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It’s not at all uncommon for a small piece of food to get stuck between your teeth. Sometimes a tough piece of meat, seeds, or fruit peels can get stubbornly wedged in your teeth. This is often uncomfortable and could even cause a little pain.

Even if you’re in discomfort, you will need to keep a cool head, and take your time to safely remove the object from between your teeth. Most of the time you should be able to remove the object from between the teeth yourself.

The first step is to vigorously rinse your mouth with salt water. This might loosen the object on its own, and the salt water can help sooth your gums if they’ve been irritated in the process. Rinsing can also help remove smaller pieces of the object.

If it is still stuck, you should never use toothpicks or sharp tools to try to pry the object loose. This could injure your gums or damage your tooth.

Waxed dental floss is the ideal tool to remove the object. It’s waxy coating allows the strand to slide between teeth easily and can often be worked around the foreign object. Try to avoid snapping the floss into place, which can injure your gums.

A floss threader with wax coated floss can also be handy for working at the object from a different position. Sometimes a dental fountain or oral water jet can loosen debris.

If you still can’t remove the object you can call Dr. Seth C. Conley and Dr. David A. Dickey at 812-663-4400 for advice or to schedule an appointment to have the object professionally removed.