The Instigator
Lord_Logic
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Pro (for)
Winning
16 Points

Picking your teeth with your fingers is better than picking your teeth with a toothpick.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/29/2011 Category: Health
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,581 times Debate No: 20112
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (3)

 

Lord_Logic

Con

A fun debate.

Pro's job: Picking teeth with fingers/fingernail is better than picking teeth with toothpick.
Con's job: Negate.

Definitions are self-explanatory.

I shall be arguing that picking your teeth with a toothpick is better than picking your teeth with your fingers/fingernail.

Round 1 shall be for acceptance.
ConservativePolitico

Pro

I accept.

I am under the assumption that this is to be a pretty casual off the cuff debate since I don't think there have been any studies on such a subject.

Take it away.
Debate Round No. 1
Lord_Logic

Con

Thank you, ConservativePolitico, for accepting this debate.

Yes, this shall be a rather casual.

Contention 1- Health

As we all know, fingers contain numerous amounts of colonies of contagious bacteria. {1}. Furthermore, these bacteria will get to the enamel or/and into your mouth. The eyes, mouth, and nose are spots where bacteria may come into your body with ease. This leads to sickness of some sort. Nobody wants to be sick, right? With a toothpick, you may pick your teeth and the tartar off of your enamel. Because toothpicks have less colonies of bacteria on them, it makes a better choice than fingers. Even fingernails may cause harm because of dirt trapped in the nails.

Scenario 1/ Contention 2- Manners

A) You finished eating dinner. After touching forks, spoons, chopsticks, knives, bowls, table, and the menu, you pick your teeth. Not only is this extremely disgusting to watch, but you also risk the chance of getting a disease. Fever, fatigue, and appetite loss may hit you. Even worse, you ate dinner with your boss. This shows that you have no manners whatsoever and the boss may never shake hands again.

B) You finished eating dinner. You grab a toothpick and start picking your teeth. Your boss sees you and doesn't care. Toothpicks are thus more helpful when getting a positive reaction from your boss.

Contention 3- Effectiveness

Toothpicks, no doubt, are more effective than fingers when picking teeth. {3}. Toothpicks maneuver with ease in the tight places from two teeth. Fingers/fingernails cannot.

{1} http://www.sciencentral.com...
{2} http://en.wikipedia.org...
{3} http://www.parkaveperio.com...

I await my opponent's response.
ConservativePolitico

Pro

I thank my opponent for starting such a fun debate.

Rebuttals:

C1 -
You wish to argue that your hands may be harmful to your health especially if they are put in your mouth in order to pick your teeth, however it is common knowledge that there is some kind of germ (bacteria, virus, parasite) on everything. Every surface, every item has germs on them so I don't think a toothpick would be any more sanitary than your finger, in fact it may be even dirtier considering that you should be washing your hands after you use the bathroom as well as before you eat.

You eat on average three meals a day: three hand washings.
You use the bathroom on average six times a day: six hand washings. [1]

Therefore the average person should wash their hands nine times a day if they practice sanitary hand washing habits making their hands much cleaner than a run of the mill toothpick.

C2 - You have laid out two scenarios in which you attempt to make your point. The disease point I have already countered above. As for manners I think it is safe to say that if you are eating with your boss you will refrain from picking your teeth at all since picking anything on your body is seen in poor taste in the company of a superior. And if you must pick your teeth there is nothing stopping you from excusing yourself to go to the bathroom and pick with your readily handy fingers.

C3 - While toothpicks are more effective than fingers at picking teeth (it is what they were designed to do after all) there are a few problems with toothpick use which I will go into greater detail below but in contending your third claim I must say that while they are better at maneuvering into a tight spot your finger is much more familiar and will probably be more effective at getting into a spot way in the back of your mouth. Your finger will be much easier to use when struggling with that pesky popcorn kernel than an obtrusive wooden stick.

Points:

P1 - Ease of Access
This point is simple, you will always have your fingers with you while you may not always have access to a toothpick. Some restaurants give out toothpicks but nowadays many do not. If you are not in possession of a toothpick you cannot pick your teeth however you will never have that problem while using your fingers since they are attached to you.

P2 - Toothpicks are Dangerous
Splinters, sharp edges, accidental ingestion are just a few dangers that come with using a toothpick. A toothpick can get stuck in your teeth and break leaving it jagged and ready to cut you or an unsuspecting bystander. You can get a splinter from handling a toothpick since they are made of wood. Is a splinter really worth that piece of meat in your teeth? And the most dangerous of all is accidental ingestion which can lead to serious medical issues in the intestines. [2] Toothpicks are so dangerous in fact that some restaurants have refused to give them out [3] making ease of access to toothpicks even more difficult to come by. They are dangerous and the dangers do not outweigh the results of using such a devise.

