Toothpicks are commonly offered at restaurants for patrons to use between their teeth. However, these products aren't actually recommended by dentists or the ADA, as they can cause some serious problems for your oral health. Here's what you should do if you were using a toothpick and it's now stuck between your teeth.
Your first urge might be to try and pull the toothpick out. Unfortunately, this is the wrong choice to make.
Once a toothpick is trapped between your teeth, yanking it out could cause damage. Forcing it out between your teeth could rip up the enamel of your teeth or damage your gums. If it comes out too suddenly, it could also stab you in the cheek or even hand. Try to leave it in place if at all possible.
Just because you have a toothpick between your teeth doesn't mean you have to be at risk for getting poked by it. You can prevent this from happening in a few different ways.
One easy way is to use braces wax. This can be wrapped over the two ends of the toothpick, preventing it from hurting you. Another way is to wrap a bit of gauze over the end and then wrap it in medical tape. Just make sure that the tape is tightly wrapped and sealed so that it doesn't come loose in your mouth. If it does, spit it out.
If you're experiencing discomfort, your best bet is to use a topical pain reliever. Trying to swallow pills while you have something stuck between your teeth is a bad idea. It's better to use something that works on contact instead, so that you don't accidentally choke if the toothpick suddenly comes loose.
With the above tips in action, you need to get to an emergency dentist's office. Those who offer emergency dental care services tend to stay open for longer hours than standard dentists, or even all day and night. That makes them perfect to see if you get the toothpick trapped between your teeth at dinner after your normal dentist's office is closed.
Once you're at your dentist's office, they'll examine the situation to find out exactly how the toothpick is stuck. If it's not impacting your gums and there's no evidence of damage to your teeth, they'll remove it and perform a quick cleaning. If there is damage, x-rays may be necessary to find out what's happened to the tooth. Feel free to ask your dentist for breaks if your jaw gets tired due to the toothpick.
Your emergency dentist is here to help you at nearly any time, day or night. If you have an emergency situation like this one, get the help that you need right away instead of waiting.