Why Toothpick Is Bad For Your Dental Health

In Nigeria today, majority of individuals have normalized the use of toothpick whether there is something stuck in their teeth or not. While they are handy and convenient, they are not the most logical or safe choice when trying to get food out of your teeth and there are a whole lot of things that everyone needs to know about the risks of using toothpicks, as well as safer, dentist-approved methods of food removal.

According to Cedar Dental Centre, whenever food or anything gets stuck in your teeth, it may be your natural instinct to pick your tooth free of the item that got stuck but the problem is that, this habit can be detrimental to your teeth and cause more problems in the long run.

Aside the problem it may cause to your teeth in the long run, there are variety of reasons why this habit is so harmful to the teeth and I will highlight some important reasons why you should reconsider picking your teeth next time.

  1. Infection in the mouth

One important thing that people have failed to realize is the fact that tooth picks are not sterile items, which simply means that they can at any time easily lead to infections in your mouth. If there is any infection you wont want to have, it is an infection of the mouth because you almost cannot hide it.

Often times, toothpicks are left out for a while, which allows dirt and other debris to coat them before you finally use them in your mouth. Unknown to some people, there has even been potential links discovered between using tooth picks and mouth cancers and it is important that we as individuals are not at any time fooled by tooth picks in packages because they are not in any way different neither are they still not much better than other types of tooth picks.

  1. It can leave something behind.

As important as some of us consider toothpicks to be, the tooth pick sometimes can’t even get what you want it to, so it leaves the debris behind and this is even the least of your problems. If the tooth pick gets too soggy or is reused, it can actually break off in your mouth leading to bigger problems and cause infection.

  1. Change of spaces between the teeth.

Another thing about tooth picking that people are not aware of is that it can lead to an increase of spaces in between your teeth. According to Cedar Dental Centre, for every time you force anything in between your teeth repeatedly over time, you force the teeth apart and create an unnatural gap and the worse aspect of this is that the damage can get so bad that not even a fix like braces will be able to help you out.

  1. Damage to the gums.

In an attempt to pick your teeth to get out left over foods particles, you may end up picking your gums as you try to get the debris out of your teeth. This is usually very painful and may even lead to bleeding. If you do this too hard, you can actually get cuts on your gums which can lead to infections inside of your mouth, making you more susceptible to gum disease, that will end up wreaking havoc in your mouth. For this very reason, dentists often advise people not to pick their teeth.

  1. Damage your tooth enamel.

In this case, a lot of people are not aware yet and just so you know, tooth picking can damage the precious enamel on your teeth. Wondering what enamel is again? Let me save you that stress! The enamel is that hard coating that is crucial to protecting the tooth. Even though it is there to protect your tooth, it is only a very thin layer of protection, that could easily be broken by picking your teeth.

This is hazardous because you are making your tooth weaker, thereby causing it to be more susceptible to tooth decay.


Instead of using toothpick to get out left over food particles from the teeth, it is advisable and a hundred percent safe to make use of the dental floss instead of the toothpick, because while you think you are helping your teeth through the usage of tooth picks, you are actually doing more harm than good.

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