It was a hot summer afternoon. The type of heat that only a bottle of chilled soda can help you handle. I bought a bottle(this was before PET bottles were in vogue, remember the thick glass bottles?) of cola and sat in the lounge of our house about to watch a movie.

During this phase of my life (a teenager), I really loved to improvise. So for instance, when watching a movie or when I felt lazy to go into the kitchen to get a bottle opener, I simply use my teeth.

On this fateful day, I proceeded (as usual) to open my chilled bottle of soda because there was no bottle opener close by. And the worst thing happened: the bottle broke just below the cover (with the cover intact). The glass cut my gum, however I was lucky my tooth wasn’t broken or my lip cut (it would have been more catastrophic). Pieces of glass fell into  the drink.

I was so upset, frightened and shocked all at the same time that I lost ay desire for the soda. However, I couldn’t let my money go to waste in addition to the injury I sustained- so I turned the soda into a cup and drank it slowly (partly because I was scared not to swallow any glass).

That day was the turning point for me; I stopped using my teeth to open bottles even if I was going to get paid for it. As a dentist, many years later I have seen the damage people not so lucky as I was have incurred due to this: chipped teeth, crack/fracture teeth.

Avoid using your teeth as bottle openers. The cost  of fixing the damage far outweighs the cost of the bottle or drink.

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