One of the preferred hangout spots for families across the United States is the movie theatre, and popcorn has been a mainstay of movie theatres for as long as they have been around. Moviegoers love their popcorn and when you take the kids to see a movie, they are no different. However, for kids and teenagers with braces, popcorn is arguably the worst food that they could eat. In today’s blog post, Dr. Harrison of Parkcrest Dental will look at why popcorn is bad for braces, as well as give some helpful snacking tips.
Why is popcorn bad for braces?
We should all remember that eating popcorn without braces can be painful. Kernels can get stuck in between your teeth or in your gums and when they do, it can be very difficult to get those kernels out. Sometimes, popcorn eaters can go days with an annoying popcorn kernel stuck in their teeth.
Now, imagine that problem and add a bunch of metal wires and brackets to the equation. Eating popcorn with braces can be harmful because kernels can get stuck in the wires of the braces, and when hidden in the right spot, they can be incredibly difficult to remove. And not only that, the kernel can be pressed up against the gums and cause extreme irritation or pain.
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So do I need to eliminate popcorn completely?
Dr. Harrison would recommend that you not eat popcorn at all if you have braces, yes. However, orthodontists like Dr. Harrison also understand that over a period of two or three years, brace-wearers are going to stretch or break the rules at times. If your child is a popcorn lover, here are a few tips that can help prevent pain or swelling from kernels should they eat popcorn with braces:
- Chew very carefully
- Avoid overcooking popcorn and making kernels more brittle
- Floss, floss, floss
- Use go-between brushes to get into those hard to reach places
These tips can help to prevent kernels getting in between your teeth and the wires of your braces, but they aren’t foolproof, and Dr. Harrison recommends again that your child not eat popcorn with braces.
Related Post: Orthodontic Dentistry: Brushing And Flossing With Braces
What can I snack on instead of popcorn with braces?
While giving up popcorn isn’t the ideal situation for many people with braces, there are other snack options that can fill that void and not damage your teeth. One such option is popcorn-flavored rice crisps. These crisps are soft and won’t damage your teeth or braces and also taste like popcorn. Here are some other snack options from Dr. Harrison for brace-wearers moving on from popcorn:
- Potato chips
There are also sweet snack options, such as yogurt or custard, for people with braces.
Related Post: Dr. Harrison: Why Shouldn’t I Drink Soda With Braces?
Who can I contact for more help with orthodontics?
For parents, finding snacks for your children with braces can be a nightmare. Dr. Harrison wants to help you find the best orthodontic solutions, as well as the best ways to maintain healthy teeth during that process. Give us a call today at (417) 887-1220 to schedule an appointment today.