Nothing is more annoying than having a piece of food stuck in your teeth. Although it may only seem like a nuisance, if you’re unable to remove an object stuck between your teeth, it can lead to a dental emergency. If you can’t free the foreign material, don’t panic! Here are 7 tips to help you get the trapped object out to prevent an unplanned trip to your dentist.
1. Calm down and assess the situation.
If you can’t immediately get food or an object from your teeth, panic can quickly set in; however, it’s best to remain calm. Remember, although it might be stressful, it isn’t a life-threatening situation. Take a minute to assess the problem at hand, so you can think clearly about a solution.
2. Never use sharp or metal objects.
If pushing the object with your tongue doesn’t free it, you might be tempted to reach for tweezers, pliers, a needle, or another sharp tool, but this is never a good idea. It’s easy to accidentally cause an injury to your gums or teeth.
3. Control any bleeding.
If there’s any bleeding, rinse your mouth with lukewarm water to rinse away any blood to get a better view of the problem. It will also soothe any discomfort to make it easier to extract the object.
4. Use waxed dental floss.
There are many types of floss on the market, but waxed products are often better for removing something stuck between teeth. Wax adds lubrication to make it easier to dislodge. While trying to get it out, don’t apply too much pressure to avoid causing injury to your gum tissue. You may need to try flossing several times before you’re successful.
5. Try a water flosser.
If traditional floss wasn’t effective, it might be time to try a water flosser if you have one on hand. A water flosser uses pressure to clean between the teeth.
6. Use a toothpick.
A toothpick can sometimes slide between two teeth to remove trapped food, but you’ll need to be careful. Push firmly and slowly between the little spaces of two teeth to get it unstuck and then rinse your mouth with warm water.
7. Contact your dentist.
If you weren’t successful in removing the object at home, it’s time to contact your dentist. It’s tempting to wait to see if it will come out on its own, but delaying care can lead to additional complications. It’s best to have the issue resolved quickly to preserve your smile.
If you have something caught between your teeth, you might need the help of a professional. Your dentist has the solutions to fix the problem, so you can get back to focusing on more important matters.
About Dr. J. Travis Kobza
Dr. Kobza earned his dental degree at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is a member of various dental organizations, including the American Dental Association. As an award-winning dentist, you can feel confident your smile is in good hands. If you need an emergency dentist, contact our office today for an appointment.