What to Do When You Get Food Stuck Between Your Teeth

Struggling to get that piece of roast beef or popcorn out from between your teeth? Have you dug around with your fingernails to no avail? These quick tips from Clinton Dental Center will help you get that stubborn food out of your smile.

Swish Your Mouth with Water or Mouthwash

Sometimes, all you need is a powerful swish of water to clear the food from between your teeth. Put a swig of water in your mouth and forcefully blow your cheeks in and out. You could do this with mouthwash as well to freshen your breath along the way.

Brush or Floss to Get Food out from Between Your Teeth

If a swish doesn’t get the food out, you could try brushing or flossing your teeth. Use a dental floss pick or strong floss to wriggle between your teeth and gently nudge the food out. If you’re going to use a toothpick, be careful not to poke the food further into your gums. This may make it more difficult to get out.

Follow up your brushing and flossing with a quick rinse to clear any remaining food from your smile.  

When to See a Dentist for Stuck Food

There are times when your dentist may need to step in for assistance. If the food is lodged in between your gums and teeth, you may not be able to remove it with floss alone. This is common for popcorn shells because they are thin and flexible.

What you don’t want to do is leave the food in long enough that it becomes inflamed or decays your teeth. Tooth-decaying bacteria will feed on that food as long as it’s in your smile, which can lead to cavities or tooth loss.

If it feels painful to remove the food, don’t risk it. Contact your dentist at your earliest convenience to get that taken care of. Be aware of which foods get caught in your smile more than others, and avoid anything that creates a persistent problem.

Clinton Dental Center offers comprehensive oral care for the whole family. Contact us at (586) 949-5363 to schedule an appointment with a family dentist in Michigan.