Use Toothpicks with Care

Did you know that toothpicks date back to 3,500 B.C. when they were part of the earliest known oral hygiene kit found at the Ningal Temple in Ur? Fast forward to 536 B.C. when the Chinese army mandated the use of the toothpick to curtail soldiers’ bad breath. Today, many of us use toothpicks to remove food trapped between our teeth, especially if we are in public.

picsfloss1However, if used overzealously, toothpicks can actually damage tooth enamel, lacerate gums, and even cause a broken tooth in severe cases. Also, if you have bonding or veneers, toothpicks can chip or break them if you aren’t careful. Overly aggressive use of toothpicks can severely wear the roots of teeth, leaving root surfaces exposed—especially in older people whose gums have pulled away from the teeth.

Toothpicks leave telltale marks, so there’s no hiding from your dentist. Your best bet is to use toothpicks sparingly and only when a toothbrush or dental floss are not available.

If you are looking for a dentist in the Troy and Birmingham area who utilizes the latest dental techniques and technology, be sure to check out Dr. Douglas Angell. Angell’s Dentistry is committed to providing each of our patients with a beautiful, healthy smile and unmatched dental care. Give our office a call at (248) 362-4330 and be sure to visit our website at:

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