Are Toothpicks Bad for Your Gums?

Whether it’s some leftover spinach from your salad at lunch or a poppy seed from your bagel at breakfast, food will inevitably get stuck in your teeth. The frequency that this occurs and how you get that food out matters. While it may be easy to grab a toothpick, think twice before using it regularly as a way to remove pesky leftover food in your teeth.

Frequency of Food Getting Stuck in Your Teeth

If food gets stuck in your teeth every once in a while, there’s likely no cause for concern. However, if you are getting food stuck in your teeth on a daily basis, you may need to talk to a dentist. There are a number of reasons you could be dealing with food getting stuck between your teeth. If you have a filling that has broken down or was improperly shaped, food may be susceptible to getting stuck in it. Teeth can also move around and create spaces that weren’t there before. In these cases, you should contact a dental professional as they can help remedy the issue or provide you with the options for how to properly remove the food.

Is it Okay to Use a Toothpick?

The answer is that it’s not your best option and should be avoided if possible. Dental professionals say that if you have nothing else to use and something is stuck in your teeth, using a toothpick very carefully is okay. It’s not ideal and continued use is not suggested. There are multiple reasons why dentists don’t want you using a toothpick to clean your teeth or dislodge some leftover food. Below you will find why it is not advised to use toothpicks.

Breakage: A toothpick is a small piece of wood. With that, it could easily break and get lodged into your gums. The larger problems a toothpick could create is reason enough to opt for another method.

Infection: Most of the time people will pick up a toothpick at the end of a meal out of a community toothpick holder. With everyone’s dirty hands grabbing out of the same container, there is a risk of infection. It could be even worse if you have an open sore or wound in your mouth.

Alternatives to Toothpicks

The best way to remove food from your teeth is with dental floss. Flossing has major benefits for your oral health (and overall health) that it makes sense to use it. It can also hit many of the hard to reach places in your mouth without risking damaging your gums or infection. In addition to dental floss, a healthy oral care routine can keep your mouth clean and free from plaque and other harmful bacteria. It’s important to floss at least once a day, brush at least twice a day, use mouthwash, and attend your regular dental checkups at least every six months. Using a soft bristled brush can help keep your teeth and gums healthy without putting any harmful pressure on them. For those who are unable to floss due to arthritis or any issues with their hands, pre-threaded floss holders can help with this. In addition, flossing properly is important. Between each tooth you will want to create a “C” motion around your tooth to get everything from top to bottom.

Dentists in Hollywood

Glo Modern Dentistryis the number one rated cosmetic dentist office in Hollywood. Dr. Rhonda Kalashois one of the most trusted and highly reputable dentists in the area. She has been trained at one of the nation’s top universities, UCLA. If you need a cleaning or have any dental questions, contact Dr. Rhonda Kalasho and her team at Glo Modern Dentistry today!