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There are certain foods like a popcorn hull, meat fibers, seeds, and fruit peels that can get stubbornly stuck between your teeth. In some cases, these things food particles can even become lodged in the gum line. When this happens it can cause pressure, discomfort and sometimes even pain. Even if you are in distress, you need to keep a cool head. Acting rashly can sometimes turned a minor problem into something more significant.

First off, you should never try to use toothpicks or any kind of sharp, pointed tool to pry it loose. This could injure your gums or damage the neighboring teeth.

The item to reach for is a strand of waxed dental floss. 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.

You could also try a floss threader loaded with wax coated floss to work at the object from a different position. Sometimes a dental fountain or oral water jet can loosen the object. Sometimes a vigorous rinse with lukewarm salt water is enough to wash the object between your teeth loose, or to alter its position enough that waxed floss can finally pry it loose.

If you still can’t easily remove the object you can call Andrew Henritze DDS at (540) 989-6600 for advice or to schedule an appointment.