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How to Safely Remove Popcorn from Your Teeth

Whether you’re at the movies, at home watching a movie, or simply want a light, non-filling treat, popcorn is often the snack of choice. As pleasing as it is to your palate, though, popcorn is notorious for working its way between your teeth and gums, sometimes remaining for days, weeks, or longer, until your mouth grows uncomfortable from its presence. Left untreated, popcorn remnants can threaten your teeth by causing your gums to swell, and by feeding bacteria that can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and persistently bad breath.

First Thing’s First

The first thing you should do when trying to remove anything that’s stuck between your teeth is to rinse your mouth out thoroughly with warm water, preferably sprinkled lightly with salt. The water will remove all the loose food particles and debris, while the salt helps control discomfort and swelling.

Remove with Care

Floss Carefully

After rinsing out your mouth, flossing is the preferred method of removing the popcorn still stuck among your teeth. For good measure, floss between all of your teeth to remove what you might not feel, but take extra care around the tooth that hurts. Bend the floss to match the contour of your tooth, and carefully glide it down towards to the gums. Don’t floss too vigorously or you may cause more damage to the surrounding gum tissue.

Brush Your Teeth

If a piece of popcorn husk is stuck on the outside of your tooth, between the tooth and the gums, then you may be able to remove it with your toothbrush. Angle the bristles to make contact along the gum line, and move the brush in a circular motion to lightly brush the husk up and out of the gum line.

Use a Toothpick

If you don’t have immediate access to dental floss, you can use a toothpick (if applicable) to try and remove the piece of popcorn. The pointed end of the toothpick may be ideal for nudging the husk out, but it can also damage the tooth and/or gums if you aren’t gentle.


At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.