If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve had to say that to your child(ren) many, many times when they were toddlers. The time- honoured tradition of kids wanting to put everything in their mouth is everlasting. You take your eyes off them for one second and they’ve already found something new to chew on, anything but a pacifier of course. Sometimes, the chewing and throwing stages combine and make you feel like your house is a saliva-filled baseball diamond. Thankfully though, we all grow out of it eventually. Or do we?
It seems, even as adults, there are some key things that we should never be putting in our mouths. Items that you wouldn’t think you’d have to tell someone to not put in their mouths. But emergency room data does not lie. We recently read about a surprising list of things people ARE, but should NOT, be putting in their mouths, at any age:
- Toothpicks: It may seem like a good idea to clean your mouth with a toothpick, but the job would be done much better with floss. Countless people have accidentally swallowed toothpicks without even realizing it—until they experience severe abdominal pain. A swallowed toothpick can cause serious injury or even (in rare circumstances) death, so if you do use one then always keep a firm grip on it!
- Ice cubes: Many people chew on ice cubes for that satisfying crunch or to cool off. While your teeth are incredibly strong, making this possible, they are not invincible. If you chew on enough ice cubes, you’re eventually going to wear your teeth down and expose nerves and that can be really painful. An ice cube is always nice on a hot day, but we recommend just letting it melt in your mouth rather than chewing on it.
- Fishing line: Avid anglers will often bite their fishing line to cut it when they are attaching a hook or a lure. Over time, this can lead to your tooth being chipped or worse! It’s a much better idea to take the few extra seconds to cut the line with a proper tool. After all, fishing is about patience, right?
- Fingernails: A common habit for many people, nail biting is especially dangerous during COVID-19. Even when there isn’t a global pandemic, your fingernails are a hard-to-wash area that can harbour a ton of germs. When you bite your nails, you invite those germs into your mouth to hang out. It is especially important to keep our nails out of our mouths now that COVID-19 is around. Proper hand washing is a must before putting our fingers anywhere near our faces, let alone our mouths.
- Roofing nails: Now this one shocked the Brinkley team, but don’t hold extra nails in your mouth while you’re hammering another nail! People have been known to hit themselves with the hammer, gasp in shock and accidentally swallow a nail. I don’t need to say much more about that—it would be one of the worst days of your life. Instead, wear a utility belt and carry your box of nails and tools around in that. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to make 10 trips up and down the ladder.
- Pencils, pens, keys, cell phones, anything that you hold in your hands a lot: Similar to the germs which get under your fingernails, anything that you hold in your hands all the time is bound to pick up germs. Putting that item in your mouth after it’s picked up all that bacteria just isn’t playing the odds. It can be tempting to use your mouth as an extra hand when you’re juggling a bunch of things, believe me, I know. But it is a bad habit and should be avoided!
Treat your mouth like the beautiful sanctuary it is! At Brinkley Dental, we want you and your family to be healthy, happy and smiling all the time. Remember to avoid these dangers, no matter how innocent some of them may seem. And while we’re on the topic of remembering: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”