Whether it’s a seed from your everything bagel or some spinach from your favorite dip, getting food stuck in your teeth is annoying at best. It always seems to happen at the most inopportune times, like on a romantic date or right before you enter your work meeting. Having food stuck in your teeth may be annoying but if left in your mouth it can create or worsen your dental health.
Food left in your mouth can pack into the area where it’s located and cause bad breath, pain, and lead to swollen gums. Once the food is packed deep, you may not be able to get it out on your own.
Before letting the food stuck in your teeth stay put, try one of the following tips to it out.
1. Carry Floss
Your best bet is to be proactive. If you carry a purse, bag, or backpack, throw in some dental floss. You can find smaller, travel-size options that won’t add any extra weight or burden while you’re out. Again, this is a great option if you are prepared, but keep reading for tips if you are not they Type-A personality that has a full medicine cabinet on deck at any moment.
If you have a toothpick and the food is not lodged in too deep, you should be able to get it out. Again, this is more of a proactive strategy as most people don’t carry around toothpicks. However, if you are at a restaurant they may also have toothpicks available.
It doesn’t have to be just apples, but any fruit or veggie that has an apple-like texture. Apples and veggies are like a natural toothbrush and can scrape away chunks of food stuck in your teeth.
4. Water and a Straw
Grab some water and a straw and point the opening of the straw into your mouth where the food is stuck. Imagine using the straw as a hose to spray out the food stuck in your teeth. If you don’t have a straw, try swishing around water in your mouth especially on the side where the food is stuck in your teeth. This will usually either release the food or loosen it up enough so you can use your fingers to remove the remaining food.
Use your nails (they’ll need to be somewhat long) to get the food out of your teeth. This isn’t the politest option, so head to the restroom and wash your hands before you dive in and use your nails.
If you are not out and about, try flossing and then brushing as you normally would. Use mouthwash in between and swish it around (like you would with water) to see if you can break the food free.
7. Salt and Water Mixture
If you are at home or in a restaurant with salt, create a solution and rinse with it. Again, swish it around your mouth just as you would the water or mouth wash mentioned before. Swish it around for at least 30 seconds. Saltwater is a natural disinfectant and helps aggravated gums.
Emergency Dental Treatment
While these at-home tricks may get the food out of your teeth, there are times when you may need to make an emergency trip to the dentist. Some pains, aches, and issues in your mouth and gums may need to be addressed immediately. Below you will find a number of symptoms for which you should make an emergency appointment with your dentist.
- Loose or Wiggly Teeth. This could be a sign of injury or infection.
- Long-Lasting Tooth Ache. If your teeth are sensitive to touch or temperature for more than a few days, head to the dentist.
- Bleeding Gums. This could be a sign of gum disease.
- Jaw Swelling. This is a sign of infection and usually includes a bad taste in your mouth, fever, and difficulty breathing.
- Pus Around Your Tooth. This is known as an abscess and can cause severe pain.
- Long-Lasting Canker Sores. Canker sores lasting more than two weeks are a sign of a larger problem.
- Teeth are Numb. If you lose feeling in your tooth, there may be nerve issues.
- Metal Taste. If you have an unexplained taste of metal in your mouth, there may be issues with your existing fillings.
If you have food stuck in your teeth and you need professional help, contact Encino Family Dental for an emergency visit. They provide same-day appointments for patients who need to be seen immediately. Encino Family Dental provides a variety of dental services and their team is focused on your immediate and long-term dental health needs.