Can You Eat Popcorn with Braces?

Having braces can feel restrictive when it comes to eating certain foods. One common question is whether you can eat popcorn with braces. The answer is not completely straightforward, as there are some risks but also ways to enjoy popcorn safely with braces if you take the right precautions. This article will provide an in-depth look at popcorn and braces.

Can You Eat Popcorn with Braces?

Getting braces can be an exciting time. However, it also means you’ll need to be careful about the foods you eat while wearing them. One particularly tricky food to navigate is popcorn.

Popcorn is perfectly safe for most people to eat, but some key factors make it a food to be cautious with when you have braces:

  • Popcorn kernels can easily get stuck in braces. Both popped and unpopped kernels can lodge between brackets, wires, and bands. This can be uncomfortable and lead to damage if not removed.
  • The hard, crunchy texture is difficult to bite through and chew thoroughly with braces on. It’s easy to accidentally bite down directly on brackets and wires.
  • Unpopped kernels are extremely hard and can break brackets or bend wires if bitten into.
  • Buttery, salty popcorn leaves behind oils and seasonings that promote plaque buildup around braces. More plaque means greater risk for decay, white spots, and gingivitis.

So while you can technically eat popcorn with braces, it’s generally not recommended by orthodontists. The risks of damage and discomfort outweigh the benefits. There are plenty of other delicious snack options that are safer for your braces!

Good Foods to Eat With Braces

Good Foods to Eat Braces
Good Foods to Eat Braces

Although you’ll need to restrict certain foods like popcorn while you have braces, there are still lots of nutritious, braces-friendly options. Here are some categories of foods that get the green light from orthodontists:


Go for soft, shredded meats like chicken, pork, or beef. Things like stewed meat or pulled pork sandwiches are great choices. Avoid really chewy, tough meats.

Bread and Pasta

Stick to softer varieties of bread, like sandwich bread, rolls, and bagels without hard seeds or crusts. Choose pasta options like ravioli, macaroni, or soft cooked spaghetti. Avoid really crunchy/crispy breads and raw pasta.


Creamy, soft cheeses are braces-friendly. Things like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, yogurt, pudding, and soft ice cream work well. Hard cheeses can be too tough to chew.

Fruits and Vegetables

Opt for thoroughly cooked fruits and vegetables, like steamed broccoli, baked apples, or roasted veggies. Avoid really hard, crunchy, raw produce like carrots, apples, or corn on the cob.

Foods to Avoid with Braces

In addition to popcorn, there are some other foods orthodontists typically recommend avoiding while wearing braces:

Soft Foods for Braces

Really sticky, gummy foods like caramel, gum, or molasses can adhere to braces and be hard to fully remove.

How to Care for Braces

Good oral hygiene is so important with braces. Brush after every meal with a soft bristle toothbrush. Carefully brush each bracket and wire. Floss carefully between teeth daily. Use orthodontic wax to relieve irritation.

Best Snacks for Braces Wearers

Smoothies, milkshakes, yogurt, cottage cheese, mashed fruits/veggies, protein shakes, eggs, oatmeal, noodles, ice cream, pudding, soft bread.

Foods That Won’t Damage Braces

Bananas, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, soft fruits, soups, stews, well-cooked vegetables, bread rolls, oatmeal, smoothies, protein shakes.

Can You Eat Chocolate with Braces?

Can You Eat Chocolate with Braces?
Can You Eat Chocolate with Braces

You’ll need to be selective when it comes to chocolate with braces. Avoid chocolate bars or nuts, as these are hard and crunchy. Opt instead for softer chocolate options like chocolate pudding, chocolate milkshakes, hot chocolate, or chocolate sauce. Focus on chocolate that glides smoothly over the brackets rather than crunching.

Can You Eat Gum with Braces?

Unfortunately, gum is unsafe for braces. Even sugar-free gum can stick to brackets. It’s also ineffective for teeth cleaning since it can’t reach plaque under the wires. Avoid gum altogether while your braces are on.

Other Foods to Avoid While Wearing Braces

In addition to crunchy popcorn and gum, orthodontists typically recommend avoiding:

  • Hard nuts and seeds
  • Crunchy chips or pretzels
  • Taffy or really chewy candy
  • Beef jerky or dried fruit leathers
  • Crusty breads and bagels
  • Hard candies like jolly ranchers
  • Chewy granola bars
  • Raw veggies and fruits (carrots, apples, corn on the cob, etc.)

Foods Safe for Braces

While you’ll need to restrict some hazardous foods, you can still enjoy a healthy, balanced diet with braces. Some good options include:

Dairy: Yogurt, pudding, ice cream, milk, soft cheeses
Grains: Oatmeal, cereals, bread rolls, pasta, quinoa
Fruits: Bananas, berries, melons, cooked apples/pears
Veggies: Cooked carrots, peas, lettuce, sweet potatoes, spinach Meats: Ground meat, soft cooked chicken, chili, soup
Beverages: Water, smoothies, milkshakes

Ask Your Orthodontist for Guidance

If you’re ever in doubt about a particular food, ask your orthodontist for their input. They’ll be able to review the specific type of braces you have and offer personalized recommendations based on your unique treatment plan. Adhering to your orthodontist’s dietary guidelines will help prevent damage and keep treatment progressing smoothly.

Author Bio

Dr. Deborah Cooper is an orthodontist with over 15 years of experience treating patients with braces and other orthodontic appliances. She runs an orthodontic practice focused on personalized care and clear aligner treatment options.

