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Getting a meat fiber, popcorn hull or stray sesame seed stuck between two of your teeth is rarely a cause for concern. At most it usually only causes moderate discomfort. Many times, the offending food particle can be loosened by your tongue or a quick swish of your beverage.

There are some rarer instances when a hard piece of food or other foreign matter can become stubbornly and uncomfortably lodged between your teeth. In a situation like this, it’s important to keep a level head and not let the distress prompt you into rash behavior. To help you safely extract the piece of food, Dr. Barry LeJeune and the specialists at his Hampton, Virginia, clinic offer the following tips.

Waxed dental floss is the first thing you should use. The thin, waxy layer on the strand allows it to slide easier between teeth to work around the lodged food particle. Try not to force the floss or snap it between the teeth as this could also injure your gums. If you have one on hand, a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss can help you work the strand from a different angle.

If you have a dental water jet device like Waterpik®, that might also help. The concentrated stream of water this device creates could wear away or wash away the food particle without any undue pressure. Sometimes it can even clear debris that is helping hold the piece of food in place.

If you live in the Hampton, Virginia, area and these measures have failed to remove the offending item from your teeth, you can always call (757) 827-9114 to seek professional assistance at our dental office.