Posted .

While it’s quite common for food particles and tough meat fibers to get stuck between your teeth when you are eating, there are times when a foreign object can pose a serious threat, or even cause pressure and discomfort. This is even more likely if you have a bad habit of chewing on objects like pens, pencils or your fingernails.

If a foreign object gets stuck between your teeth, your dentist, Dr. Tyler Carlson, offers key tips to help you remove it safely.

Please keep in mind that even if you are in distress, you need to keep calm. Acting impulsively can sometimes turn an uncomfortable problem into a serious oral emergency.

You should never try to use toothpicks or any kind of sharp, pointed tool to pry the stuck object loose. This could injure your gums and damage the neighboring teeth.

The item to reach for is a strand of waxed dental floss. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easily between the teeth to loosen the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place because it could seriously injure your gums.

You could also try using a floss threader that is loaded with wax-coated floss to loosen the object from a different position. Sometimes a dental fountain or oral water jet can loosen the object. Other times a vigorous rinse with lukewarm saltwater is enough to wash the object loose or to alter its position enough so waxed floss can finally pry it out.

If you still can’t easily remove the foreign object from between your teeth, you should call White Mountain Dental at 307-362-2220 to have it professionally removed. Your dentist in Rock Springs, Wyoming, is happy to help you!