Objects getting stuck in between teeth is one of the common dental emergencies experienced. This can be caused by various actions such as eating crunchy foods, biting foreign objects mixed in the food or chewing on non-food items such as a toothpick or a toy. This may cause pain, inflammation, and even injury to the teeth or surrounding gums. Below, see what you should and shouldn't do in such a scenario if you or your child is affected.     

The don'ts:   

Don't poke at the stuck object A common response when something gets stuck in between the teeth is to try and remove it using another object. This should be avoided because it can cause more damage to the area. The item being used to dislodge the object may end up pushing it deeper in between the teeth. It may also get stuck as well or cause injury to the gums around the teeth.

If its sharp, don't try to move it If the object that has gotten stuck in between the teeth is sharp, e.g. glass or a piece of thin plastic, take caution not to try and move it around. Prodding it around may cause it to injure your gums or tongue and cause a fresh cut(s) which may them cause an infection.

Don't eat or chew on anything Thirdly, don't eat, chew or bite on anything while you still have the lodged object in between your teeth. Doing so can widen the gap between the affected teeth and drive the stuck item further down where it's more difficult to extract. It could also cause teeth cracking due to the pressure applied on the affected teeth.

The dos:

Swirl water in mouth to remove loose objects Swirl some water in your mouth. This may dislodge the object safely if it's not firmly held in place.

Brush to try and remove the object Instead of using hard objects to try and remove the stuck object, brush your teeth instead. As you do so, try to use the toothbrush to gently brush the object out.

Place a piece of cloth or gauze over the area as you seek treatment If the lodged item is sharp, cover the area with a piece of cotton gauze or clean cloth to protect your mouth and tongue from cuts.

See an emergency dentist immediately If the object does not come off on its own immediately, you're in pain or are bleeding, see an emergency dentist immediately. They will safely extract the stuck object using safe methods and offer treatment for any pain or injury caused.

If there are any complications after removing the stuck object on your own, seek the consult of your dentist. They may ask you to come in for an examination to determine if you need any treatment carried out.