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Can I Eat Popcorn With Braces?

It is highly recommended that you do not eat popcorn while wearing braces.

As you know, when you chew popcorn, it breaks up into small pieces and can fit into any space between your teeth. This can cause a lot of problems because getting things out of your teeth while having braces can be difficult. If a kernel gets wedged between your teeth it can not only cause discomfort, but it can cause problems with the straightening process as well. 

Once a kernel is stuck, it may take days or even weeks to remove it, leading to severe discomfort over time.


Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

Eating certain foods while you have braces can be a challenge. For example, make sure to avoid the following foods:

  • Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
  • Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice
  • Sticky foods: caramels, gum
  • Hard foods: nuts, hard pretzels
  • Sugary food: candy
  • Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots

At first glance, this may seem like a lot of things you have to avoid. But once you notice what relates all these different types of food together, you will understand exactly what to avoid.


Unpopped Kernals

As you may already know, biting into anything hard can cause damage to your teeth. Even though we don't think of popcorn as a "hard" food, the kernels themselves can sneak up on you and break a bracket. The problem is even worse because you may not be aware that you are about to bite into something hard. 

At least, with other foods, you know they may be a problem for your braces so maybe you cut them up into smaller pieces or chew slowly to avoid damage. With popcorn kernels, you most likely will just be chewing recklessly until you make contact with the kernel. This can cause serious damage and extended the treatment process.


Popcorn Is Dangerous To Chew

Because popcorn is so messy and can spend a significant amount of time being chewed, there's no guessing where and how its pieces can get into your teeth. This is possibly the most dangerous situation for your braces. Getting pieces of popcorn wedged into your teeth, which is common even without braces, can lead to significant problems. 

The main issue is not that the food is stuck in your teeth, but that it's inaccessible do to your braces. Have you ever had something stuck in your teeth that causes you discomfort? Once you get home from dinner or have a free moment you immediately floss to remove the obstruction. Just imagine not being able to do that for days or weeks. 


Popcorn's Sugar Content

Even though popcorn is not considered to be a "sugary" treat, it still contains some harmful ingredients. Popcorn itself is low in sugar, but most companies put a ton of additives to popcorn that is dangerous to your teeth. For example, the added butter can pack a ton of sugar that we are not even aware of. 

Always make sure to clean your teeth properly after eating any food that has high sugar.



Because of the issues listed above, people often prefer Invisalign. You don't have to worry nearly as much about the food you eat. All you have to do is pop out your aligners before your meal then pop them back in once you're done. Simple as that!