Toothpicks and Dental Health

Staying on top of your dental health by practicing the proper techniques (regular brushing, flossing, rinsing and regular visits to the dentist) is the best way to maintain a healthy mouth. The only problem is that sometimes it can be difficult for people to do use some of the techniques listed either because of lack of time or where they happen to be. An important business meeting is never the time to start flossing, but making sure to schedule time either before or afterward (in this case better beforehand) is important.

 

Another method of cleaning your teeth that can be effective and perfect for many situations is using a toothpick. Toothpicks can work very well at helping to expel stuck pieces of food, but should be used sparingly. “Toothpicks should be used only when a toothbrush or floss is not available, for example, when you are in a restaurant and have food trapped between teeth,” explains April Grandinetti, D.D.S., a general dentist. “Toothpicks that are used overzealously can damage tooth enamel, lacerate gums, and even cause a broken tooth in severe cases. People who have bonding or veneers can chip or break them if they aren’t careful. Overly aggressive use of toothpicks can severely wear the roots of teeth, especially in cases where gums have pulled away from the teeth and leave teeth with root surfaces exposed, notably in the elderly.”

 

Like anything, toothpicks are great if used in moderation and only when necessary. Always invest time in taking care of your teeth and gums!

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