Things to NOT Open with Your Teeth

man grimacing teeth showing

When the scissors or other tools you need are nowhere to be found, it can be tempting to open things with your body’s own tools that are designed for cutting, tearing, and crushing — your teeth. Even though it may seem like a convenient idea to use your teeth to open things, it’s usually not worth the risk of injury that could occur. Here are a few things that you should never open with your teeth and reasons why you’re better off taking the time to find the appropriate tool instead:


You might impress people if you are able to pop the metal top off a glass bottle, but you risk chipping or cracking a tooth in the process. The sharp metal edges of a bottle cap could easily cut your gums or mouth and the possibility of the glass breaking could cause even further injury. If you don’t have a bottle opener handy, you can bang it open on a sturdy table edge or use a spoon to pry it open instead.


Any sort of sealed package like a bag of chips, an object in shrink-wrap, or boxes closed with packing tape usually require a sharp edge like scissors or a box opener to open them. It’s appealing to quickly rip into them with your teeth to save time, but the sharp plastic of shrink-wrap can result in cuts, and if the material doesn’t tear easily, you can even wrench your jaw out of place from the strain of trying to tear it.

Sales Tags

Whenever you buy new clothes or textiles, it’s always mildly annoying to have to remove the tags that are attached with plastic. This one might seem relatively harmless to your teeth, but don’t underestimate the strength of those little strings of plastic. They can be surprisingly hard to break and could easily slip through your teeth and damage your gums or compromise an already weakened tooth.

Nuts or Seeds in the Shell

You may want to channel your inner squirrel and chomp down on a nutshell to get to the good stuff inside, but you are very likely to end up with a cracked or chipped tooth instead of a cracked shell. It’s worth the effort to look through your kitchen drawers for that nutcracker that you haven’t used in ages and save yourself an emergency trip to the dentist.

No matter what the object in question, it’s never a good idea to use your teeth as tools for anything other chewing your food. However, if you find yourself with a cracked or chipped tooth or some other injury, Sullivan Family Dental offers restorative services such as fillings, implants, crowns, and bridges and we pride ourselves on providing comprehensive and personalized care for all of our patients.

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