Be Careful with Toothpicks
Toothpicks Can Cause Dental Injury and More
Toothpicks are quick and convenient when food debris is stuck between teeth, however, they’re also a common cause of dental injury.
Because they are so sharp, toothpicks can damage the gums and other soft tissue when used carelessly. They are somewhat ineffective, often pushing debris farther between teeth or below the gum line. If you do find yourself using a toothpick, use only minimal pressure and always keep the tip pointed away from your gums.
Safe and more effective alternatives include brushing, flossing, chewing sugar-free gum, or rinsing your mouth with water.
Additionally, toothpicks can be hazardous when used to prepare food or to garnish a drink. Unexpectedly biting down on any hard object can cause tooth fracture, and the most dangerous of all is to accidentally swallow a piece of toothpick. A toothpick shard can perforate the throat, stomach, or any area of the gastrointestinal tract, causing life-threatening injury or infection. So whenever using toothpicks, be sure they are not broken or splintered.
Toothpicks also do nothing to prevent plaque or cavities, so stick to the safe ways of removing food debris!
Safe Alternatives to Toothpicks
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum
- Rinse with water
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Dr. Angela Burns moved to Austin 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with our beautiful city. Dr. Burns is originally from the Texarkana area. She attended Texas A&M for her undergraduate degree and The University of Tennessee Health Science Center for her degree in dental surgery (DDS). Dr. Burns is committed to providing her patients with gentle, technologically advanced dental treatment. She attends an average of 60 hours of continuing education every year. She is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, the Texas Dental Association, and the Capital Area Dental Society. Dr. Burns and her husband, Gary, have an 11-year-old daughter, Sydney, who is a proud 6th grader at Hill Country Middle School. She is also very involved in the Eanes PTO, her church, and loves raising her family in the Westlake community. “Growing up, I was drawn to mediating and helping others feel more included and less anxious. I was a camp counselor, student government officer and being the oldest of five, I was the family mediator. I found that I had a calling to help alleviate stressful situations for others and realized that being a good listener was something that was key to this. These skills really helped guide me into becoming a dentist that has based my practice on relationships, empathy and a sense of comfort. I knew that I wanted to provide an atmosphere that felt like home when others walked in. Our practice is small, personal and state of the art and we hope you feel like you’re hanging out with friends when you are here!” When she is not practicing dentistry, Dr. Burns enjoys traveling, hiking the greenbelt, enjoying Austin’s music scene, and eating Amy’s Ice Cream.