We’ve all been there before – you just bit into a big piece of juicy steak or, if you’re a vegetarian – maybe you bit into a nice crispy piece of asparagus. Both of these foods can easily become stuck in your teeth.
But what happens when you can’t get the food out of your teeth? Whether you can actually see the piece of food or you can just feel it – it is important to try and keep your teeth free from obstructions and stuck pieces of food. However, it is also important to remember that food stuck in your teeth is rarely an emergency. But in order to avoid the consequences of decay and bacteria, it still shouldn’t be ignored for too long.
However, there are some specific situations where stuck food or a foreign object can pose a problem. The most important thing to do in these cases it to stay calm. Sometimes a sense of urgency and panic can make us all do pretty silly things – like trying to pry out a stuck object with something metal, our fingernails, and generally any implement that wasn’t designed to be thrust into our teeth.
To help you get stuck pieces of food or debris out of your teeth and gums, our Dentists in Downey, California have a few tips:
Make waxed dental floss your first option
A thin strand of waxy dental floss will allow steady, smooth movement between and around your teeth in order to get at the stuck object. Try not to saw at your teeth, force the floss, or roughly snap it between your teeth. You don’t want to injure your gums. Sometimes, a floss threader can also help get the exact angle you need to free your teeth and gums from the irritation you’re feeling.
Try a Water Jet (If you have one)
If you have something like a Waterpik®, it can work wonders for getting stuck objects out of your teeth with a concentrated jet of water that’s safe for your teeth. Gently apply this water-pressure to the area to see if you can dislodge any debris keeping food in place.
Rinse, Gargle, Repeat
Ever left a dish in the sink to soak in order to get stubborn, stuck-on food to free itself? This concept is the same. Rinse and gargle with a warm solution of salt water to see if it helps break down whatever’s sticking in your teeth.
If all else fails, call your dentist.
Keep in mind, if you can’t get the food out – you don’t want to let it stuck between your teeth for too long, otherwise it could contribute to bacteria in your mouth – which isn’t great for preventing cavities. If you live in the Downey, California area and nothing you do seems to get the stuck food or object out of your teeth. It might be worth giving My Downey Family Dentist a call!