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There are certain foods, like popcorn hulls, meat fibers, seeds, and fruit peels, that can get stuck between your teeth. In some cases, these food particles can even become lodged in the gum line. When this happens, it can cause pressure, discomfort and sometimes even pain. Even if you are in distress, you need to keep a cool head. Acting rashly can sometimes turn a minor problem into something more significant.

In a situation like this, your dentist, Dr. Trent Pryor, advises you to consider these first-aid options.

You should never try to use a toothpick or a sharp, pointed tool to pry it loose. This could injure your gums or damage the neighboring teeth.

Waxed dental floss is the first tool you should reach for. The waxy coating on the strand allows it to slide easily between the teeth so you can work around the foreign object. You should never force the floss into place because it could seriously injure your gums.

You might also want to try using a floss threader that is loaded with wax-coated floss to work at the object from a different position. If you own a dental fountain or oral water jet, it might be able loosen the object.

If you still can’t easily remove the object, you can call St. George Kids Dental at 435-673-3490 to have it professionally removed. Your dentist in St. George, Utah, will be happy to help you!