New survey reveals the weird ways Brits use their teeth

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A new survey, which was carried out to coincide with National Smile Month, has revealed the weird ways British people use their teeth.

While most of us use our teeth solely to eat, many are guilty of employing their gnashers for alternative purposes, some of which pose a risk of injury and dental damage. The poll, which was conducted by the Oral Health Foundation in partnership with Phillips, found that up to 65% of people use their teeth for actions that don’t involve eating or drinking.

The most common use was to tear Sellotape when wrapping presents or securing cards. More than 40 percent of people admitted to using their teeth, rather than scissors. More than 22% of people bite their nails, while over 20% admit to using their teeth to carry items when their hands are full. Another popular misuse was tearing labels out of new clothes. Almost 10% of those surveyed also said they used their teeth to open bottles.

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, said that the findings of the study may “seem trivial,” but many of the actions highlighted in the poll carry a risk of dental injuries. Biting down on tags, opening bottles and tearing tape can all cause chips and general wear and tear, and there’s also a risk of damaging tooth restorations, including crowns and fillings.

The advice from the Oral Health Foundation is to try and avoid using the teeth for any other action than eating and drinking. It may seem like a good idea at the time to open a bottle to save a trip to the kitchen drawer, but you could end up with a substantial dental bill, and most importantly, you could be putting your oral health at risk.

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