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It’s common to have a small piece of food, like meat fibers, popcorn hulls, fruit peels and even seeds, to become lodged between your teeth while you’re eating. In most cases, these food particles can be cleared away by brushing, flossing and rinsing. However, there are times when a food particle can become stubbornly lodged between your teeth, causing pressure, discomfort and even pain.

First, you should try to vigorously rinse the area with lukewarm saltwater. This might help dislodge the food particle on your own. At the very least it will wash away any lingering food particles to give you a better view of the area.

If the piece of food is still stuck, you shouldn’t attempt to use toothpicks or sharp, pointed tools to pry the object loose. This could injure your gums or even damage your teeth.

Waxed dental floss is the ideal tool for clearing the object from between your teeth. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easier between teeth to work around the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place because it could seriously injure your gums.

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

If the object is still lodged between your teeth, you should call Cory Williams, DDS at 910-763-1072 to set up an appointment with Dr. Cory Williams to have it professionally removed. Your dentist in Wilmington, North Carolina, is happy to help you!