We all have pet peeves but I have a professional pet peeve that I am taking the liberty of using this article as my Soapbox for making people aware of unconscious habits with and to their mouth.
How many of us have sat, watched and commented after observing people do silly things?
For years my ‘people watching’ experiment lead me to notice that any and all kinds of stuff and materials are placed in our mouth every day for no excusable reason.
The objects depend on the venue. For example: At a restaurant, a fork and yes, even a knife was seen trying to remove particles of food that had lodged between the teeth during a meal. Of course there is the ole tooth pick that is a must on our way out (splinters of wood can fragment off and become embedded in the gum causing inflammation, abscessing and possible infection).
At the movies we use our finger nails, a straw, pieces of the nacho box to remove popcorn or the sticky gummy bears, jelly beans or Twizzler’s that get in the spaces and crevices of our teeth.
Moving on to the workplace we have a plethora of objects-clips, pens (rememberthe top of the pen may pop off and get lodged in the back of your throat impacting your breathing) and scissors. We chew on pencil ends, pieces of plastic, paper, tape, rubber bands. We use our teeth to rip open packages; our tongue to lick an envelope or stamps.
And my question is why do we have these oral fixations?
When were these habits formed? Perhaps when we were children and a pacifier was put in our mouth to either soothe tooth pain or as a suckling device for comfort? If then, why can we not transition out of these disgusting behaviors which are so detrimental to our dental health? Hello? We are not longer babies.
Stop and think of the chemicals ingested — lead, ink, processing fluids, preservatives, glue. And what about the sharp objects that chip/crack teeth cut the gums that result in serious lacerations to the mouth and soft tissue-all totally unnecessary-we need to stop polluting our bodies.
The only ‘things’ that should go into your mouth besides food, drink and medication are removable appliances such as orthodontic or dentures or implant supported prosthesis, a tooth brush, floss or proxy brushes.
People… We are smart, intelligent human beings, we are in control of our body and mind so let’s use our mind to control a healthier body!