How to Remove Floss Trapped Between Teeth

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Removing floss trapped between your teeth is something that requires a certain amount of care and caution. Remove floss trapped between your teeth with help from a dentist and chief clinical director in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Caring for Your Teeth
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Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Dr. Cindy Roark, chief clinical director of Coast Dental. Today, I’m going to talk about removing floss trapped between the teeth. This is common, but it’s not normal. If floss is getting stuck between two teeth, then it’s usually a sign of one of two things. First, you may need higher quality floss. Many people prefer using waxed floss, because it tends to glide smoothly between teeth. The second reason? The floss is getting caught on something. It could be that you have a large piece of plaque there, or you may have braces and the floss is getting caught on one of the brackets. Or, there could be a problem with the actual tooth. Maybe decay has created a rough surface, or a filling’s no longer seated correctly. Another possibility is if the tooth has a crown on it. If the crown’s not fitted snugly to the tooth, there’s a small gap, and it could catch the floss. Here’s how you remove a piece of floss that’s trapped between two teeth: First, try to wiggle it toward the gum line. There’s usually a slightly larger opening between the tooth and the gum than there is between two teeth, and you may be able to pull it through that opening. If it seems to be caught on something like the bracket of your braces, use tweezers to gently release the floss and pull it out. But, if you feel any pressure on the orthodontic bracket, stop immediately and make sure you see your orthodontist. There are some steps you can take to be proactive as well. As I mentioned, you can buy a higher quality floss that will glide more smoothly. You can also purchase floss threaders and keep them on hand. These work wonders when you have a lot of fillings and crowns. Floss threaders are cheap, and you can buy them at most any drugstore. To use a floss threader, you thread it just like you would a needle, and then you insert the floss threader beneath the piece of floss that’s stuck, and pull both ends of the threaded piece toward the top. If the floss is getting stuck regularly, call your dentist. He or she can examine your teeth and make sure there aren’t any problems that need to be treated. Thank you for watching. I’m Dr. Cindy Roark with Coast Dental.

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