Do you use a toothpick?

Do you use a toothpick? - A picture of 2 cute toothpick buddies.
Singapore
April 26, 2007 1:18pm CST
It was a fine restaurant, so fine that you need your entire myLot paycheck to pay for a meal for one. I was there with a friend, enjoying the nice candlelight setting. She ordered a steak while I had a Surf N Turf. We started with our soups and I indulged in my favorite clam chowder. I was just finishing up the last few sips when someone shattered the peace of the evening. There was a commotion and it turned out that an elderly man was arguing with a waitress over a toothpick. Yes... a toothpick. He wanted a toothpick but the restaurant didn't have any. He was cursing and swearing, and I was so worried that the girl might get a nervous breakdown. That man was complaining how the "missing toothpick" ruined his meal, and he wanted the dinner to be on the house. I didn't continue my detective work since my main course arrived then (yea, I was too stingy to order an appetizer). I understand why that man insisted that every restaurant should have toothpicks. Making my own assumptions, I gather that he usually patronized restaurants serving Chinese cuisine. At those places, indeed toothpicks are a common sight. I am not too sure if toothpicks are an Asian thing. Perhaps some of you can shed some light. Anyway, I avoid using toothpicks myself since they may cause gaps in your teeth. I rather rely on my nightly flossing. How about you? Do you use a toothpick when food gets stuck? Or do you wait till you get back so that you can floss your teeth? Or do you poke around with a fork? Or dig with your finger? Or... ? Do share your thoughts. ;-)
40 people like this
113 responses
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
26 Apr 07
I don't even use toothpicks. I will wait and floss my teeth at h ome or try and use my toothbrush. I don't know why, I just don't want to stick a little piece of wood in my mouth and poke around =)
6 people like this
• Philippines
26 Apr 07
the dentists have discouraged the use of toothpicks. they say that it will damage the teeth enamel. flossing is highly recommended because it thoroughly removes the lodged in piece of food.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Haha, perhaps it's too unladylike? :P
3 people like this
@ajaleelp (131)
• India
26 Apr 07
Hi.. I am a great 'toothpicker'.The main reason i use them is because in our country we find a lot of them placed at the check out counter of any restaurant.So as a matter of practice i would just get hold of two or three. I use them even when there is nothing bothering between my teeth.I just enjoy poking the depths of my teeth and the gaps with it.Feels sort of good.And ofcourse,if i am planning on a walk home after the food, a toothpick is all what i need to keep myself busy.
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Oh gosh, I don't think it is advisable to pick your teeth that much.. certainly don't let it become a habit! :P
3 people like this
@tinamwhite (3255)
• United States
26 Apr 07
I too, do not utilize toothpicks....instead I have dental floss and a travel toothbrush in my purse...I know that may sound a bit extreme.....but I am in the public eye alot with my job and just feel that dental care is important. I feel compassion for the poor waitress who had to attempt to "deal" with the abuse that this man gave her..Life as in pulic service can be very difficult at times. I really have no use for toothpicks; but for somebody who does....I suggest that you carry them with you, if it is that important! Great discussion topic, as always, my friend..Have a blessed day!
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Yes, service is real bad - and the pay really s*cks. And your "arrangement" isn't that extreme if you find it useful.
3 people like this
• Philippines
26 Apr 07
there are times when i use a toothpick. the eateries and restaurants here in the philippines have toothpicks available for customers if ever some will desire to use some.
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Even the restaurants serving western cuisine?
3 people like this
• United States
26 Apr 07
I have gotten into the habit of carrying a toothpick or two in my purse. There have been times when my husband really wants one and the restaurant doesn't carry one. There are places we have been that have them at the register, but not too many. When I find one that has them in wrappers at the registers, I take a few with me.
5 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Be real gentle when you poke..
3 people like this
• United States
26 Apr 07
I don't and never have cause I remember sitting in a dentist chair and how bad it hurts, my boyfriend used to use one all the time until he found these dental floss toothpicks that you are disposable and he now uses that, which is better anyways. You know as we get older our teeth become further and further apart from one another due to the gums residing, the last thing we need to be doing is sticking a wooden stick in between them to spread them further. Too bad this gentleman was not educated to know such a thing.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Dental floss toothpicks?? And yes, avoid toothpicks if possible..
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Apr 07
Well not actually a dental floss toothpick, but a disposible dental floss the size of a toothpick, much better on the teeth than a toothpick ...
