Have you ever been at the movie theater with a friend and got a popcorn kernel stuck in your teeth? Or perhaps you were enjoying a family barbecue once and a piece of corn stubbornly refused to dislodge from between your teeth? You, like many others, have likely experienced this frustration more than once, but did you know there are risks if you try to remove some lodged foods yourself?
Continue reading to learn helpful information that can help you safely unwedge stuck food from between your teeth to avoid an emergency dental visit.
Food Stuck In Your Teeth: An Annoyance or a Risk?
You may be asking yourself why there is a blog entirely devoted to tips to remove food that becomes wedged in your teeth. It is important to recognize that while yes, food stuck between your teeth is greatly frustrating, it can also:
- Pop out a filling
- Chip a tooth
- Irritate or inflame your gums
- Lead to tooth decay due to germs and bacteria that are stuck in your mouth
To prevent this kind of damage, which can land you in your dentist’s office, there are some recommended methods for removing food from between your teeth.
Is There a Right Way to Do It?
Essentially, yes! You do not want to risk damaging your teeth trying to remove stuck food improperly or haphazardly. Instead, try these helpful tips:
- Gently use your tongue. You may be able to dislodge the food, but be cautious. Overworking your tongue may lead to jaw pain that can contribute to other issues like TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain or problems chewing.
- Rinse with warm salt water to remove what might be stuck.
- Use a toothpick instead of a utensil. Avoid using anything metal to scrape your teeth because this may damage your gums. Slide the toothpick between the teeth where the food is lodged. Push slowly and firmly then let it sit there for a few seconds to create more space between your teeth so you can try to remove the stuck food.
- Floss gently. If you push on the stuck food too hard you risk lodging it further, so pull the floss through slowly.
Now you know the recommended methods to safely remove stuck food from between your teeth. Even if you were able to dislodge the food, call your dentist for an appointment. Your dentist will be able to ensure that no damage was done to your teeth in the process.
About the Author
Dr. Shelly Strohman, DDS, at Strohman Dental, has been serving patients for over 13 years. Strohman Dental provides fully comprehensive dental care for the entire family using the most current technology. With a focus on the patient’s needs, Dr. Strohman never recommends a treatment that she does not feel is necessary. If you have a dental emergency like enamel or gum damage from stuck food, same-day emergency appointments are available through their website, or by calling (940) 613-0299.