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5 Reasons Not to Chew Your Pen at Work

Updated on March 27, 2012

Old Habits Die Hard

Bad habits usually start in childhood and as such they can be incredibly difficult to break as an adult after years of indulging them. Although many people will eventually train themselves to stop biting their nails, procrastinating and/or fidgeting as they get older, fewer tend to address the habit of pen chewing. This is likely because this is considered less of a problem since it tend to occur when one is in thought only. Pen nibbling then can often be seen within the confines of a workspace such as on office.

Here - in no particular order - are five reasons you should stop chewing at your biros whilst at work.

#1: The Risk of Choking

It might not be the most common of accidents at work but did you know that around 100 people each year globally die from choking on plastic pen caps? Check out the following news story and the video below of a radio presenter choking on his pen cap live on air.

Boy of 13 chokes to death on the top of his pen

If you happen to choke on a pen lid in front of your work colleagues and survive, you'll going have to live with how stupid you looked whilst fighting for your breath. Oh the shame!

Chewing pens is an awful habit to have when it comes to the health of your gnashers - your teeth were designed for eating food, not for chowing down on hard materials such as plastic! Chewing pens can not only cause breakage and stress fractures to appear in teeth but you could also be doing damage to your mouth and jaw muscles if your habit is particularly incessant.

Few people get the hots for those with an ugly mouth so do yourself a favour and chew on some gum instead!

You might think that you look contemplative and intelligent as you casually gnaw on your pen but your superiors in the office are likely to think that you look/are childish. This could be detrimental when it comes to any promotion you might decide to apply for.

Your manager will probably wish to keep you out of sight whenever any current/potential clients come into the office for meetings too since your company will no doubt wish to uphold an image of professionalism.

Chewing a biro too hard or sucking on the end of one could see its ink spill out all over your face, teeth and probably your clothes too. This is hardly a professional or adult aesthetic and definitely the last thing you would wish to happen in the hours leading up to that big presentation that you have been asked to give.

Don't risk it! Step away from the pen...

The more often you give into the desire to chew pens, the harder you will find it to break the habit of doing such. This means that a pen that a work colleague lends you may inadvertently find it's way into your mouth and this could see you contracting all kinds of nasty germs.

Nasties which cause the common cold can easily become trapped under a person's fingernails and these can then be passed onto any object that comes into contact with the infected hands. If the colleague that has leant you the pen is guilty of skipping hand-washing after going to the toilet also, there is also a risk of contracting stomach worms, diarrhoea, cholera, typhoid and ulcers. Eugh! You could pass on similar bugs to others too should they use a pen which has been in your mouth.

The Pen Gnaw Poll

Are You a Habitual Pen Chewer?

See results

Let me know what you think about the habit of pen gnawing...

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