We use toothpicks in our daily lives, and they are useful for a lot of things. The toothpick’s job is to take food particles out from teeth and sometimes, it’s a substitute for actual floss. People also tend to grab them for other things as well. For example, they are great for craft-related projects, and we can say firsthand, those things are NOT sturdy. They can get lost very quickly and tend to break easily. Especially when we use them for the fine point tip, those are the first to go. Now, can you imagine the tip breaking in your mouth or getting lodged in your gums?! Trust us! It’s a very uncomfortable experience.
If a piece of the toothpick breaks off, try and get another set of eyes to help you find it, because those pieces can be very hard to dislodge. Those broken pieces can quickly cause inflammation and will cause damage the longer they are left inside. Remember — if you are unable to remove the broken piece(s), contact us. We’re here to help… judgement free!
Toothpicks can also cause infections in the mouth. If there’s a time where we just happen to jab our gums or even accidentally poke an area of our mouth and it bleeds, that’s a problem. Leaving an open wound untreated is leaving the mouth susceptible to infection and bacteria. Bacteria can be from outside elements or even from the toothpick itself.
Did you know that toothpicks can cause havoc on your existing dental work? They are capable of damaging veneers, Invisalign buttons, bonding, and even upending fillings. If we are rough or use toothpicks often, all of this is bound to happen and is, to simply put it, just not worth saving those few minutes vs flossing and brushing instead.
The moral of the story!
Toothpicks, even given their name, should not be the go-to for teeth. Toothpicks are useful for dislodging food particles from between our teeth, and while they do come in handy, they are not designed for cleaning teeth especially along the gum lines.
Here are some alternatives to using toothpicks:
- Floss: Dental floss is the best for cleaning between the teeth. It should be used gently and should never be forced. Floss is also great to use under dental work and along our gum lines.
- Flossers with a handle. These are handy for traveling. Do use caution as many have a tempting toothpicker at the other end!
- Waterpik: A waterpik is a device that aims a small stream of pulsating water at teeth. Like floss, they help remove food particles from teeth. They’re also great at helping to reduce bleeding and gum disease. Anyone who wishes to get their mouths cleaner will enjoy adding the waterpik to their daily oral health routine.
Any of these options are miles above using a toothpick! Avoid infections, damage, and unnecessary dental visits. Keep the toothpicks for crafts, cleaning out crevices’ and unclogging tiny holes only.
Glendale Dental Arts
230 N. Maryland Ave., #205 Glendale, CA 91206