Can I Eat Popcorn With Braces?

We know: popcorn is one of our favorite foods, too! But as much as we love popcorn, we love beautiful, healthy teeth more. So for the duration of your braces treatment, we recommend avoiding popcorn.

In this video, Diamond Braces orthodontist Dr. John Castronova explains why you should avoid popcorn with braces.

Popcorn and Braces: A Perfect Storm for Broken Brackets!

Think about what happens when you chomp down on popcorn: the pieces break into many pieces, and you often bite down onto un-popped kernels. Even without braces, you’ve probably found that popcorn pieces get stuck in your teeth, requiring a toothpick or floss to get out.

With braces on, the popcorn fragments have even more places to get stuck – and the many hiding places between your brackets and wires are often difficult to reach, making it much harder to clean out. The hulls and kernels are the perfect sizes to get wedged in hard-to-reach parts of your braces.

You probably dislike having popcorn stuck in your braces, but there’s one thing that loves it: bacteria. Any food trapped between your teeth or in your braces is a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause plaque buildup on your teeth and damage them.

Keeping your teeth clean and free of trapped food is vital to a healthy mouth and effective braces treatment!

Other Popcorn Alternatives to Eat During Braces Treatment

If you’re looking for a popcorn substitute to snack on during your braces treatment, we recommend these delicious alternatives:

  • Kale chips: wash and shred kale leaves and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper or your other favorite spices. Bake at 400° F for 10-15 minutes, and toss into a bowl!
  • Puff snacks such as Pirate’s Booty: soft puffed corn snack dusted in cheddar cheese – yum!
  • Sliced fruits or veggies: make sure they’re sliced small enough to take little bites that won’t damage your braces.
  • Baked potato chips: these are healthier than traditional fried potato chips, and gentler on your teeth.

Looking for more tips for what to eat with braces? This guide can help. And read up here about foods that can freshen your breath.

Smiling girl with metal braces

Remember: Braces are Temporary, But a Healthy, Happy Smile is Forever

It can be frustrating to miss out on your favorite foods during your braces treatment. But the better you care for your braces while they’re on, the sooner you can enjoy your amazing new smile when they’re off – and the longer your health will last!

The small sacrifices you make now will make a difference later. So skip the popcorn and reach for one of the alternatives above – your smile will thank you!

Tips for foods that help freshen your breath.