Blog

Don’t Let Your Child Use Their Teeth as Tools

December 28, 2017

Did you know that you can crack or fracture your teeth if you use them improperly? In fact, cracked and fractured teeth are the third leading cause of tooth loss. If your child decides to use their teeth for anything other than eating, then they face an increased risk of damaging their teeth and facing costly dental repairs. You can help your child avert these risks by teaching them that teeth are not tools.

Don’t let Them Use Their Teeth to: 

Cut Anything other than Food 

It is very tempting to use teeth to open a bag, tear tape or cut a piece of string, but teeth aren’t scissors. When you try to cut something other than food with teeth, they are exposed to harder surfaces that aren’t found in food. Additionally, the pressure needed to cut some of these objects is far greater than the amount needed to chew. This places unnecessary stress on teeth, and can cause them to crack or fracture, which results in a painful dental emergency that needs to be treated ASAP by a dental professional.

Hold Things

It is really easy (and incredibly tempting) to use teeth as an extra set of hands to carry that last item up the stairs or from the car, but teeth aren’t hands and they aren’t meant to hold things. Holding items in teeth is particularly dangerous, because one can easily trip and fall and sustain serious oral and facial injuries. Tell your child that they need to be patient, and protect their teeth and face from unnecessary harm caused by using their mouth to carry things.

Crack Nuts


Nuts are delicious, but a lot come encased in a hard shell that could be cracked by teeth, but teeth are absolutely NOT meant to crack nuts. Trying to crack open a nut with teeth often leaves teeth fractured or cracked, rather than the nut. Tell your kids to stay away from nuts that have the shells on them, or teach them how to use a metal nutcracker. 

Open Bottles


There’s not many glass bottles that contain child-appropriate drinks as it is, but if your child likes mineral water or cola from a glass bottle, then teach them that a bottle MUST NEVER be opened with teeth. This is one of the worst, most traumatic things one can do to their own teeth and will likely cause a cracked tooth. Additionally, the hard metal surface can scrape enamel away from teeth, and leave them more susceptible to cavities. If your child must have a drink from a glass bottle, just go ahead and open it for them. 

Teeth are Made for Chewing Food – and That’s it

The bottom line in all of this is that are not indestructible, and really only designed to process food. If you allow your child, or if you decide yourself to use your teeth as tools, then you are exposing teeth to unnecessary harm that could cause painful, and expensive consequences. Teach your child that the only things they should use their teeth for are chewing, and smiling, and stress to them that teeth are not Swiss Army knives.  


Recent Blog Posts

Rocky Mountain Brown Water and the Wild History of Fluoride

Some of the greatest scientific discoveries occurred by accident. From falling apples, to sandwiches that don’t mold, some of our greatest achievements began as simple analysis of the natural surroundings. Fluoride, one of dentistry’s most powerful tools in the fight against cavities, also has a similar origin story.   The Colorado Brown Stain In 1901, a young…
Continue Reading

4 Ways to Have a Cavity-Free Summer

Summer time presents parents with an excellent chance to help their kids get ahead on their oral health. Here’s how you can help your children have a cavity-free summer.  1 – Maintain an Active Oral Health Routine  It can be hard for kids to get into a summer brushing routine if they don’t have to wake…
Continue Reading

Quick Tips to Help Your Child Beat Thumb Sucking

Thumb sucking and finger sucking are habits common in many children. In fact, nearly one third of all children suck on their thumbs or fingers in their first year of life. Sadly, thumb sucking is an unhealthy oral habit that can have many different consequences down the line. Thumb Sucking can Cause Oral Health Problems  Unfortunately, thumb sucking can lead…
Continue Reading