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Can You Eat Popcorn With Braces

Living with braces requires a bit of an adjustment, especially when it comes to your diet. An important way to maintain the appearance of your orthodontic treatment is to avoid foods that can damage your braces or the teeth underneath your braces.

Eating popcorn with braces is not recommended because the popcorn kernels are hard enough, and if you try to crush them with your teeth, there is a very high chance that food particles will get stuck in your brackets and bands, causing your braces to detach, leading to gum discomfort and swelling.

Let’s find out why you should avoid eating popcorn if you have braces and look at some alternative snacks that you can enjoy.

Can I Eat Popcorn with Braces?

No, eating popcorn when you have braces is not a good idea. The reason is that the small popcorn kernels can easily get stuck in your braces and be hard to remove; this can cause discomfort, irritation, and even harm your braces. Also, chewing popcorn kernels can make your braces break or get loose. To be safe, avoiding popcorn when you have braces is better.

Reasons For Avoiding Regular Popcorns with Braces

Why can’t you eat popcorn with braces? The corn hulls in kernels are very hard and stuck between your teeth, damaging the braces wire & brackets.

These popped corn hulls are the leftover parts of corn seeds that harden and remain in the popcorn kernels after popping. These hulls can quickly get stuck between the braces.

Due to their pointed structure, popcorn hulls can exert pressure on the gums when they get stuck between the wires of braces. Additionally, their nearly transparent appearance makes them difficult to see and remove.

In general, it is better to avoid eating popcorn if you wear braces; some types of popcorn are even worse than others. For example, like caramel popcorn, coated popcorn can be especially problematic because the sticky and crunchy caramel can get stuck in your orthodontic appliances, just like the popcorn kernels’ hulls.

Popcorn can be pretty harmful for braces in several ways, as mentioned below:

  • Harmful to Your Teeth

While enjoying this tasty snack, we may also expose our teeth to potential risks. The hulls of popcorn kernels can damage the teeth as they can easily get stuck beneath the gums, causing irritation and infection if not removed promptly.

  • Gum Injury

When popcorn hulls scrape against the gum tissues, it can lead to gum diseases.

  • Damage Your Braces

The popcorn hull can break braces, as orthodontic appliances require proper protection and careful food choices. If popcorn hulls get stuck in the braces, they can damage the wires and brackets, resulting in discomfort when the dentist has to reapply them.

Can I Eat Hulless Popcorn with Braces?

Hull-less or hulles popcorn is made from a smaller kernel that still contains a hull. In reality, there is no such thing as hulless popcorn. The kernel’s hull is the seed, and popcorn cannot exist without a seed; however, smaller hulled popcorn, when popped, is smaller, tenderer and less noticeable.

Some people claim that eating hulless popcorn is a safe option that does not get stuck in braces. However, health experts do not seem to agree with this. Furthermore, no clinical studies still provide information on whether hulless popcorn is safer for people wearing braces.

Tips To Enjoy Popcorns with Braces

Although eating popcorn with braces can cause a lot of ache and discomfort, for those who can’t resist it for two or three years or until they have orthodontic appliances, following some tips can help. However, be careful as this may be helpful, but discomfort is still possible.

  • Don’t Overcook: Do not overcook the kernels, and try to keep them soft when consuming them to minimize the risk of dental damage.
  • Chew carefully: Take small bites and chew slowly to reduce the chances of getting popcorn pieces stuck in your braces.
  • Rinse your mouth: After eating popcorn or hulless popcorn, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove any remaining particles.
  • Brush and floss: Maintaining good oral hygiene while wearing braces is crucial. Brush your teeth thoroughly after eating popcorn, and use floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth and around your braces.
  • Be aware of discomfort: If you experience any discomfort or feel that the popcorn is causing irritation or getting stuck frequently, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

What’s a good replacement snack for popcorn

Choosing soft and braces-friendly options is essential when looking for a replacement snack for popcorn while having braces. Numerous snacks suitable for braces will help keep your cravings under control and your orthodontic journey on track.

  • Soft fruits: Slices of soft and sweet fruits like bananas, grapes, or berries provide a burst of sweetness without compromising orthodontic progress.
  • Bakery and dairy products: Soft-baked & dairy products cookies, muffins, yogurt delights, cheese slices, and other dairy snacks are comforting options for people with braces.
  • Smoothies: Blend your favorite fruits with yogurt or milk to create a refreshing, braces-safe snack.
  • Baked potatoes, kale, and carrot chips: Regular potato chips can cause discomfort with braces; opt for baked potatoes that provide a crispy bite with braces on. Additionally, baked kale chips and carrot fries are healthy snacks to eat instead of popcorn.
  • Soft crackers: Soft crackers can be another good snack to add to your wish list; these are free of kernels and safe to eat with braces.
  • Vegetables: Boiled veggies or baked vegetables are perfect for completing your body’s nutritional requirements.
  • Eggs: Not fried eggs but boiled or baked brown eggs that are full of protein make your body grow and your mind stronger.


When you have braces and consume foods that are not recommended, there is the risk of damaging the braces. Hard or crunchy foods can bend the wires of the braces, and if these foods get stuck between the braces and you bite down on them, the brackets could break.

It can feel restricting not to be able to eat popcorn or other favorite snacks during orthodontic treatment. However, by following the proper dietary guidelines, the best outcome for the treatment will be achieved, letting you enjoy your favorite foods again in the future.

At Orthodontic Experts, we are dedicated to helping you have a smooth journey with braces; our team of skilled professionals is always willing to address your concerns, ensuring that you have a stress-free experience while working towards achieving a healthier and more radiant smile.

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