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It’s a rather common occurrence for a small piece of food like meat fibers, popcorn hulls, fruit peels, and even small hard seeds to become lodged between your teeth while you’re eating. While these can usually be cleared away by brushing and rinsing, there are times when a food particle can become stubbornly lodged between your teeth.

The first step is to try to vigorously rinse the area with lukewarm saltwater. This might help to dislodge the food particle on its own. In some situations, it might reorient it to give you a better angle.

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 worked around the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place, as it could seriously 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 the object is still stubbornly lodged between your teeth, you can call Scott R. Adishian, DDS, Inc. at 626-796-3700 for advice or to schedule an appointment to have it professionally removed.