I often get into this problem, whenever I have lunch or dinner somethings get stuck either between the teeth or teeth and gums. At times I will be at home then I can use brush to remove but when I am outside I cant use that, but using toothpicks will loosen the teeth joints so was wondering if there is anyway to do this correctly.

  • 5
    Why can't you take a brush in your pocket and visit the bathroom to clean your teeth? Jan 2, 2020 at 20:02
  • 7
    Did you try floss?
    – GC 13
    Jan 2, 2020 at 21:08
  • 1
    @WeatherVane recent studies suggest we must not brush a lot and also its difficult to carry brush everywhere. Jan 3, 2020 at 3:05
  • 1
    Then I don't get the question: from the comments you don't seem able to clean your teeth at all. Jan 3, 2020 at 7:46
  • 3
    @GokulKulkarni What studies are you referring too? Toothpicks won't "loosen" your teeth. Also, why can't you just floss? Jan 3, 2020 at 17:52

2 Answers 2


You may be able to find these in your country:

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I've always known them to be called flossers but worldwide naming may vary. If you're bothered about encouraging companies to produce even more plastic that the planet would be better off without you can buy a reusable handle for regular floss:

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A variety of devices exist that will blast a water or air jet between your teeth to remove stuck food:

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These are significantly less portable than the options above, but potentially kinder to your gums, which does appear to be a concern

Don't forget that you can also get travel toothbrushes where the case of the brush forms the handle when the brush is assembled. They can be loaded with toothpaste and then case closed until you need to use them, so you don't have to carry separate paste, and can be quite compact/discreet:

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It may be worth mentioning Interdental Brushes; a fairly worldwide available product that comprises a tiny twisted wire with short bristles. While you might have similar reservations to them as you do toothpicks, they come in very small sizes(thicknesses) and can be bent/shaped so they angle well between the teeth so they may work more effectively for you:

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In terms of a life hack solution for this, quite often I've ended up with something stuck in my teeth and not had any floss available. In those situations a small rubber band stretched taut can work well. I've also used a strip of plastic cut from a shopping bag; you tend to find that plastic bags will stretch out and become quite thin but remain strong when pulled in a certain direction. This stretched plastic is slim enough to be folded or twisted a little and used as dental floss. Not all plastic bags are suitable - really thin ones like nappy bags run the risk of a fragment of bag snagging where your teeth are close and you can end up with a bit of bag stuck, possibly being more annoying than a bit of food. Over time, you'll get a feel for what's a good plastic to use and what isn't :)

If you do overcome your aversion to toothpicks*, cocktail sticks can occasionally be used to loosen stuck food. I've also been desperate enough to sharpen a matchstick by slicing a wedge off it at an angle before now, but that usually necessitates carrying a knife, which may not be appropriate for you

* I never heard of toothpicks successfully being used to loosen teeth to the point they fall out; teeth are not mounted directly into the bone of your jaw so they aren't absolutely rigid (and for good reason as it helps them withstand impact without breaking). If you do work them sufficiently that they feel loose, they will firm up again

  • Great wind-up to your post. I especially like the hacks in your last two paragraphs.
    – Stan
    Jan 3, 2020 at 19:02
  • Thanks Stan! It's not the most civilized looking thing to do of course, flossing with a rubber band, but the good thing is they're a fairly easy item to carry innocuously around your wrist. I've even known people to use a few strands of their hair, but I don't think it's a regular thing :)
    – Caius Jard
    Jan 3, 2020 at 20:31

Maybe try GUM dental picks? They are soft and you could carry one with you. I use then to clean out the charging port on my phone but they are designed for teeth![enter image description here]1


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