When eating, it’s very common to get food particles stuck between your teeth, but what do you use to remove it? According to the American Dental Association, 21 percent of Americans have used cutlery to remove food from their teeth, 14 percent have used a safety pin and 7 percent have used a strand of hair! It’s safe to say that knives or safety pins are not the safest items to poke into your mouth, but there is a proper way to remove something stuck between your teeth. Read on to find out a few ways to safely remove wedged-in food particles without risking damage to your teeth or gums.
Try Using Your Tongue
Your tongue is a great tool that can help push wedged-in food particles. However, you should be careful not to over work your tongue. Doing so can cause jaw pain, TMJ issues, as well as trouble chewing or speaking.
Rinse Your Mouth
If you’re at dinner and your food gets stuck, you probably won’t have anything nearby to remove it. A great option is to take a sip of water and swish it around in your mouth and push the liquid through your teeth. This option can help dislodge food easily without any risk of oral damage.
Gently Floss the Debris Away
Flossing is a great way to reach the areas between your teeth where plaque, bacteria and food can get wedged. When particles are large and a bit painful, you may want to rip the dental floss through your teeth to find relief. However, doing this could push the particle farther into the crevice or deeper into your gum line. Working the floss in gentle, controlled movements between your teeth will remove it much easier.
Wooden Toothpicks Work
Carefully use the tip of a wooden toothpick to slide the particle firmly and slowly from its position. If the item between your teeth doesn’t move, try flossing or rinsing again. You can also try gently wedging the tip of the toothpick between your teeth to make space and try flossing again.
Chomp on Crunchy Foods
Crunchy, raw vegetable can actually help with the removal of particles. Chomping on veggies like carrots can act like a toothbrush to help clear debris from the surfaces of your teeth and help dislodge pieces between them.
There are many ways to get rid of particles that are stuck between your teeth, so there’s no need to resort to knives, needles or safety pins. Protecting your teeth and gums is definitely a priority. If you find that you can’t remove something that’s gotten wedged in your teeth, it is a good idea to contact your emergency dentist for help.
About the Author
Dr. Dennis Stansbury and his team at Stansbury Dental are committed to providing patients with top-quality, comprehensive dental care in a comfortable environment. Dr. Stansbury has spent more than 44 years transforming smiles. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas and regularly participates in continuing education courses in order to be able to offer his patients the latest in technology and techniques. If you find yourself in the middle of a dental emergency, Dr. Stansbury can help! Contact the office at (903) 561-1122 or visit the website to schedule your appointment.