Practice Info

Dentist Downtown Miami is an orthodontics practice providing braces, Invisalign, and other orthodontic treatments to patients in the Miami area. Schedule a risk-free consultation today!

Contact: 123 Main St, Miami, FL 12345 | (305)-555-1234 |

Other Related Questions

Can you eat caramel popcorn with braces?

No, the sticky caramel coating can adhere to braces and be difficult to fully remove. Stick to plain, butter-free popcorn or choose a different snack.

Best popcorn for braces

Air-popped or stove-top popped plain popcorn kernels are best, without butter, oil or seasonings. Still avoid unpopped kernels.

Can I eat Smartfood popcorn with braces?

No, Smartsfood popcorn is coated with a cheese powder seasoning that adheres to braces. Opt for plain popped popcorn without any powdered coatings.

Can you eat popcorn with spacers?

No, spacers are extra devices fitted between teeth before braces go on. Popcorn could dislodge spacers or get stuck. Avoid all popcorn until spacers are removed.

Where Can I Get Affordable Braces in Phoenix?

[Insert recommendation for quality, affordable Phoenix orthodontist here! Provide overview of pricing, financing options, Invisalign availability, and insurance accepted.]

Eating with Braces Tips

  • Take small bites and chew thoroughly
  • Avoid hard, crunchy, chewy, sticky foods
  • Brush carefully after every meal
  • Seek orthodontist’s advice about specific foods

Popcorn Alternatives to Enjoy While Wearing Braces

While popcorn is generally best avoided with braces, there are plenty of other tasty, braces-safe snack options to enjoy instead. Here are some recommended alternatives:


Soft pretzel bites or pretzel sticks can satisfy a salty, crunchy craving. Just be sure to choose a variety that is soft and chewy, not crunchy hard. Accompany pretzels with a glass of water to help wash away any lingering salt.

Trail Mix

Select a trail mix without hard nuts, seeds, or candy. Opt for a mix with just soft ingredients like raisins, coconut flakes, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and banana chips. The variety will keep taste buds interested.


Blend together your favorite fruits and veggies for a nutritious beverage perfect for braces. You control the ingredients and can make them as smooth or thick as needed for easy sipping. Boost with protein powder for staying power.

Yogurt Parfaits

Layer soft yogurt with ripe sliced fruit like bananas or berries. Top with crunchy granola broken into small pieces for texture. The possibilities for combinations are endless.


Look for all-fruit popsicles without seeds or chunks of fruit. Enjoy an icy sweet treat that easily breaks apart before hitting braces. Just avoid very hard popsicles.

Protein Bars

Seek out soft, smooth textured protein or granola bars without hard nuts or oats that could potentially irritate braces. Cut bars into small pieces for easier chewing.

Applesauce Pouches

Portable applesauce pouches offer vitamin C and fiber without the crunchy chunks. Keep a stash handy for when a fruity snack craving strikes. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth after.

Hummus and Soft Veggies

Dip soft cooked veggies like carrots or bell peppers strips into creamy hummus. You get nutrition and crunch without irritation to braces.


Warm oatmeal has a comforting texture and helps clean teeth and braces naturally. Mix in bananas, brown sugar, or cinnamon for extra flavor.

Caring for Braces While Enjoying Snacks

Snacking with braces takes a bit more diligence and planning. Here are some tips for keeping braces clean and undamaged while still enjoying foods:

  • Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water after eating to help clear away debris.
  • Brush and floss carefully after snacks, especially sticky or sugary ones.
  • Avoid snacking right before orthodontic adjustments.
  • Cut foods into smaller pieces for easier chewing around braces.
  • Notify your orthodontist immediately if anything becomes stuck in braces.
  • Ask your orthodontist for a list of recommended snacks you can enjoy.
  • Bring a toothbrush and small mirror to school or work to inspect braces after snacks.
  • Take it slow while getting used to eating with braces. Soft foods are easiest at first.

Also Read Related Post: My Braces Hurt So Bad I Want To Cry

Key Takeaways on Popcorn and Braces

  • Unpopped kernels and hard, crunchy popped popcorn can damage braces.
  • Sticky, buttery popcorn leaves behind plaque-causing residue.
  • Safer snack alternatives include pretzels, smoothies, yogurt, oatmeal and more.
  • Maintain diligent oral hygiene and check for stuck food frequently when snacking.
  • Ask your orthodontist for personalized guidance about snacking with braces.
  • With some adjustments, you can still enjoy a variety of delicious snacks during treatment!

People Also Ask (FAQ’s)

Can I eat popcorn with braces?

It’s best to avoid popcorn as the kernels can get stuck in your braces, potentially causing damage.

Is it safe to eat chocolate with braces?

Yes, but opt for softer chocolates to avoid damaging your braces.

Can I chew gum with braces?

It’s best to avoid gum with braces, as it can bend wires and loosen brackets.

Can I eat popcorn with braces on?

It’s recommended to avoid popcorn to prevent damage to your braces.

What foods can’t you eat with braces?

Sticky, hard, or crunchy foods like popcorn, nuts, and hard candies should be avoided with braces.

What snack foods can you eat with braces?

Soft foods like yogurt, cheese, and fruits are good options for snacks with braces.

Can you eat soft popcorn?

Even soft popcorn can pose a risk of getting stuck in your braces, so it’s best to avoid it.

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