Why does food get stuck in my teeth every time I eat, especially in the same place?
People that frequently find food stuck between their teeth may have a partial or full diastema. Simply put, diastemas are gaps or spaces between two teeth. Diastemas do not have to be complete: sometimes two teeth ‘tip’ toward or away from each other. Frequently, they occur between the two upper front teeth; however, diastemas can happen anywhere (Aedit, 2020).
‘Food collects between my upper molars after every meal. I have dental floss in my purse, desk drawer, night stand, and car console- just about everywhere I go.’
Diastemas aren’t the end of the road. In fact, sometimes people with diastemas have no issues at all. On the other hand, diastemas can cause functional issues like trouble controlling food/eating, discomfort/pain, drooling, speech, shifting of the teeth, bleeding gums and even tooth loss.
What should I do if I have a diastema or to prevent teeth gaps?
Regular maintenance is the number one thing you should do if you have gaps between your teeth. “It is possible to prevent diastemas from developing by maintaining the health of the gums and jawbones” (Aedit, 2020). Periodontal diseases can cause bone loss and the shifting/spacing of teeth. Thus, brushing, flossing, and swishing after eating can prevent periodontal disease and further prevent diastemas (AAO, 2020).
Does dental floss cause gaps?
Flossing will not cause diastemas. Improper flossing can cause gum damage, but not directly gaps between teeth. Proper flossing will prevent spaces between teeth by keeping plaque buildup and decay to a minimum. To floss effectively, use 18 inches of floss, hold it tight, use new sections between each tooth, move back and forth gently in a C-shape, avoid forcing floss into the gums, and rinse with mouthwash.
Is flossing enough?
Daily oral hygiene will go a long way. Wider floss, also known as dental tape, can be helpful for people with diastemas or bridge work. Frequent and proper flossing technique minimize food between teeth will improve the health of your gums, bone and can even prevent spacing.
Aedit. (2020). Spaced/Misaligned teeth overview – Causes, treatment options, and MORE: AEDIT. Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://aedit.com/concern/spacedmisaligned-teeth
American Association of Orthodontics (AAO). (2020, January 13). Benefits of early orthodontic treatment. Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.aaoinfo.org/blog/is-there-a-benefit-to-early-treatment/
Waters Dental. (2017, February 23). Can flossing Cause gaps between your teeth? Retrieved June 25, 2020, from https://www.watertowerdentalcare.com/blog/2017/02/%25e2%2580%258bcan-flossing-cause-gaps-teeth