Getting food stuck in teeth somewhere a toothpick isn't easily accessible (i.e. while on a dinner date with your cute valentine) is super less than awesome. Fortunately, I've scouted out all the best ways to get food out of your teeth without a toothpick so you can sneakily tug out that stubborn speck of parsley. And remember, the fear of getting food stuck in your teeth should never limit what you actually decide to order at a fun restaurant! If the salad with tons of shredded veggies that will wreck your smile looks good, just get it and read on (in case something does get stuck!).
In a way, getting something stuck in your teeth could be a good thing because then you get to see how your date reacts. If they kindly point out a lodged piece of broccoli and offer a napkin or to help pick it out, I say total keeper. But if they act all judge-y and grossed out, you may not want to set up date #2 after all. No one has time for that!
For those moments when you just can't freaking locate a toothpick anywhere, check out the strategies below to make your pearly whites nice and spotless.
1. Carry Floss
It is so, so easy to always keep floss in your bag because you never know when you're going to need it! If you don't already do this, stop and buy some floss ASAP and thank me later. If you're trying to floss somewhere quickly (perhaps between subway stops or in an Uber), Legacy Dental advises tying "a knot in your floss and carefully place the floss between your teeth and pull the knot through gently" for extra stubborn food.
2. Eat Crunchy Veggies
Ordering the crudite platter is not only a good idea for your health. Turns out, those veggies act as an edible toothbrush and can scrub away food bits caught in tricky places.
3. Drink Water
Sometimes hardcore swishing and spitting water in the bathroom is all you need to do to clear out your teeth.
4. Use A Soda Straw
According to some bold Reddit users, you can pinch together a soda straw until it resembles a long, flat toothpick and then go to town.
5. Opt For A Fork
One of my favorite strategies for lodging annoying food pieces is sneaking off to a restaurant bathroom with my fork. I'm sure the other women in the bathroom are probably like "WTF even," but it works! #NoShame
6. Fold Some Paper
Another Reddit tip, some users suggested taking a piece of paper (you could rip a piece from your planner or journal!) and folding the tip into a little triangle that will then work sort of like a makeshift toothpick.
7. Use Your Nails
One of my best friends swears by this strategy: Bite your nails and then use one of the pieces as a toothpick. You could also just pick your teeth with your nails, if you have particularly pointy talons! Of course, this all totally grosses me out and I definitely do not advise biting or breaking your nails, but her teeth are always spotless so there's gotta be some truth to it!
Want more style tips? Check out the video below, and be sure to subscribe to Bustle’s YouTube page for more hacks and tricks!