Toothpick is one of the most earliest ways people use as a dental cleaning tool. However, if used incorrectly, it may cause severe irreversible damage to teeth.
Toothpick is usually used to clean out food debris in gum in between two adjacent teeth. Food sometimes would get caught in the gum pocket area. If we use the toothpick incorrectly, the tip of the toothpick might create mechanical abrasion on the root surface area of the tooth. Overtime, a hole is created and food again is more likely to get caught in it. This creates a cycle of continual food impaction. Decay is eventually formed. However, this type of decay is especially hard to treat because its location is almost at the gumline. And sometimes, the decay can very easily spread very quickly and decay may progress into the nerve at the center of the tooth.
I would suggest to use dental floss, toothbrushes and medicated rinses for daily oral hygiene. Also I would encourage routine dental visit where dentist can use special instruments to clean out the harded plaque from those hard-to-reach area.
Written by Daniel Tee, DDS, MS
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