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Been getting very paranoid about food getting stuck in teeth



Well-known member
Sep 25, 2019
Brief continuation from here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/f...y-anxious-about-the-future-of-my-teeth.27642/ (just so you know the base condition of my mouth)

I am getting very paranoid now about food getting stuck in between my teeth. Like is flossing once a day even enough? I am currently flossing after every meal, and every time a bit amount of food stuff comes out. I don't think i can keep flossing after every meal regularly, going forward (i will probably forget eventually), but knowing that every time i eat something will remain stuck in teeth is scary? Is that normal?

Most resources reccomend to floss once a day... but what happens then with that food stuff that i see flossing take out, with the other two daily meals after i do not floss? I do not think that mouthwash/saliva/water is enough to clean it?

Also do toothbrushes even help remineralize in between teeth? The brushy things don't seem to ever enter the in between?

I apologize if these might be dumb questions, but I've been super scared these past few days, and my brain can't stop thinking about any little thing that might be going wrong with my teeth. I have to put a lot of effort just to force myself to eat, because eating just makes me scared now.
Flossing after every meal is total overkill.

Let's try and break this down a bit. There are 2 kinds of dental disease, decay of the hard tissues and gum disease.
Hard tissue decay is mostly down to diet, tooth brushing/flossing is pretty much irrelevant within reason. Not snacking between meals and not sipping drinks all day (apart from water) will pretty much prevent decay.

Gum disease needs plaque to be left in place long enough to provoke the damaging response from the gum tissues, this appears to take some time, probably about a week (but less is better obviously).

Removing the plaque daily should be easily enough to prevent the response from starting. Brushing twice a day to be certain of not missing anything and flossing once daily should prevent gum disease in 99% of people.
Hello, I came on here to ask similar questions and found this thread..

I had all 4 wisdom teeth out about 4 months ago, and have just recently started noticing that gaps between my back teeth appear to be (but may not necessarily be) widening- could shifting of teeth after extraction have caused this? I’ve gone from barely getting floss in there to easily getting interdental brushes in (albeit the smallest sizes). I also had 3 fillings there at the same time (only 4 months ago) so surely the gaps aren’t cavities/decay? The gaps are also on the other side where I had no fillings, just fissure sealants. It’s possible I just never noticed the gaps before.

Similarly to Elaine, whenever I brush/floss, there’s always bits of food being dislodged. So should I definitely not be racing for the interdental brush after each meal? Like Elaine says, I don’t know that this would be sustainable. Can my teeth be ok if I just brush twice a day and put the interdental brush in once a day? And should I put toothpaste on the interdental brush?

Thank you so much Elaine for this thread and your other one, I could almost have written both (except that I only had 3 fillings). I’ve also had anxiety and depression issues related to deep fear surrounding my teeth and dental procedures. It had settled down for a couple of months, but now the fear and anxiety have reignited in the last week or so. I’ve really appreciated the support I’ve received on here.
Thanks so much to everyone for their help!
You're going to be okay.

It is natural/normal/healthy to have anxiety about getting food stuck in our teeth/gums. If untreated, it can get scary and painful. Dr. Google (beware!) has horror stories of abscesses, but no one I know has ever had it go that awry.

Fortunately, food in teeth/gums rarely gets that bad, especially if we are vigilant and take prompt action.

Here is my recent story of this worst case scenario: Late on a Thursday night, I realized I had food stuck in my teeth right before a long weekend (ie no dentists would be open Monday).

Besides my little story, happy ending included, if you are concerned/motivated enough, I encourage you to go to a periodontist for a tutorial on flossing. Doing so really changed my dental life. I wish I had known about periodontists years ago. They're real experts on food in teeth/gums.
Thanks so much, great to have some reassurance. Since having to go under GA for dental procedures, I’ve lost a lot of confidence in my body in general, and especially my mouth, which has given me a lot of anxiety even though the surgery went really well. I’m hyper aware and constantly worrying. I was seeing a psychologist, but can no longer afford to so am trying to just get through this. This forum has been very helpful.
You don't need to put paste on interdental brushes btw Laura.
You might notice a slight change in the contact areas of your molars following the wisdom teeth removal, but it won't be an issue.
Personally I'd get a hygienist to show how to floss, paying a periodontist for it is a bit excessive.
I check my teeth after eating, mainly because I am paranoid about going to teach my next class with bits of lunch stuck in them! I keep a pack of tepe brushes in my desk drawer, and use them if I have had something “bitty” - might that be a reasonable compromise? I floss properly at night after my evening meal, use mouthwash to rinse, then brush before bed.