P3 - Cost
Since some places are no longer offering free toothpicks at the counter if you want to pick your teeth without using your fingers you're going to have to buy some which means a trip to the store and a purchase. With your fingers you don't need to buy anything you just reach up and pick. With toothpicks there is a cost of time, gas, energy, money and leisure when you get in your car and drive to the store to buy some. This is an unneccissary cost by all accounts and should be avoided by using your fingers.

The case rests.

[1] http://www.skeptive.com...
[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[3]http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
Debate Round No. 2
Lord_Logic

Con

Thank you, Pro, for the quick response.

Counter Argument 1- Health

Therefore the average person should wash their hands nine times a day if they practice sanitary hand washing habits making their hands much cleaner than a run of the mill toothpick.

A study showed from the New York Times {1} shows that more than 25% of men and women do not wash his or her hands after using the bathroom. Another study shows {2} that 33% of men and women do not wash their hands after using the bathroom. The same study {2} shows that 33% of people do not wash hands after coughing and sneezing. This shows that people may wash their hands only two times a day after using the bathroom six times a day. Furthermore, 40% of men and women do not wash his or her hand after eating. This thus shows that an avege person may not wash their hands nine times a day. This then means that hands may be affected with bacteria. Toothpicks, on the other hand, are touched by a person and then used.

Counter Argument 2- Scenario

And if you must pick your teeth there is nothing stopping you from excusing yourselfto go to the bathroom and pick your readily handy fingers.

As I have countered above, using fingers may get you diseases. As for manners, it is horrible to see a stranger, in the bathroom, picking his teeth. Of course, the person who sees you will be disgusted. He or she probably thinks: "Yuck. That guy/girl went to the bathroom and then picked his teeth!"

Counter Argument 3- Ease of Access/Cost

If you are not in possession of a toothpick you cannot pick your teeth however you will neer have that problem while using your fingers since they are attached to you.

Many dine-in resturants have toothpicks to give. If there are no toothpicks, use a napkin. Using a thin piece, take out the piece of popcorn. Even picking your teeth with a napkin is nicer to see than picking your teeth with your fingers. You may use napkins instead of toothpicks.

Counter Argument 4- Toothpicks are Dangerous

Toothpicks are smooth. {4}. The only way you can get a splinter is breaking it in half on purpose and stabbing yourself. As pictures show, toothpicks are smooth. Toothpicks would not get stuck in your teeth because teeth are very close together. Lastly, nearly no one would swallow a toothpick. How do you swallow a toothpick? Sticking it down your throat? There is no way of ingesting a toothpick.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Contention 4- Names

The "toothpick" is used for picking your teeth. Why else is it called "toothpick?" Tooth-pick. Fingers? I don't see the word tooth or pick in the word. {5}.

{1} http://www.nytimes.com...
{2} www.brainpopjr.com/health/bewell/washinghands/grownups.weml
{3} http://skeptics.stackexchange.com...
{4} http://en.wikipedia.org...
{5} Logic

I thank my opponent and wish everyone a Happy New Year. Well, sort of. That's in two days...
ConservativePolitico

Pro

An amusing debate to be sure.

Health -

You say that 25% of men and women do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, this leaves 75% that still do wash their hands so your argument applies to the minority while my argument still applies to the majority. All of your statistics show a trend in the minority of people while mine applies to the majority leaving the logic sound. However even among these numbers you yourself narrowed it down to two hand washings a day, this my good sir is still two times more than a toothpick has ever been washed. So my argument stands.

Scenario -

There are certain aspects of living that are not pretty. Is vomiting nice? Is pooping socially acceptable? What if you have a particularly akward wegie? Whenever these unpleasentries occur, which they do and frequently, one usually will go to the bathroom in order to resolve it. That is what bathrooms are for. If you saw a man adjusting his pants or coming out of a stinky stall one does not think poorly of the person but rather thinks "poor person" since these things are unavoidable. Same goes for picking your teeth, if someone spies you picking your teeth in the bathroom they will not think twice about it. Its the bathroom, a place where people go in order to fix themselves up.

Ease of Access/Cost -

My esteemed opponent avoids my argument. I have already pointed out and given an article in support of the fact that some resaraunts do not give out tooth picks anymore. Fast food restaraunts certaintly don't and many places such as Chiles or Applebees do not either. And if you cannot come by a toothpick then you are more inclined to use your fingers. Its convinient. Instead my opponent switches to saying you can use a napkin in order to pick your teeth which is another argument entirely. A napkin is not a toothpick, in fact picking your teeth with a napkin would be the same as using your fingers just covered in a napkin.

