Popcorn lovers, rejoice! National Popcorn Day, January 19, is once again upon us. The fun lasts longer than a day, too; April 7 brings Caramel Popcorn Day, and October is National Popcorn Month. Whew! That’s a lot of popcorn, and the treat, while yummy, can be dangerous for your gums. As a general dentist in Chandler, AZ, I see up close what can happen.

Hidden Dangers of Popcorn

Stuck popcorn kernels are irritating, like splinters in your mouth instead of your finger. Chances are you have some experience with that already. While kernels can be stubborn, it’s never a good idea to leave a kernel and hope the problem resolves itself. Kernel hulls are masters at digging under your gums and attracting bacteria. A gum infection may well be next, and infections are not nice to your other gum tissue and teeth. I’ve seen some kernel hulls left so long that teeth had to be sacrificed due to gum disease. Please don’t feel silly if you can’t get a kernel out. Just give my office a call, and we can perform a routine cleaning after we extract the hull to save you the time of that visit.

Flossing and Brushing

Flossing is a tremendous help after you’ve eaten popcorn. In fact, it’s a good idea to floss at least once a day. Your toothbrush doesn’t reach all of the critical areas of your mouth, so flossing fills that gap. It gets rid of plaque and staves off cavities and gum disease. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to floss before or after brushing your teeth. What’s important is that you actually brush and floss. By doing so, you can enjoy National Popcorn Day to its fullest!

Are you dealing with a broken tooth, perhaps from chomping down too hard on popcorn? I am Dr. William Walden, a general dentist in Chandler, AZ. My featured services include dental implants, dentures, pediatric dentistry and root canals, among others. Give my office a call today at (480) 376-7989.