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Awkward Dental Moments and How to Handle Them

awkward dental moments
added on: December 17, 2014

awkward dental moments We’ve all been there. We get home after an important business dinner, change out of our fancy clothes, head to the bathroom to wash our face and brush our teeth, we look in the mirror and… BAM! there it is. A piece of your sauted spinach side dish stuck right in between your two front teeth. You can’t help but slightly panic, “How long has that been there? Did everyone see it? Why didn’t anyone say anything?!” At our dental office in Erdenheim, we’d like to offer you some tips on how to avoid this post-meal worry, along with others, by fixing the problems when they happen.

What to do if There’s Food Stuck in Someone’s Smile

First and foremost, if you notice that one of your dining partners has a piece of food stuck between their teeth, it’s recommended that you politely and discreetly point it out. Nobody likes the feeling of seeing a food particle in their smile when they look in the mirror hours after the meal has ended, wondering why nobody told them. Help your tablemate avoid this fate by silently motioning to your own mouth while making eye contact. This is a great way to make them aware of the problem without causing unnecessary attention. They can then try several tricks to remove it with ease.


  • Swish with water. The active motion of moving water throughout the mouth can help loosen the stuck food particle and wash it away.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Sugarless gum is sticky and can work at removing lingering food just like a lint roller works on eliminating fuzz from fabric.
  • Floss. If floss is available, it’s the best option for removing anything that may get stuck between teeth. However, it’s best not to floss at the table. Politely excuse yourself and head to the restroom.
  • Paper towels. No floss? No problem. The corner of a folded paper towel can also work to unstick a piece of food from between teeth.


No matter which technique you use, never use tools that could damage teeth, gums, or your mouth. Avoid keys, pens, hairpins, wire, tweezers, or similar objects.

What About Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be caused by a variety of things, like a garlic-loaded dinner. When that’s the case, no problem. Just chew a stick of sugarless gum or pop sugarless mint. If neither of these options are available, water can help neutralize the bad breath agents on the tongue. Is bad breath more of a chronic problem, not just post-meals? It could be a sign of something serious and you should visit your dentist in Erdenheim as soon as you can.

With these tips in the back of your head, and a little pre-dinner stop for gum and floss, you’ll be ready to handle any awkward dental moment quickly and with ease.

Serving patients in Erdenheim, Flourtown, Chestnut Hill, and surrounding areas.

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