Also he never addressed the cost of supplying your own toothpicks. If you never want to use your fingers and fast food and some dine-in restaraunts do not supply you with toothpicks you must supply them yourself, this argument also stands as was presented earlier since no effort to refute it was presented.

Dangerous -

"From 1979 to 1982, an estimated 8,176 toothpick-related injuries occurred yearly" [sic] [1]

From this statistic supplied by The Journal of the American Medical Association shows that in a given three year stretch there were 24,528 toothpick related injuries.

As to how these injuries occur that is not what I am here to debate. Simply they do occur and are dangerous. The Journal of the American Medical Association says that they should be kept out of reach of children. [1] No such warning has been given about people's fingers.

"There is no way of ingesting a toothpick."

That simply is false. There is a way of ingesting a toothpick, you put it in your mouth and accidently swallow. In fact toothpicks are more likely to be injested than say a sock or a pencil because they are primarily used within the mouth. Mouths are used for ingesting things. Saying there is no way of ingesting a toothpick is like saying there is no way to injest gum or toothpaste, all things which go into your mouth but are supposed to come out but we also know this to be false.

Like I said, it is not my place to say how such ridiculous injuries occur, all I am here to say is that they do occur... 8,176 times a year. That sounds pretty dangerous to me.


Name -

I already conceded the point that toothpicks were created in order to pick teeth however that does not mean they are the best thing for the job. Automated carwashes were invented to wash cars, its right there in the name, but that doesn't mean that it does it better than washing it by hand. Sometimes doing things by hand, or by finger, are just better despite the fact that something has been invented to counter it.

Clumsy -

My opponent also failed to address this argument, toothpicks are clumsy. They are not as easy to use as the tips of your finger. Perhaps he will touch on this point next round since he forgot it last round. Or perhaps he evaded it purposely because of its validity.

I look forward to the final round.


[1] http://jama.ama-assn.org...
Debate Round No. 3
Lord_Logic

Con

I concede. I am convinced that picking your teeth with fingers is better than picking your teeth with a toothpick. I apologize for making Round 4 disappointing...Please vote Pro all the way.
ConservativePolitico

Pro

You heard the man, vote Pro :)

I thank you for an interesting and fun topic. It is always a treat to debate such things.

Thanks, I would be up for another debate of this nature at any time.

Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Micromann 5 years ago
Micromann
Compromise: The interdental stimulator. With a name like that, it has to arouse your curiosity. Are you excited yet?

"Many dentists do not recommend toothpicks for their patients. An alternative is the ‘soft toothpick', which is available at most pharmacies. It is called interdental stimulator and is available in a variety of flavors. The interdental stimulator is made of soft balsa wood, triangularly shaped (to more properly fit the space between the teeth) while the standard toothpick is made of harder wood. Also interdental stimulator does not splinter, which the standard toothpick can, causing gum injuries. If you use interdental stimulator, moisten it first to make it softer. This will prevent much potential injury."
http://www.oraldentalcare.org...

It even comes in multiple flavours!
Posted by Gavbo 5 years ago
Gavbo
"Friends don't let friends drink and use toothpicks." Loved it!
Posted by ConservativePolitico 5 years ago
ConservativePolitico
Good article haha dangerous little buggers
Posted by Micromann 5 years ago
Micromann
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Death by toothpick
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Yall have terrible manners neither wait. Yet I'm probably the only one who goes to places like that here . Well if the ppl in the comments here
Posted by RyouofFunce 5 years ago
RyouofFunce
I find both rather useless when it come to that delicious morals of steak trapped tightly between your teeth. Your fingers will never get it out and also leaves them wet and disgusting, and a toothpick in the remote regions of your mouth is a sure way to get a piercing there. In the end dental floss line has it all. Stylish, clean, (leave a mint taste too) and it'll get everything and scrap the spacing between your teeth completely clean!
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
the food*
Posted by MasterKage 5 years ago
MasterKage
Amusing debate.

Personally, I pick my teeth with my fingers. Toothpicks just push the further back and makes it harder to get out.
Posted by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
I love this site.
Posted by flam21 5 years ago
flam21
This is indeed an intersting debate. I just prefer to use my fingers.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by youngpolitic 5 years ago
youngpolitic
Lord_LogicConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
Lord_LogicConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: CON conceded.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
Mr.Infidel
Lord_LogicConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff