Can You Eat Popcorn With Braces?

Well, the question has to be asked… Who doesn’t love popcorn?! It is a snack that is a lot of people’s favorite whether you’re at the movies, or whether you’re just looking for an afternoon snack, or whether you are curled up on the sofa at home having a movie night.

As much as we all love popcorn, we have to love strong and healthy teeth a lot more. Unfortunately, we have to recommend that you do not eat popcorn for the duration of your braces treatment. You might feel sad about this, but there are pretty important reasons as to why you should avoid eating popcorn.

Popping your Brackets

Here’s the thing, biting down on popcorn can end up being pretty damaging for your brace brackets. This can become more explanatory when you think about what happens when you eat popcorn. So, when you bite down on a piece of popcorn then it will break into a lot of smaller pieces. There are also those annoying unpopped kernels that are in amongst the popcorn mix.

Even without having braces you have probably had a whole lot of occasions where popcorn has got wedged between the small gaps in between your teeth. This will need the help of a toothpick or some dental floss to be rectified.

So, with braces on this will mean that the popcorn fragments have even more places that they can end up getting stuck in. Your brackets and wires of your braces are the prime hiding spots for bits of popcorn and it won’t make the most enjoyable eating experience for you.

This comes with the added fact that the hulls and the kernels are also the perfect size to get wedged in those hard-to-reach parts of your braces. No one wants to have popcorn wedged in their braces, but, what is one thing that wants popcorn to get stuck in your braces more than anything in the world?!

That would be bacteria. Yeah, any food that gets trapped between your teeth or in your braces is pretty much a breeding ground for bacteria. This can cause major plaque build-up on your teeth and this can in turn really damage your teeth.

Making sure that you take care of your teeth, so brushing them and keeping them free of trapped food is essential to getting a fully effective braces treatment.

What Alternative Foods Can You Eat Instead of Popcorn?

If you are actively seeking out a popcorn substitute then you will be pleased to know that there are a whole host of alternatives on the market that you can try. Sure, nothing is ever going to quite match up to popcorn – but for the time that you have braces these alternatively will serve you very well.

A great and super healthy alternative to popcorn would be sliced fruit or vegetables. The thing with popcorn is that we tend to be craving the texture, and this texture can be replicated through fruit and vegetable slices. It is important that you make sure that you slice your fruit and vegetables into small enough chunks so not to damage your braces when crunching though.

If you are not wanting to really be on that health kick, then you could consider opting for baked potato chips. These will allow you to have the texture that you are craving, but unlike regular potato chips these are much softer on your teeth. And, baked potato chips happen to be that extra bit healthier than fried potato chips.

What Else Can’t You Eat With Braces?

In case it wasn’t obvious, there are a whole host of foods that you should try and avoid if you have braces. We do not want to scare you and offload a huge list of every single piece of food that you should avoid. But, what we are going to do is give you a practical guide instead – so this will entail important things to look out for and certain qualities to avoid.

When you first get your braces, or after you get your braces tightened, you will find that you feel an ache or discomfort in your mouth. This will mean that you will not want to eat tough foods as your teeth and mouth in general will be feeling tender. But, there are a lot of softer foods that you will find easy to swallow.

Yoghurts, or scrambled eggs, or mashed potato, or soup, or even soft boiled vegetables will be easy for you to digest. Once the soreness goes away after a few days you will be able to alter your diet again.

This is not us saying to munch a bag of hard boiled candies – you still need to be careful with the kinds of foods that you are eating. But, you will know yourself what you are most comfortable to eat, you might prefer to stick to softer foods in general or you might want to broaden your diet slightly.

This is totally fine, just go for what you are the most comfortable with texture wise. That is the key thing to pay attention to when you are deciding what you want to eat when you are wearing braces.

Remember: Braces Are Not Forever

Do not let the rules around eating with braces get you down or upset you in any way. It does not have to come to this! In fact, you can work out for yourself what you are most comfortable eating and you can build on this as you go along the braces process.

We understand that it is really annoying if one of your favorite foods is on the list of ‘textures to avoid’ while you have braces, however, try and be realistic with yourself. Braces are not a forever fixture. They are temporary, and so actually this is just you having to adjust your diet for a shorter amount of time for that outcome of a healthy smile that you have been longing for.

The bottom line is: the small sacrifices which you make now will pay off massively in the long run. The better that you care for your braces then the more you will be able to enjoy your new smile when they come off. We suggest that you skip the popcorn for now and that you try out a different alternative instead – your teeth will definitely thank you for this.

Andy Waters
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