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It’s not uncommon to get a small piece of food stuck between your teeth when you eat. In most cases, it comes free on its own. However, there are other times when you might get a tough piece of food, like a meat fiber or popcorn hull, uncomfortably stuck in your teeth. To help safely remove it, your dentist, Dr. Michael O'Neill, offers these basic insights.

Even if you’re experiencing discomfort, pressure or pain, you need to keep a level head. You should never try to use toothpicks or any kind of sharp, pointed tool to pry it out. This could potentially chip your teeth and severely wound your gums.

Waxed dental floss is the first thing you should reach for. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easier between teeth to work around the lodged food particle. Try not to force the floss into place as this could also injure your gums. If you have one on hand, a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss can help you work the strand from a different angle.

You could also try using an oral irrigator or dental water jet device. The concentrated stream of water could wash away the food particle without any undue pressure. Sometimes it can even clear debris that is holding the piece of food in place.

We invite you to call Wildwood Family & Cosmetic Dentistry today if you need extra help removing an especially stubborn piece of food. At our office, the food can be removed professionally. Your dentist in Toledo, Ohio, is happy to help you!