Why Do I Keep Getting Food Stuck in My Teeth?

food stuck in teeth

Chowing down on some delicious food always feels like a little slice of heaven on Earth. But what to do when your meal ends up stuck in your teeth? If you keep finding food between your teeth after eating, there are a few reasons that could be happening.

Before we jump in, it always pays to discuss any dental issues you’re having with your dentist. If you need to schedule an appointment or would like more information about the dental services offered by the team at Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, contact us below or call us at 1-877-526-3337.

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Why Is Food Stuck in My Teeth?

Often referred to as a food trap, food can become stuck between your teeth for several reasons. Here are some common causes:

  1. Gum Recession: When your gums pull away from your teeth, they create spaces called “black triangles” where food can easily get trapped.
  2. Tooth Decay: Cavities, especially those between teeth, can create spaces where food gets lodged.
  3. Gum Disease: This can cause your gums to recede, increasing the likelihood of food getting stuck.
  4. Misaligned Teeth: Teeth that are not properly aligned can create small gaps where food can become trapped.

How to Fix Food Getting Stuck in Teeth

Regular Flossing: Flossing daily is one of the best ways to remove food particles. Make sure to use proper technique by sliding the floss gently between your teeth and under the gumline without forcing it.

Proper Brushing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles can help you reach tight spaces without damaging your gums.

Interdental Brushes: These small brushes are designed to clean between your teeth where regular brushes can’t reach. They come in various sizes, so you can choose the one that fits best.

Water Flossers: These devices use a stream of water to remove food particles and plaque from between your teeth and below the gumline.

Will Food Stuck in Teeth Eventually Come Out?

Sometimes, food particles will naturally work their way out of your teeth, especially if they are not deeply lodged. However, relying on this is not a good idea. It’s better to take action to remove the food to prevent potential issues like cavities or gum irritation.

How to Get Food Out of a Tooth Cavity

Woman using floss pick

If you have food stuck in a cavity, try these methods:

  1. Floss Carefully: Gently use floss to remove the food without pushing it further into the cavity.
  2. Rinse with Water: Swishing water or a saltwater solution can help dislodge food particles.
  3. Toothpick: Use a toothpick gently to remove food, but be careful not to hurt your gums or further damage the cavity.

Why Does Food Get Stuck in My Teeth as I Get Older?

As you age, your gums may recede, and your teeth can shift, creating more spaces where food can get trapped. Additionally, wear and tear on your teeth over time can create small nooks and crannies that catch food.

How Do I Stop Food from Sticking to My Teeth?

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
  2. Regular Dental Visits: See your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups to catch and fix any issues early.
  3. Avoid Sticky Foods: Foods like caramel and chewing gum are more likely to stick to your teeth. Limiting these can help prevent food traps.

Why Do I Always Feel Like I Have Food Stuck in My Teeth?

This sensation can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Gum Recession: Exposing more of your tooth surface.
  • Cavities: Creating new spaces for food to get stuck.
  • Tight Contacts: Areas where your teeth are very close together.
  • Sensitivity: Sometimes, even small amounts of food can feel more noticeable if your teeth are sensitive.

Is Food Stuck in Teeth an Emergency?

While food stuck in teeth is usually not an emergency, it can lead to discomfort and potentially more serious issues like cavities or gum disease if not addressed. If you can’t remove the food with brushing and flossing, it’s a good idea to see your dentist.

How to Remove Something Stuck in Teeth

  1. Floss: Use floss to gently remove the particle.
  2. Rinse: Swish water or mouthwash to help dislodge the food.
  3. Interdental Brush: Use a small brush designed for cleaning between teeth.
  4. Visit Your Dentist: If you can’t remove the food yourself, your dentist has special tools to safely and effectively remove it.


Food getting stuck in your teeth can be annoying, but there are many ways to prevent and fix this issue. Maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding bad habits, and visiting your dentist regularly can help keep your teeth clean and healthy. If you have persistent problems with food traps, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist for a solution. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with the team at Lane & Associates Family Dentistry, contact us here on our website! You can also call us at 1-877-526-3337 for more information. Here at Lane & Associates, we love to make you smile! Get in touch today and let us help give you the smile you deserve.