Popcorn is the perfect snack for binge-watching your favorite Netflix series or catching the latest movie release with a friend. While it is healthy for your waistline and heart, many dental experts recommend choosing something else to munch on because popcorn can wreak havoc on your smile. Here are 3 reasons you should skip the salty snack.
1. Teeth and acid are a poor combination.
Your body naturally contains lactic acid, which forms when the body breaks down carbohydrates to use for energy. However, it’s rare for your mouth to produce or contain lactic acid, which is a good thing because it can harm your teeth.
Popcorn creates lactic acid in your mouth, which will erode your enamel. As it strips away the hard protective layer of your teeth, it can leave the softer inner layers of your tooth vulnerable to bacteria because your enamel can’t regenerate.
2. It can get caught between your teeth.
Nothing is more annoying than having a popcorn hull stuck between your teeth or under your gums. Despite being a nuisance, it can aggravate your gum tissue, causing inflammation and tenderness. If the hull remains trapped for too long, it can cause an infection that can lead to bone loss and even the loss of the tooth. If you can’t skip your favorite movie treat, brush and floss well to dislodge any hulls that may be trapped in your gum tissue or between your teeth.
3. You can end up with a dental emergency.
You may have a habit of mindlessly grabbing a handful of popcorn and shoving it in your mouth. While you don’t want to miss a moment of the show, you can bite down on an unpopped kernel if you aren’t careful.
A day of relaxing can quickly lead to a trip to your emergency dentist for a broken or fractured tooth. You can lessen your risk of a dental emergency by shaking the popcorn bag or bowl to allow all the kernels to fall to the bottom. Only grab a couple of pieces at a time, and chew slowly to avoid cracking a tooth.
Safeguard Your Smile from Popcorn
Your dentist will advise you to have popcorn in moderation to safeguard your smile. If you can’t resist the snack, drink plenty of water to cleanse your teeth of lactic acid. Don’t forget to brush and floss well to keep preventable issues at bay. If a hull gets stuck between your teeth or gums, don’t ignore it. Contact your dentist right away for treatment.
About Dr. Colin Holman
Dr. Holman earned his dental degree at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where he received the “Key to Success Award” for Mastering the Art and Science of Communication. He is a proud member of various professional organizations, including the American Dental Association and the Oklahoma Dental Association. Whether you need a cleaning and checkup or an emergency dentist, he has the qualifications you can trust. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.