The Right Way to Remove Trapped Food From Between Teeth

Your dentist in Owensboro and Beaver Dam, KY emphasizes the importance of brushing and flossing after meals. Small particles of food can easily get stuck in between teeth, leading to the buildup of harmful bacteria, plaque and more. Those with narrow spaces in between teeth are more likely to struggle with trapped food particles, but everyone eventually encounters this issue.

Don’t Use Fingers to Remove Trapped Food

Sometimes people—especially women who have longer nails—will try to remove trapped food using their fingernails. This isn’t a good idea because you’re more likely to push the food further in, where it’s even harder to remove. Or, you may break up the particle and remove only the largest piece, leaving smaller particles behind. Finally, you could inadvertently spread germs around your mouth, using fingernails that are now contaminated with old food particles.

Toothpicks Work

Instead, try using a toothpick to loosen stuck food particles. The caveat is that you need to use a gentle touch. Take care not to poke at the gums, since this will cause pain and/or bleeding. Use several toothpicks, discarding used ones and always using a clean tip. Also, if you have inflamed gum tissue, don’t use a toothpick at all.

Oil Pulling Works

Another safe way to remove trapped food particles is to practice oil pulling after brushing and flossing. Swish a small amount of coconut oil around your mouth and gently “pull” the oil between teeth. The oil lubricates the teeth so the particles can’t stick to teeth, and the gentle pressure releases the food debris so you can spit it into the sink.

Make sure you visit your Beaver Dam and Owensboro, KY dentist at least every six months for a thorough cleaning that will remove any food debris and/or plaque build-up.

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