Maxima Maduka, Chief Dental Therapist, Garki Hospital, Abuja, on Friday advised people to use dental floss to remove food particle between the teeth instead of tooth pick.
Dental floss is a cord of thin filaments used to remove food particles and dental plague between the teeth in areas a toothbrush was unable to reach.
Maduka, who gave the advise in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, said dental floss, specially made to clean between the teeth, was safer and healthier than tooth pick.
“Dental floss is safer and healthier, it does not damage teeth and the gum; flossing once a day can remove harmful particle hiding on the sides of the teeth,” she said.
She said there were health implications in using tooth pick to clean between the teeth as it damaged gum, created unnatural space, injured enamel and eventual loss of teeth.
“It is not healthy to use tooth pick to remove food particle between the teeth because it can damage gum tissue and injure enamel.
“Tooth pick can break and get stuck in the gum tissue, once gum tissue is pierced, bacteria can enter and cause infection.
“When using a toothpick, you are constantly grinding away at the enamel, which can make the teeth susceptible to a lot of damage and other oral health issues. Patients could lose their teeth as a result of tooth picking,’’ she said.
He said that when holes were created on a tooth, the gum would be weakened, thereby leading to eventual loss of teeth.
“It is also not good to use sharp objects like, knife, pins, broomstick and nails to pick teeth. People should desist from the habit of hanging tooth pick and other objects in their mouth after eating.
“People should always visit dentist whenever they notice abnormal sign or pain in either the gum or the teeth,’’ she advised. (NAN)