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There are times when a small piece of food can get trapped in the contours between two teeth. This is rarely a traumatic event. In most of these instances, the piece of food can be worked out by playing with it with your tongue or swishing it with your beverage. However, there are some rare instances when a tough piece of food, meat fiber or seed hull can become uncomfortably stuck between two teeth.

Even if you’re experiencing discomfort, pressure, or pain, you need to remember to stay calm. You should never try to use toothpicks or any kind of sharp, pointed tool to pry it out. This could potentially chip your teeth and severely wound your gums.

Waxed dental floss is the first thing you should reach for to try to work the food loose. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easier between the teeth to work around the lodged food particle. Try not to force the floss or snap it between the teeth as this could also injure your gums. If you have one on hand, a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss can help you work the strand at a different angle.

You could also try using an oral irrigator or dental water jet device. The concentrated stream of water could wear away or wash away the food particle without any undue pressure. Sometimes it can even clear debris that is helping to hold the piece of food in place.

If you need further advice for removing a piece of food stuck between your teeth, you can call 540-886-1979 to speak with your dentist in Staunton, Virginia, or with someone at Dr. Alan J. White, D.D.S..