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If you have a bad habit of nibbling on foreign objects, biting your nails or improvising your teeth to replace simple tools, there is a chance of a piece could break off and become painfully stuck between your teeth. Should this befall you, it’s important to keep a level head and not let the distress prompt you into rash behavior.

To help you safely extract the object, the dentists at Hansen Dental Care’s Pasadena, California clinic offer the following tips.

Waxed dental floss is the first thing you should reach for. The thin waxy layer on the strand allows it to slide easier between teeth to worked around the object. It’s important that you don’t force the floss or snap it between the teeth. This could drive the object towards your gums or cause additional harm. If you have one on hand a floss threader loaded with waxed dental floss can help you work the strand at a different angle.

A water flosser like Waterpik® might also help. The concentrated stream of water these devices create could help loosen the object from between your teeth. Sometimes it can even clear debris that is helping to hold the piece of food in place.

If you live in the Pasadena, California area and these measures have failed to remove the offending item from your teeth, you can always call 626-793-2273 to have it professionally extracted at Hansen Dental Care’s clinic.