Recently, a YouTube video has been floating around featuring up-close footage of an internet celebrity opening a bottle with their teeth. On the surface it’s a cute video: they pop the bottle cap off the bottle by using their lower teeth as an opener and then say something cute and funny to the camera.
This is a bad idea. Please do not ever open bottles with your teeth.
You might ask why you should avoid this practice. After all, your teeth are the hardest substance in your body and designed for a lifetime of chewing, biting, and crunching. But that is where the problem lies: your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. You only get one set of adult teeth for your entire life, and while dental science has come a long way in the last few decades there is still no way to regrow damaged enamel or dentin. One of the most common ways for teeth to get chipped, broken, or otherwise damaged is by using them to do things they simply weren’t designed to do. At best, opening a bottle with your teeth puts you at risk of a chipped tooth. At worst? You may incur serious damage to the tooth, leading to tooth loss. And while implants and dental prostheses exist, they’re not a substitute for your natural teeth. It’s best to find a bottle opener or open the bottle some other way rather than risking your teeth for a soda.
While we’re on the subject of protecting your teeth, we should also note that your teeth are meant for chewing relatively soft or crunchy foods, not breaking, smashing, or cutting things. To that end, you should avoid several all-too-common behaviors which may result in tooth damage. These include:
- Biting your nails: nail-biting may seem innocuous, but it’s actually a contributing behavior to tooth damage. It takes a surprising amount of force to bite through the tough tissue of a human fingernail, and doing so repeatedly can lead to small stress fractures in the teeth. Over time, these small fractures can build up and lead to a broken or cracked tooth. It’s best to avoid this habit altogether.
- Cracking nuts or seeds: nuts and seeds are tasty foods, and they can be good for your teeth due to the vitamins and minerals they provide for your body. However, getting through their shells is a job best left to a nutcracker or a pair of pliers. Cracking nuts or seeds with your teeth poses all the same risks as opening bottles or biting your nails: stress fractures, chipped teeth, broken teeth, and potential tooth loss. Again, best not to do it at all.
- Biting or crunching on ice: another seemingly innocuous behavior that can have long-term consequences, biting or chewing ice is a fast track to chipped or broken teeth. Refrigerator ice can be much harder than you might think, and chomping down on it can lead to permanent tooth damage. It’s another habit that you should break, right away.
Your teeth and your smile are meant to last a lifetime, and with a little care, you’ll increase the odds of them doing so. So avoid opening bottles with your teeth, or engaging in other risky habits that might damage them. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re enjoying a healthy mouth in your golden years!