Are you one of those who love to clear “debris” between your teeth with toothpicks? You are in danger of “clearing” your gum with it, opening the door to tooth decay.

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A dentist, Abdulkadir Katagum, has advised the public against the use of toothpick because of the damage it could do to the support of the teeth.

Katagum, who is the health coordinator, Nigerian Medical Association’s dental unit, FCT chapter, told NAN in Abuja on Tuesday that in the process of removing the dirt, it could inflict injury on the gum, which could lead to tooth decay.

He recommended the use of dental floss instead of toothpick, which he said could be found in most clinics or supermarkets.

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“A lot of people after eating, make use of toothpick to pick in between their teeth. It is not healthy or good for the teeth,” he said.

“We recommend that people should use dental flush which looks like a dental thread. This will go a long way in preventing damage to the spot of your teeth.”

He advised against frequent consumption of sugary foods like sweet, chocolate, biscuits and chewing gum, among others.

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He said that avoiding such habits would reduce the chances of getting dental caries (or tooth decay).

Katagum said other measures to prevent tooth decay include rinsing the mouth after every meal, brushing the teeth twice daily, before going to bed and after breakfast.

“Medium textured toothbrush is recommended and it should be stored in an upright position to prevent germs from connecting on the bristle and change your brush every three months,” he said.

“Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, this will help to fight tooth decay and keep the gum strong.”

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