At Friendly Dentistry in Greensboro, NC our goal is to help all our patients enjoy outstanding oral health. Sometimes something as simple as getting food stuck in your teeth can be the catalyst to bigger oral health issues. As your trusted Greensboro NC dental office, we want to make sure you know what to do if you get food stuck in your teeth to dislodge it.
Some foods are clearly more of a risk than others. Popcorn is a good example of a food that will lead to food stuck in teeth. The unpopped part of the kernels can find their way between your teeth and drive you absolutely mad. Food stuck in teeth is not a good look, and more importantly, it can be the stepping stone to periodontal disease and tooth decay. Even the most healthy teeth can be at risk.
By removing lodged food particles from between your teeth, you’re preventing the germs and bacteria in your mouth from feeding off of sugar that might be breaking down. Always practice healthy oral hygiene to avoid visiting the dentist more than you need to – even though we love seeing you!
You have to get it out, however, there is a right way to get it out and a very wrong way to get it out. If you don’t get the food particles out of your mouth safely, you increase your risk of cavities, bad breath, and more expensive trips to the dentist later. We recommend that you floss and brush your teeth twice a day to remove food, debris, and plaque that builds up throughout the day.
At Friendly Dentistry in Greensboro NC we care about what you do to your teeth and your oral hygiene, so we put together a list of ways to properly remove food stuck in teeth without causing damage. It can be easy to chip a tooth or otherwise injure your teeth when trying to dislodge particles of food if you do things the wrong way.
In some cases, it is best to seek dental care like when the food is lodged in hard-to-reach back teeth or when you have gum health issues and the food is lodged below the gumline. Follow the do’s and don’ts below if you have a healthy mouth. If you have any dental concerns about getting really stuck food in teeth out, we are here to help!
Follow the do’s and don’ts below to dislodge food stuck in teeth. If you experience any pain, please contact our dental office in Greensboro North Carolina and we will get you in to see a dentist ASAP and alleviate your pain. One of our expert dentists can examine your teeth and gums to remove food debris and lingering particles that are causing you oral discomfort.
7 Ways to Get Food Out of Your Teeth Safely
It is important that you take the time to dislodge food stuck in your teeth properly or you may pop out a filling, chip a tooth, or cause other damage. In many cases, just using the saliva in your own mouth can dislodge the food. In other cases toothbrushes and other tools cannot seem to do the trick. Before you do anything else, try to rinse your mouth and see if you can try brushing your teeth. Always be careful to avoid irritating an already inflamed area in your mouth, especially around receding gums.
Please Put That Fork Down
It can be really tempting to use the tine of a fork to try to scrape out the food. Please do not! Instead, use a wooden toothpick, dental pick, or pull out the water flosser. Anything metal should not be used to scrape at your teeth. One slip and you could cut your gums. Injured gums are an invitation for gingivitis. Sensitive gum tissue must be protected from injury. You can also do some serious damage to the enamel on your teeth.
Push Gently with Your Tongue
Your tongue can be a handy tool for dislodging food stuck in teeth – but don’t overdo it. Overworking your tongue can really cause some jaw pain. Your jaw muscles will ache and you could experience a wide range of consequences including TMJ exacerbations, problems chewing, and even some speech pattern issues. Don’t sacrifice the health of your tongue and jaw muscles to dislodge food. Instead, use some warm water or mouthwash and swish it around for a few seconds. That can quickly get the food particles out of your teeth.
Floss, But Be Gentle
At Friendly Dentistry in Greensboro, North Carolina, we know that we preach flossing your teeth all the time and badger our patients to make sure they are flossing. But we have to say it, don’t drag floss with force over food particles stuck in your teeth. We know it can be tempting to just rip that floss through when the pieces are really lodged in there but you can do more damage by tugging too hard and lodging the food even further down below the gum line. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to flossing to remove food. Slowly pull the floss through, if it does not work, then switch to a floss pick and see if that helps. Protect your gums from harsh treatment.
Eat Crunchy Food
Crunchy veggies are a great way to get rid of unwanted leftovers stuck in your teeth. Eating crunchy vegetables gives your teeth a real workout and can help to dislodge food that is stuck between your teeth. Who knew that something good for you was useful also? Crunchy vegetables (think carrot sticks) act like a natural, edible toothbrush.
The Toothpick Trick
This is a trick that may work but do it carefully. Take a wooden toothpick and gently slide it between the two teeth where the food is lodged. Push firmly and slowly. Let it sit there stuck in your teeth for a few seconds. This will gently create a little space between the two teeth so you can dislodge the food. Try flossing again. Rinsing with warm water in between flossing can help to move things along. If it does not fully work the first time, try it a second time.
Take a thin piece of paper, fold the corners to create a triangle, and poke the pointed end in between the teeth with food stuck in them. A paper toothpick may do the trick, but be careful if you have sensitive teeth.
If you just can’t seem to get the piece of food free and you’ve tried dental floss, rinsing, brushing, and the toothpick trick – or you have bleeding gums, sensitive teeth, gum recession problems, or another dental problem – you need to get some professional help. Contact us immediately if you have specific concerns such as bleeding and inflammation of the gums caused by periodontal disease.
If you just can’t seem to get the piece of food free