The Dangers of Using Teeth as Tools

Toronto, Canada, September 22, 2015 - Princeview Dental, (, one of Etobicoke’s premier dental clinics, is weighing in on the dangers of using teeth as tools.

The concept of “teeth as tools” refers to using teeth to open plastic bags and bottles, cut a thread, and other everyday tasks. For many people, this can become second nature. However, when teeth are used as a tool rather than a bottle cap opener or pair of scissors, it can lead to dental complications. (Source: Hoholick, S., "Using Teeth as Tools Not Healthy," The Columbus Dispatch, November 27, 2011;

"Even though teeth can provide a handy tool for getting that bag of chips open or removing a tag from a piece of clothing, people who do so are setting themselves up for serious damage to their teeth," say Dr. Janice Mummery, founder of Princeview Dental. "Even something as simple as biting down on a piece of plastic can cause a tooth to break."

There has also been an increase in patients with oral piercings breaking their teeth; teeth are meant to withstand vertical forces, not lateral forces.

“There are a few ways to repair a tooth, after a patient has damaged it, with fillings, crowns, and porcelain crowns being the most common,” Dr. Mummery explains. “However, these fixes will not be as strong as the original tooth and insurance may only cover part of the cost.”

Using teeth as tools may not necessarily lead to fractures. The act can also cause teeth to develop grooves, such as when the teeth are used to cut threads, or wear down the enamel.

"Anyone planning to use their teeth for something they’re not meant to should think twice," Dr. Mummery concludes. "Popping a bottle cap with your teeth may make for a great trick at parties, but considering the oral health risk, it's far better to stop using teeth as tools."

Princeview Dental provides services for patients who are suffering from dental emergencies in Toronto, as well as regular oral care.

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