April 14th, 2021 by

Toothpicks have been around for centuries. They are commonly made out of wood and a few from plastic. You’ll find them well placed at the table of your local favorite restaurant, in the supermarket, the neighborhood shop, everywhere. It’s common to see people using them to remove meat remnants from in between their teeth after a sumptuous meal.  

Dangers of toothpicks

  • As you use a toothpick, you often poke downwards towards the gum. This causes gum irritation and bleeding. In the long run, you get gingivitis (a disease in which the gums are swollen, red, painful and bleed easily)
  • Aggressively using the toothpick risks its breakage in between the teeth, inside the gum or in the mouth where you could accidentally swallow it.
  • Wedging the toothpick in between the little space that naturally exists between teeth creates a widened space called a “black triangle”. This forms because the toothpick destroys the gum, eventually resulting in reduced bone height in between the teeth.
  • Aggressive use of toothpicks may wear down the enamel (outer layer of the tooth) leaving your tooth at risk of getting interproximal dental caries (holes found in between teeth).

It is important that you clean the area in between your teeth to avoid food getting trapped there, as this can predispose you to getting cavities, bone loss and gingivitis.

Exchange the toothpick for dental floss for an effective clean!

You can visit your dentist to show you how to clean in between your teeth using dental floss.

DR. NAKYONYI MARIA GORRETTI

DENTAL SURGEON BDS(MUK)


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