A food trap is a space in your teeth where food can get stuck while eating. These can be noticeable and annoying or subtle and hidden where you don’t even know they’re there. While food traps can happen to anyone, you’re more likely to have them if your teeth are crooked, crowded, or misaligned. That’s where we come in! At Feil Orthodontics, there are several ways to address food traps, including treatment with clear aligners. Let’s explore the effects of food traps and how our team can help you avoid them.
The side effects of food traps
There’s typically nothing to worry about if food gets stuck between your teeth, but if it happens often and goes unnoticed, you can face serious side effects. If food particles are constantly building up between your teeth, more bacteria will accumulate. Bacteria increase your chances of developing cavities and gum disease.
As bacteria build up, your body will start to send more blood to the area to fight off the bacteria, which can cause swelling, redness, and bleeding when you brush. Left untreated, you may experience bone loss and gum recession.
Causes of food traps
Several things can cause food traps, including:
- Gaps between your teeth: Ideally, your teeth grow side by side with limited space between them, reducing the risk of food getting caught. However, teeth aren’t always perfect, so gaps between your teeth provide the perfect trap for food.
- Teeth grinding: If you grind your teeth, you increase wear and tear on your teeth which can create food traps.
- Teeth alignment: Improper alignment of the teeth can make all kinds of nooks and crannies where food can get trapped.
- Cavities: The hole can make a food trap if cavities form between your teeth. This can cause a cavity on the neighboring tooth due to more bacteria and debris.
- Damaged teeth: Teeth that are broken or chipped have little holes and pockets where food can get trapped. Jagged edges and pits also make it easier for food to get caught.
- Receding gums and pockets: If you have receding gums or deep pockets in your gums, food debris can build up in the spaces. Periodontal pockets create openings around the teeth under the gum line. They are common gum disease symptoms and can lead to severe infections when left untreated.
- Tooth supra-eruption: If your teeth emerge too far above the gumline from the jawbone, your root is exposed. This area of the tooth is more vulnerable to decay, affecting how securely your tooth fits in the bone.
- Impacted teeth: If you have a tooth that doesn’t fully emerge from your gums, this can lead to food traps. This is common among people whose wisdom teeth don’t erupt.
- Partially erupted teeth: If a tooth is only partially erupted, it can create food traps around the gums.
- Poorly shaped restorations: If you have restorations in your mouth that were not shaped or performed correctly, it can easily create a food trap. This is very common in cases where the restoration is over-contoured or has an overhang.
- Damaged crown or filling: Defects or damage to crowns or fillings allow food to get trapped in or around the tooth and gaps.
Eliminate food traps with clear aligners
There are several options to correct food traps, depending on your unique case. Here at Feil Orthodontics, one of the best ways to treat food traps is by aligning your smile with clear aligners.
With clear aligners, you get a series of clear, custom, removable aligners that fit snugly over your teeth to provide a constant gentle pressure that shifts your teeth. There are no additional food traps since the aligners cover every surface of your teeth.
You’ll need to remove your aligners when you eat or drink anything other than water, so it’s important to be mindful of the food traps we’re treating. Thoroughly brush and floss after every meal and snack to eliminate those pesky food particles that linger after eating. If you can’t brush, rinse your mouth with warm water a few times until you get to your toothbrush.
Learn more about clear aligners with Feil Orthodontics
If you’ve been dealing with cavities, tooth sensitivity, or bad breath, food that’s built up in food traps could be the culprit! Contact our Bismarck, Mandan, or Beulah office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Feil and find the perfect solution for your unique smile.