Chewing Pens
June 8, 2004 10:42 AM   Subscribe

YuckHabitFilter/NeedMoreToWorryAboutFilter: Say you tend to chew on plastic pens while working, despite efforts to stop. Aside from the obvious Googleable dental detriments (tooth wear) and, um, choking risk I guess, are there any other dangers, esp. ones not grounded in Freudian analysis? Are you ingesting scary levels of leeching plasticizers and resins? If so, can you litigate? Kidding...
posted by tss to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Well, I know people who use pens to scratch inside their ears. Are you sure the pens you're chewing on haven't performed a similar duty in another human's orifice?
posted by jennyb at 11:02 AM on June 8, 2004

My parents bought me a really nice Waterman ballpoint pen for Christmas (mine isn't listed here but there are some ideas).

Not only does it look far more professional than a manky plastic pen, you definately can't and won't want to chew the end of it.
posted by ralawrence at 11:04 AM on June 8, 2004

The substances the pen could come be contaminated by through contact seems more hazardous than the pen's material. Because they are manufactured to be held in your hand.
posted by thomcatspike at 11:14 AM on June 8, 2004

posted by thomcatspike at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2004

could come be contaminated by
If I have to re-edit this again, I'm biting your pens for you;)
posted by thomcatspike at 11:42 AM on June 8, 2004

I chewed on the bottom of a cheap ball-point once, and somehow ended up with a mouthful of disgusting blue ink. That absolutely cured me of the habit.
posted by found missing at 11:50 AM on June 8, 2004

The pens all belong to me, so they haven't been in anyone's ears.

I probably wouldn't mind writing with a Waterman, but I might also lose it. For the time being, I'm really happy with Pilot Razor Point fine hard felt-tip pens. They write thin and clearly all the time, there's no need to "get the ball rolling" to start it writing like with cheaper ballpoints, they have a simple retro look to them, and they're also... pretty rugged at the ends. They're not very good for carbon copies, though.

Pens, it should be noted, are also better with a refreshing Pepsi Blue.
posted by tss at 12:17 PM on June 8, 2004

I don't think that you're leeching anything out of the pens. With hard plastic, like in the Pilot razor, I think you're safe. The Pilot V-Balls, however, are painted gray. Chewing on them makes the paint come off -- and that can't be particularly healthy to swallow. It' probably inert and goes right through you, but hey why take chances.

I chew on my pens. But I also chew on plastic straws (and even coffee stirrers). These are made to put in your mouth, so the dyes almost certainly don't leech out, Right? Right?!??

Plus, they're likely to be cleaner / more disposable.

I have this habit and I also like Candies that have a similar consistency. My newest poison is "sour straws," but I also like Twizzlers, Red Laces, etc. These are full of sugar and artificial colors and flavors. I bet that these are probably worse for you over the long term...
posted by zpousman at 12:53 PM on June 9, 2004

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