1 person likes this
@sjohnson628 (3197)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Yes I do use toothpicks but if a restaurant doesn't offer them I will just wait until I get home and brush and floss. I use to waitress in a restaurant and when some one would ask for a toothpick I would go into the kitchen and get them one of those things that the cooks use for Club sandwiches with the twirly cellophane on the end. But by the sounds of where you were dining they probably don't make club sandwiches there!
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Thank you, my friend. It is only with the support of kind folks such as yourself that makes this possible. Thank you. ;-)
2 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Oh I hate this. That's what happens when you post into the wrong tab. So sorry. My reply to this response is as below: I know those toothpicks you were referring to. I hope the chef doesn't use it to pick his own teeth, then poke it back into the burger! :P
3 people like this
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
27 Apr 07
Hello Lordwarwizard, Toothpicks ... nope I never use them. I always carry dental floss -- in my car, in my purse, in my desk, etc... Although I would certainly refrain from flossing at the table (hard to believe, but I've seen it done. Gross!!!), I almost always floss as soon as I get back to my car. I will add that if we will be lingering in the restaurant after our meal, I'll usually excuse myself to the ladies room to either floss, or if I'm out of floss, to at least vigorously swish my mouth with water to dislodge any food particulate from in between my teeth. As for toothpick use in the states: my husband will often use a toothpick after a meal. So, it isn't just an Asian thing. Maybe it's a guy thing??? Shame on that gentleman for causing a commotion over the restaurant not supplying toothpicks. If it was that important to him, all supermarkets carry toothpicks; he should have been prepared with his own supply. I hope he didn't ruin your date. (wink, wink)
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Unbelievable. Flossing at the table? Haha! :P Still single and available, my lady. ^^
2 people like this
@maddysmommy (16233)
• United States
26 Apr 07
HAHA all of the above! If there are toothpicks then I use them, if not, my finger LOL my fork sometimes the tip of the knife LOL, and sometimes i kinda do a sucking kinda sound between my teeth with the use of my tongue and sometimes that works (hard to explain). I think that man was out of place to demand a toothpick - how rude (maybe he wanted a free meal LOL)
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
You sure are versatile! :P
• Canada
26 Apr 07
It almost sounds like this man would have found anything to complain about . If he was that upset over not having a toothpick he could have simply left and not gone back rather then to create a scene . He was looking for some attention and he got it . I don't use a toothpick but my husband does all the time , he even carries one around with him just in cases such as you described above and he doesn't want to be left without one . If I have my toothbrush handy I will use that and then floss to try and get the annoying piece out but if neither are available right away I will use my finger to try and get it out :)
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
You are right. That's what I think too!:P
@wolfie34 (26791)
• United Kingdom
26 Apr 07
I have a special tool, one similiar to what a dentist uses, it's metal and it's shaped like a hook which can easily dislodge bits of foot and whatnot and it quite useful and gets into tough to reach places, I also like to use mouthwash afterwards. I never use my fingers because it is unhygenic and easily spreads germs into the mouth causing ulcers and worse.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
I know, I have one of those too. But I don't find it too useful...
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
26 Apr 07
toothpicks are not specifically Asian things. every restaurant that I have been to has them available at the checkout or if there is no checkout then the hostess stand has them. Many restaurants keep toothpicks at the table (these ones are individually wrapped) I do not think I would ever pick my teeth in public. If the man found that using a toothpick is so imperative he should consider carrying his own 14K gold re-usable pick. lol, yes I have seen these offered in specialty catalogs. Sometimes I use a piece of paper to get out an annoying piece of meat from between my teeth.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Haha, whiteheather39 at post 30 was just talking about her date with a golden toothpick. :P
• Malaysia
26 Apr 07
I will dig with my finger, lol... Normally, if i realised something stucked in the gap between my teeth, i will go to the washroom and try to rinse it off. Well if it can't work, I will not talking or laughing to display my teeth.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Or more precisely, with your fingernail right? Hope you don't stain your teeth with the nail paint. :P
• United States
26 Apr 07
First of all why wasn't I invited to dinner I love surf and turf? LOL. Toothpicks are at other restaurants also. It depends upon the owners of the restaurants. I cannot believe that old man raising such a fuss over a stupid tooth pick. He may do somthing like that at other restaurants just to get free food. My dad use to tell us "STUPID NAMES AND STUPID FACES ALWAYS SHOW IN PUBLIC PLACES" I guess he fit that bill and then did not want to pay it. LOL
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
So do you love the surf bit more, or the turf bit more? I still prefer fish lol. When you are "old", it gives you a certain licence. :P
@whywiki (6070)
• Canada
26 Apr 07
I usually only use a toothpick if they are on the counter on the way out. Then I only use them in the privacy of my car. I usually just wait till I get home and poke and prod and brush then.
