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If you’ve ever researched alternatives to chewing gum, you’ve probably come across tea tree oil toothpicks. These are exactly how they sound – wooden toothpicks that have been infused with tea tree oil, and usually menthol, too.
Chewing tea tree oil toothpicks is considered a good pastime for one simple reason: it can give your mouth something to do and satisfy your brain if you’re craving a flavour, but don’t want to eat food. We don’t need tea tree oil toothpicks, but they’re pretty fun to have, regardless.You might be wondering, however, just how safe tea tree-infused toothpicks really are. Isn’t tea tree oil toxic when ingested? You obviously don’t consume the toothpicks themselves, but what happens if you swallow saliva that contains tea tree? All your questions are answered in this article.
First off: yes, tea tree can be toxic to the body, according to Poison.org.
But that’d be if you ingested a spoonful of pure tea tree oil, or used it as a mouthwash. The small amount of tea tree oil you get from toothpicks, however, is generally fine.
Some people have experienced issues with tea tree toothpicks, including infection and gastritis. You can find a few horror stories in customer reviews, with users warning other people to avoid a certain product because of the side effects they experienced. But these reviews are few and far between, and thousands of people safely use tea tree oil toothpicks on a daily basis. There’s simply not enough information online to suggest that tea tree oil toothpicks are dangerous or bad for you.
In short, chewing tea tree oil toothpicks is considered generally safe. However, the decision is yours. You may feel that the risk simply isn’t worth it. You may also simply not like the taste of tea tree oil, as it isn’t for everyone.
If you’d rather not ingest even a small amount of tea tree oil, why not take up another habit, like chewing gum (or celery sticks, if you fancy being healthy)? There are also non-flavoured toothpicks that are safer, or toothpicks flavoured with an ingredient that isn’t toxic, like cinnamon.
What are the benefits of tea tree oil toothpicks?
The biggest benefit of tea tree oil, when it’s used as an ingredient in a chewable toothpick, is its natural antiseptic properties. This helps freshen breath and kill bacteria that’s responsible for plaque and tartar. It’s no replacement for brushing your teeth, of course, but it’s a better, more natural breath freshener without the added sugar of chewing gum. Tea tree oil is often combined with cinnamon and menthol for extra breath-freshening and antiseptic benefits.
Why chew tea tree oil toothpicks?
The biggest appeal of tea tree oil toothpicks, aside from their oral hygiene benefits, is that they keep your mouth busy. If you’re a smoker, having another habit to focus on when you’re craving a cigarette can be really helpful. Toothpicks hold up well, too, and can be chewed for a long time without splintering, which makes them useful if you want a distraction that’ll last for more than just a couple of minutes. Should you be quitting smoking, it’s worth trying whatever works for you – but if you’re going to be chewing on toothpicks throughout the day, consider alternatives to tea tree products.
Can you make your own tea tree oil toothpicks?
Yes – you simply soak toothpicks in tea tree oil. But it’s not recommended, as it’s really easy to overdo the amount of tea tree you use, which puts you more at risk of over-ingesting the oil.