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Opening Things with Your Teeth Is so Not worth It

September 1, 2015
Posted By: Dr. Russell D. Mann

For the human species, teeth are not meant to be used as tools. A general rule of thumb is that if you’re not going to consume it, don’t let it touch your teeth. Opening things with your teeth is so not worth it.

This scarlet macaw uses its beak as a tool–but humans should not.

Now, if you were a parrot and you had a beak things would be different. A large macaw has the bite strength of 500 to 700 pounds per square inch. They can crack open a brazil nut and have it be no big deal. But, just like fingernails, their beaks grow back if they are chipped or trimmed. Our adult teeth do not grow back.

Sometimes the damage we can do to our teeth isn’t so obvious. Most people know they shouldn’t be opening a bottle with their teeth, but even holding something in your teeth can harm them. Especially if it’s done on a regular basis. For example, a construction worker holding nails with his teeth while completing a job. Over time, the teeth that hold those nails could decay, and that person could end up with holes in their teeth. It’s also a choking hazard.

Even those little plastic connectors that hold tags to clothing. I know sometimes you want to wear something and you don’t want to search around for scissors, but don’t substitute your teeth for those scissors. They seem small and harmless, but over time they can wreak havoc.

You only get one set of adult teeth. They’ll go through some wear and tear over the course of your life, so whenever you put them to use make sure it’s worth it. Something delicious is worth it. Something that’s metal or plastic and won’t eventually land in your stomach is not.

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