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It’s a relatively common experience to bite into a tough piece of food and have a fragment or fiber get stuck between your teeth. This is more common with foods like hard nuts, fruit peels, beef jerky and other tough cuts of meat.

Most of the time a little tongue play, or a swish of your beverage is sufficient for freeing the offending time. Yet there are other times when something becomes stubbornly lodged between your teeth or partially wedged in your gumline.

Even if you are experiencing pressure and discomfort from the item a patient approach is essential for safely removing it.

Sometimes a vigorous rinse your mouth vigorously with a little lukewarm saltwater can dislodge the object. Even if it doesn’t come free, the act of rinsing might remove other food material from the area to give you a better view.

You should never use toothpicks or some other type of pointed tool to pry the object loose. This could potentially cause harm to your gums or even chip one of your teeth.

The next thing to try is waxed dental floss. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide gently between teeth to worked around the stubborn piece of food. You should never try to force the dental floss into place, as this could drive the object further in, or potentially harm your gums.

Instead you might want to try using a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss to help you work at the item from a different position.

If you still cannot safely remove the object from between your teeth, you can call 407-293-3002 to speak a staff member at Classic Smiles’s Ocoee, Florida, clinic, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Susanne Baaqee.