We recently discovered that January 19th is Popcorn Day. We poked around a bit and couldn’t find any concrete proof that January 19th is National Popcorn Day, but we wanted to seize this opportunity to talk about the potential oral-health-havoc-wreaking habit of munching on popcorn whether or not this was a real national event/holiday.
Basically, chowing down on popcorn can prove problematic for your smile because popcorn can put undue amounts of stress on a tooth, causing it to fracture. It is also quite difficult to eat popcorn without getting small pieces of food stuck in between your teeth, which can be harmful to your teeth and gums.
Now, we suggest that you stay away from popcorn for good, but if you refuse to be swayed, we would rather that you were safe than sorry. Take note of the following pieces of advice.
Stick with plain popcorn.
Flavored or specialty popcorn (i.e. kettle corn) may taste delicious, but these types of popcorn tend to be loaded with sugar, sweeteners and sticky substances, all of which are NOT good for your teeth. Reach for plain, unbuttered popcorn and add some flavor by seasoning it with spices or black pepper.
Make sure that your popcorn is properly popped.
Not only is biting down on a rogue un-popped kernel super irritating, it is also risky for your teeth! The last thing you want is to chip or crack on one your pearly whites. So, do yourself a favor and double-check that you popcorn is completely popped before you dig in. You might also want to take it one piece of popcorn at a time.
Drink water while you eat.
Having a sip or two of water in between every other bite of popcorn may help wash away some of the less-than-terrific lactic acid that many popcorn brands put into their products and may prevent pieces of popcorn from getting wedges into your teeth.
Floss and then brush immediately after you finish your popcorn.
You knew that was coming, right?