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It’s relatively common for a small piece of food to get stuck between two of your teeth. In most cases, this causes little distress and you can rinse it away with your beverage or remove it with a little wiggle of the tongue.

Yet there are other times when a fruit peel, large meat fiber, or stray seed can get uncomfortably stuck between two of your teeth. When this happens, you need to remain calm, even if you’re in distress. There are a few measures you can use to safely remove the object from between your teeth.

The first thing to try is vigorously rinsing the area with lukewarm saltwater. This might help dislodge the food particle on its own. If anything, it could give you a better view of the problem.

You shouldn’t use toothpicks or other pointed tools to pry the object loose. This could injure your gums, damage your teeth, or lead to other complications.

Waxed dental floss is the best tool for clearing the object from between your teeth. The waxy coating allows the strand to slide easier between teeth to work around the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place as it could seriously injure your gums. A floss threader loaded with waxed floss might also help you work at it from a different position.

If you live in the Boerne, Texas, area and you need help removing something stuck between your teeth, you should call 830-443-4352 to have it safely removed by Dr. Chet B. Hawkins at Chet B. Hawkins DDS Inc.