When an object becomes lodged between your teeth, you may wonder which method is most effective for removing it. While some solutions are obvious (i.e., dental floss), you may reach for less desirable and potentially harmful options like a fork or another sharp-edged tool out of convenience. To avoid a potentially dangerous situation that involves a trip to see your emergency dentist in Phillipsburg, here are four tips to remember when dealing with something stuck between your pearly whites.
Reach For Dental Floss
Whether it’s a piece of food or a random object that has lodged itself between your teeth, waxed dental floss will always be your best option. Its ability to easily slide along the edges of your pearly whites makes it a safe and comfortable solution as long as you use it correctly. Pushing or pulling on dental floss can damage your soft oral tissues and shove the object further into your gums, making it increasingly more difficult to remove. If you have trouble, a floss pick or water irrigator can help.
Try Eating Crunchy Vegetables
There is a reason crunchy, hard vegetables are often referred to as edible toothbrushes. When eaten, they can help to dislodge other foods that become stuck between teeth. Carrots, celery, cucumbers, and even broccoli are great when you don’t have a toothbrush nearby. Not to mention, they’re healthy alternatives that positively impact your smile by removing bad odors and stimulating your salivary glands to help remove acid-causing bacteria.
Be Careful with Toothpicks
Everyone has a small canister of toothpicks in their cabinet. While helpful when cooking, they’re mainly used to remove food from your teeth after eating. However, improper use can lead to serious soft tissue damage, which is why you need to be careful when reaching for one. Should you choose to use a toothpick to try and dislodge the object stuck between your teeth, make sure you gently slide it into the appropriate area and slowly, but firmly, push. Then, use dental floss to completely remove the item. Don’t be afraid to rinse with warm water to help soften whatever might be stuck, as this can make the process much easier.
Do Not Use a Fork or Other Hand Tools
How many times have you seen your uncle or brother grab for a fork to pick out food from between their teeth? This is a bad idea that can result in an immediate trip to the emergency dentist’s office. To avoid a soft tissue laceration, chipped or broken tooth, do not use any type of metal to remove something from inside your mouth. If a scrape or cut occurs to your gums, you can become susceptible to bacteria entering the wound and causing gum disease to form.
While a lodged object between your teeth isn’t necessarily a “dental emergency,” keeping these tips in mind will help to better protect your smile while waiting to see your dentist in Phillipsburg.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey DeMartino is a dentist in Phillipsburg who is passionate about helping patients take better care of their smiles. Because dental emergencies can happen anywhere, at any time, he and the team at DeMartino Dental Group will also work to get you in as soon as possible. Always willing to provide helpful tips to use at home in the meantime, Dr. DeMartino will work quickly to alleviate any pain and address underlying issues as soon as you arrive for your appointment. If you are dealing with something stuck between your teeth and need the help of a qualified professional, visit our website or call (908) 859-5260.
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