toothpicksWhen you dine in a restaurant, most of the time, toothpicks are provided on the table. There are times when one has to request it from the waiters or waitresses whom are more than happy to provide you with it. Toothpicks are even provided on airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific.

Has your request for a toothpick ever been turned down before? Believe it or not, this happened a year ago in the United Kingdom, where staff at an upmarket restaurant refused to provide diners with toothpicks for health and safety reasons.

You may now be wondering whether the above statement about toothpicks being dangerous for health is true as on other occasions, you may have heard or read that toothpicks were recommended to be used in helping removing plaque which causes periodontal disease.

Toothpicks might be generally easy to access when you are dining out. However, overusing toothpicks can potentially damage tooth enamel and gum tissue. In some cases, toothpicks which are used aggressively may chip or break the bonding or veneers done on teeth.

Some alternative options that are safer if you do not want to run the risk of having food trapped between your teeth are interdental brushes and floss picks. These are small in size and are more convenient to be carried around compared with a set of toothbrush, tooth paste and dental floss, although dental floss now comes in travel packs too.

While the use of toothpicks is sometimes unavoidable, do note that toothpicks should only be used sparingly when a toothbrush and dental floss are not available. Don’t make it a habit or replace the dental floss with a toothpick.

Your teeth and gums will thank you for it !

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2014

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