With so much rain in St. Louis this summer, you may be spending a lot of time at the movie theater. Make your orthodontist proud by skipping the popcorn! Eating popcorn at the movies may be a popular pastime, but it is terrible for your teeth—especially if you have braces. In order to protect your orthodontic appliances and your overall oral health, avoid that salty kerneled snack. Instead, choose alternative treats that are better for your teeth and your braces.
Why Popcorn Is Bad for Teeth and Braces
Popcorn and braces are a bad combo. Period. Popcorn is a common culprit for broken brackets, wires, and orthodontic appliances. Plus, the thin husks that get stuck in your braces and between your teeth are extremely difficult to remove. They may cause an infection or abscess if you’re not careful. Braces aside, popcorn can also damage your teeth and cause other oral health problems. Those pesky kernels at the bottom of the bag are infamous for breaking teeth. Popcorn also produces lactic acid in your mouth, which damages tooth enamel and causes cavities. Whether you have braces or not, we recommend skipping the popcorn.
Soda and Other Snacks to Avoid
Soda is another popular movie theater concessions item. But remember that both regular and diet sodas are bad for your teeth and should really be avoided. As far as food items, don’t eat anything hard, sticky, or chewy if you have braces. Stay away from the candy counter, and also avoid thick foods like soft pretzels, bagels, and pizza crusts.
Healthier Options for Orthodontic Patients
If you’re craving a salty snack at the movies, potato chips are a much better alternative to popcorn. We recommend Baked Lays or Pringles because they tend to be softer than other chips. If you can’t resist eating something sweet, ice cream and peanut butter cups are okay for orthodontic patients. However, the best options are healthier soft snacks like bananas, strawberries, yogurt, cheese, and real-fruit smoothies. Thinly-sliced apples are good, too.
The next time you go to the movies, remember to pass on the popcorn! No matter what snacks you choose, be sure to brush properly and use an electric toothbrush with an orthodontic brush head for the best results. Have any questions? Need to talk to an orthodontist? Contact us!