How to Avoid Food Getting Stuck in Your Teeth

Food getting stuck in the little hard-to-reach places in our teeth — it happens to the best of us. Oftentimes, food can get wedged into the space between teeth or even into the deep grooves of a molar. What may seem like a harmless annoyance can actually be quite harmful if left alone.

Food particles left on teeth feed the bacteria in our mouth. When there is an abundance of food, bacteria produce acid from digestion. This acid then eats away at enamel and causes tooth decay. This is why it is so important to clear your teeth when food gets stuck. This way, bacteria have nothing to feed on.

Tips to avoid getting food stuck between your teeth

Rinse after eating

To immediately dislodge any food after eating, try swishing water around the mouth. Usually, the longer food is stuck between your teeth, the harder it becomes to remove it. Swishing right when you feel food in your teeth is important in getting it out right away before it can be packed deeper.

Brush after every meal

Stubborn food particles may need a little extra push to be loosened from teeth. If swishing does not do the trick, brush teeth gently after finishing a meal. Flossing is another great way to get the food out if you know exactly where it is stuck.

Avoid these foods

Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and any fruit or vegetable with small seeds will likely leave you with those seeds tucked securely in the grooves of your back molars. Popcorn is another pesky food that makes its home in your teeth.

The kernels from popped corn are curved and rigid, which means they often fit perfectly around a tooth at the gumline. These can be a little trickier to remove.

If you must eat these foods, try to use your tongue to loosen any seeds or kernels that might get stuck. The tongue should always be the first defense in getting food out of teeth.

Bring flossers with you

Instead of using the classic toothpick to dislodge food from teeth, try to always carry a single-use flossing utensil with you. These flossers are usually made from plastic and have a small amount of floss strung through one side, and a small pick on the other. These plastic flossers are sturdier than wood, while toothpicks can break up into small splinters and injure gums.

Consider aligners

When food gets stuck between the same teeth every time, aligning the bite may be the best option. Teeth that are even slightly apart create a small space between them where food can easily get caught. Subsequently, these teeth are much more prone to tooth decay since this space is harder to clean and more frequently comes into contact with particles. Whether this gap happened over time or if you have always had it, bringing your teeth closer together will ensure a healthier bite.

Fix damaged teeth right away

Cavities and cracked teeth can invite food into these tiny formed crevices. Bring these teeth to the attention of your dentist if you are aware of any areas where food is repeatedly getting stuck. This could mean damage has occurred without your knowledge.

Once the teeth are repaired and sealed, food will no longer be able to make its way into these small holes.

The bottom line

Remember, if there is food constantly getting stuck in a certain spot in the mouth, it may be time to visit the dentist. Otherwise, always try to have a flosser on you and swish water after meals to avoid getting food stuck in your teeth.

Request an appointment here: or call McCarthy Dentistry at (740) 546-5178 for an appointment in our Marietta office.

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