2brightWhen you’re out having a lovely time, the last thing you might think about is your dental hygiene. That is, until you realize you have food stuck between your teeth or when your teeth feel a bit coated after eating a meal. The natural response is often to reach for helpful, on-the-go products. While it’s wonderful to make an effort to keep your teeth clean if you don’t have a brush or floss with you, we’d like to warn you against some seemingly helpful (but actually dangerous) products that we suggest you avoid or at least limit.

#1: Toothpicks

When you’re at a restaurant and you get a piece of food stuck between your teeth, a trusty toothpick is often there to help you out. While gently and carefully using a toothpick to remove food is usually a good quick save, it’s not beneficial in the following ways:

  • You should not use them daily or as a dental hygiene replacement
  • You should not use a toothpick with force if you cannot dislodge food
  • You should not use them against gum tissue

#2: Gum With Sugar

It’s true that chewing on gum will help remove plaque from your teeth, as well as food particles. However, this is only beneficial if you choose to chew sugarless gum. Otherwise, you’re doing quite a disservice to your smile by coating it in sugar! The bacteria in remaining plaque will feed on the sugar and release acids that damage oral tissues. Stick with sugarless or sip on some water if you’re away from your toothbrush and need a quick way to practice a little dental hygiene.