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Can You Eat Popcorn With Braces?
Try These Snacks Instead?

Popcorn is one of America’s favorite snack foods. Who doesn’t love grabbing a tub of popcorn to enjoy while watching a movie in the theater? Even better, we love popping a bag or bowl of popcorn to munch on while we curl up for a good movie at home. We have many patients here at Hentscher-Johnson Orthodontics who love popcorn. One of the most popular questions is, “Can I eat popcorn with braces?” 

We’ll explain to you why popcorn and braces are a bad combination and why it’s best to wait on the popcorn until your braces treatment is finished. Rest assured! We have some suggestions for alternative snacks that would work just fine with your braces. 

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What Popcorn Can You Eat With Braces?

Let’s face it: Popcorn is delicious, whether plain, buttered or flavored. We hear the questions often. Can you eat movie theater popcorn with braces? Can you eat caramel popcorn with braces? Can you eat ANY popcorn with braces?

Here’s the short answer: No. The problem isn’t the puffy popcorn. The problem is those darn husks and kernels. You know how easily they get stuck between your teeth and between your teeth and gums. It’s tough to get them out, right? Now throw in a bunch of wires and brackets. You could get kernels in areas where it’s difficult, if not impossible, to get them out. That could lead to braces damage or infections from gum irritation. 

We strongly recommend you do not eat popcorn during your braces treatment. We know it may be difficult, but keep in mind it’s just temporary. Once your braces are off in a few months, you can go back to enjoying popcorn.

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What to Eat Instead of Popcorn With Braces

There are plenty of healthy foods you can enjoy with braces, including fruits such as bananas, peaches, or even thin apple slices (never bite into a whole apple!). If you must indulge in “junk” food, thin potato chips, cheese puffs, and even thin crackers are acceptable foods. Eating them one at a time shouldn’t damage your braces. Avoid harder chips, such as kettle chips or tortilla chips. They are hard enough that you run the risk of popping off a bracket when you bite into them. 

Plain chocolate is OK with braces, as well as candy bars without caramel, toffee, or nuts. You can drink sodas with braces, but we don’t recommend them because of the high sugar content and the ability of dark sodas to stain clear braces over time. 

You want to avoid hard, sticky, chewy, or darkly colored food or drink during braces. This includes hard candies, caramels, taffy, tortilla chips, ice, nuts, bagels, raw vegetables, and rice crispy treats. 


That leaves plenty of delicious things you can eat. In addition to chocolate, you can eat soft fruits, cookies, soft bread, macaroni and cheese, pasta, rice, cooked vegetables, ice cream, yogurt, and cake. You can also eat most meats as long as you cut them into small pieces and chew them carefully. 

Whatever you eat or drink, you should floss and brush your teeth afterward. The last thing you want is to delay your treatment while you get a cavity filled! Brushing and flossing regularly can prevent tooth decay and gum disease during your braces treatment, ensuring you have a strong, beautiful smile by the time your treatment is done.

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Braces Treatment in Columbia, IL

While braces have a few limitations when it comes to food during treatment, those limits are temporary and usually end once the braces come off. As delicious as popcorn is, it’s worth giving up when you look in the mirror and see that straight, healthy, beautiful smile from your braces treatment! It’s a smile that will give you a new level of self-confidence. If you’re ready to experience that self-confidence, you can start in the Columbia, IL, or Waterloo, IL, area through our virtual consultation, free and without obligation. 

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