more harm than good.

Dentists have maintained that toothpicks are not considered as interdental cleaners, and as such, they are not recommended for cleaning the teeth.

According to the American Dental Association, ‘cleaning between the teeth at least once a day using an inter-dental cleaner such as floss is key’. The body, also maintained that using a toothpick is not an ideal way to remove something stuck between the teeth, as it can cause abrasions and damage to teeth, at the base where they meet the gums. This, according to the body, can lead to gum disease and other dental problems.

It has also been proven by dental experts that when used excessively or improperly, toothpicks might scrape or damage sensitive gum tissue; since it is limited in its ability to reach between the teeth.

According to a Medical Doctor, Dr. Harvey Olufunmilayo, a UK-based medical practitioner, with the handle @OurFavOnlineDoctor on Twitter, “Toothpicks are not a good idea, and can even break off and do more harm. He explained that a broken splinter can be trapped in one’s gums and cause serious problems.

He advised that a piece of dental floss, instead of toothpick should be used to remove stubborn food particles, as it is a safer way of removing stuck food particles between your teeth without damaging your gum and destroying your teeth in the process.

Despite this fact, people still love to use them, as toothpicks are considered by many to be affordable and ubiquitous, unlike dental floss.

Dentists advise that if one must use a toothpick, it should only be used to dislodge the food trapped between the teeth by taking the tip of the toothpick near the gum line and pointing it towards the chewing or top edge of the tooth.

However, they forbid people with gum boil from using toothpicks, as constant poking of the gum with a toothpick, can lead to heart attacks, stroke, or infection of artificial joints.

Toothpicks are not good for you

Since toothpick has been said to be ineffective or improper to use for picking out debris stuck in the mouth, how then does one use a dental floss prescribed by dentists?

How to Floss Your Teeth

For proper use of dental floss, the American Dental Association (ADA) advises that you wrap each end of a length of floss around your index fingers, and use your thumbs for leverage as you carefully maneuver the floss between your teeth.


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