Why Can’t You Eat Popcorn with Braces?

Those times you crave a salty, crunchy but light snack, popcorn might be one of the few snacks to come to mind. 

Taking a quick grab of popcorn to munch on can be straightforward unless you have an ongoing braces treatment. 

With braces on, you should be wary of popcorn, it is up there on the list of foods you should not eat. 

Whether you are preparing a quick snack for your movie night or you have a hankering for popcorn, if you have an ongoing braces treatment, you should actively avoid eating popcorn. 

Here’s why?

Why can’t you eat popcorn with braces?

In three words, The Popcorn Hulls. The popcorn hulls can get trapped in your wires and brackets and cause damage. Here are the kinds of risks eating popcorn puts you at if you have braces. 

What happens if you eat popcorn with braces?

When you have braces, eating popcorn puts you at risk of:

  • scraping or scratching your gums
  • harming your teeth
  • causing damage to your braces

All of these risks stem from the corn hulls. Do you know that leftover part of the popcorn seed that is strong and is left in the popcorn kernel even when the popcorn has been popped? They are called popcorn hulls and they are the major reason it is recommended that if you have braces, you should avoid popcorn. 

These hulls can get stuck in your teeth and your braces and can be difficult to take out. 

When stuck under the wires of your braces, their sharp edges can collide against your gums and because they are somewhat translucent, it may be hard to see them and get them out. 

The hulls from the corn can even get trapped under your gum and cause an infection. 

If you decide to eat popcorn with braces, make sure the popcorn is hull-less, floss, and brush your teeth afterward. 

Can you eat caramel popcorn with braces?

No, you should avoid caramel popcorn if you have braces. Caramel popcorn is a merger of two foods that can cause damage to your orthodontic treatment. Caramel, on one hand, can create a sugary coating on your teeth and even pull your brackets while popcorn, on the other hand, is too crunchy and its hulls pose a threat to your gums, teeth, and braces. 

Caramel popcorn is a double jab, killing your dental health with two stones. 

No matter how tempting, you will be well served if you stay clear of popcorn in general, but there is one popcorn variant that may be okay to eat now and then if you have braces on, they are called hull-less popcorn. 

Can you eat hull-less popcorn with braces? 

Yes, you can. If you have to eat popcorn with braces on, you should try hull-less popcorn

It is recommended because it is made from kernels that are smaller and more tender with lesser hulls inside, hence, it is said to be safer for your dental health. 

Nevertheless, feel free to ask your orthodontist, to be on the safe side. 

Can you eat popcorn chicken with braces?

No. It is recommended that you don’t eat breaded meat with braces, and popcorn chicken is not an exception. It can get crunchy, and crunchy foods are bad for your braces. 

Instead of popcorn chicken, you should stick to eating tender meats like ground beef, soft turkey, etc, that are soft and easy to chew. 

Read also: Can You Eat a Burger with Braces?

Can you eat movie theater popcorn with braces?

No, movie theater popcorn should be a hard pass if you have braces. Movie theater popcorn can be many things, from salty to buttery but it is not safe to eat if you have braces. 

It is crunchy and its hulls can get stuck in your braces. Movie theater popcorn is not worth that trip back to your orthodontist to fix your damaged braces. 

If you’re at the movies, here are some braces-friendly theater snacks you can munch on while you enjoy your movie: 

  • hotdogs
  • soft pretzels
  • crustless pizza
  • smoothies, yogurt, milkshakes
  • soft, freshly baked cookies

Read also: What to Serve with Potato Dauphinoise?

Can you eat popcorn chips with braces?

No. It is best to avoid corn chips when you have braces because they can break and get lodged in between your teeth or your brackets and wires. Resist the temptation to grab a bag of your favorite corn chips. You’d thank me later!

After reading this post, it may seem like your braces are preventing you from enjoying your favorite snack, but remember that this is not the case. You can’t eat popcorn with your braces now because you’re gearing your teeth for a more beautiful smile and that is all that should matter!