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Some hard and tough foods have strong fibers running through them, or a tough shell. This is often the case with beef jerky, popcorn hulls, certain fruit peels, and seeds. When you bite down on them it’s possible for a piece to become uncomfortably stuck between your teeth.

In a situation like this it’s important to keep a cool head. Acting rashly could potentially cause undue harm to your teeth or gums.

The first thing to do is rinse your mouth vigorously with a little lukewarm saltwater. This might help to dislodge the object on its own. Even if it fails to free the food particle it can still help wash away any debris to give you a better look at the problem. If you have a water flosser on hand it might also help clear the area.

You should never use toothpicks or any other kind of pointed tool to pry the object loose. This could injure your gums or even chip one of the nearby teeth.

If these measures fail you should try to gently floss the object free with a little 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. A floss threader loaded might also help you work at it from a different position.

If you live in the Independence, Missouri, area and you are struggling to remove something from your teeth or gums, you should call 816-569-9800 to schedule an appointment at Truman Village Family Dental.