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Not when the car is moving, I hope. That would be so dangerous! :P
@DeaXyza (577)
• United States
26 Apr 07
Dig around with a fork ooooh wizard where do you get these images from I had quite a mental image of that statement and I am still rolling with laughter and my eyes are watering. Who would do that a lion perhaps after eating a whole deer might need a fork perhaps? Well me I am more of a floss before sleep at night never use toothpick 'cos I find it gross to do so imagine talking to a friend and reaching out for a toothpick and in between conversation you are busy cleaning up the gunk between tooth.... yikes no that is not for me I am a flosser all right and a floss does a better job on tooth at the back anyday how would a toothpick help getting out anything that is stuck between molar tooth? It is pretty hard to get out and one would look like a fool trying to get out the stuck food from there, it is better to floss since it will remove everything inbetween! Wizard your method is the best nothing beats a good flossing it also massages the gums gently an added benefit a toothpick can not do. With a Toothy smile :)
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
When you don't have a toothpick and just need one, you turn creative and think of anything! You are eating and a fork is readily accessible - so why not? Using the poking end of course.:P
@hezoid (2147)
26 Apr 07
I don't tend to use a toothpick if offered in a restaurant, unless i went to the ladies and discreetly used it there, and i think picking your teeth in anyway while at a table insight of other is as disgusting a habit as picking you nose! In any case, UK restaurants don't tend to offer them.
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
At the minimum, cover your mouth with your free hand if you have to use a toothpick at the table.
3 people like this
26 Apr 07
It seems to me that some people are incredibly inpatient over the smallest of things, that guy you described really should calm down, I mean if he gets that agitated over the lack of a toothpick, imagine what he must get like if he is faced with something really serious! I don't usually need to use a toothpick, probably the only time is when I eat something like corn on the cob, but I would usually do that at home, and certainly wouldn't make a scene in a restaurant over it
4 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
When you get to his age, you think the world belongs to you. Lol :P Some people make a scene everywhere... I know some of these people myself. I normally just walk away if I happen to be with them. I don't want anything to do with them.
3 people like this
• Canada
27 Apr 07
First, if I used my entire myLot paycheque to pay for my dinner, it would definitely not be at a finer restaurant, that's for certain. I don't even think I could afford McDonald's although their prices are pretty hefty considering the quality of their food. Having ventured into many finer restaurants during my time, however, quite frankly I would probably have fainted if I had ever seen someone using a toothpick at the dinner table. I believe that the toothpick jar was available usually near the exit so that the customers could pick one up on their way out, along with a mint, of course. That way, the driver of the car could poke his or her mouth while driving and talking on the phone, all at the the same time. Perhaps the present absense of toothpicks has occured as a way of preventing further car accidents.
3 people like this
• Canada
27 Apr 07
Sorry, hit wrong button. Now to continue. I was at the dentist recently for a cavity to be filled. She used a rubber dam so as to better see my tooth. What I didn't realize was that the dams are held in by small wooden stakes...the exact same type used to kill vampires, but much smaller...;) Anyway, she accidentally left one in and the hole in my gum by the tooth kept getting larger and larger. My tongue could feel something and kept "playing" with it until it worked its way out and that is how I discovered about the wooden stakes. Not fun! And no, I'm not a vampire so I'm still alive. Finally, yes, I would much prefer to use dental floss than have wood in my mouth...unless it is an emergency! I carry floss with me because I don't want to get stuck with green stuff between my front teeth when I'm out. I'm not going to use the floss at the table, though. Manners, people...please excuse yourself and go to the restroom to do your flossing.
3 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
tsk tsk - You are in the running for best response!
Oh gosh.. what an experience.:(
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Apr 07
Wow, I am honoured to receive your medal. Thank you.
@feralwoman (2199)
• Australia
26 Apr 07
Ewww Wizzy, the mental image of someone sitting at a dinner table poking away with a toothpick! I can't get it out of my head. I dislike toothpicks as they can do a bit of damage like you said. I prefer to floss when I get home and leave the toothpicks well alone. LOL
3 people like this
• Singapore
27 Apr 07
Haven't you seen toothpicks being used before? :P Yea, flossing is still better...
1 person likes this
• Australia
27 Apr 07
I can honestly say i've never seen anyone use a toothpick before! Is this normal? LOL