Talk to a customer service agent

Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. ET

News & Articles

Is Popcorn Healthy Or Harmful For Teeth?

Mar 20, 2014

By Dean George

Popcorn may be as American as apple pie and the county fair, but how healthy is it for teeth?


Nutritionally popcorn contains some vitamins recommended for healthy teeth such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K and folate, a water-soluble B vitamin. Popcorn also includes healthy minerals like calcium phosphorus, potassium and magnesium – all of which are essential for good bones and strong teeth.

Another advantage to unsweetened, hull-less popcorn is the protein, fiber and roughage it offers.  Eaten without its two most popular sidekicks, butter and salt, popcorn acts as a natural tooth detergent and the chewing it requires helps exercise the teeth.

If you anticipated a “but” coming, you were right – and here it is.

Many of the popular popcorns people prefer are the pre-packaged ones offered in vending machines and grocery stores. Unfortunately these are the ones that doctors tch, tch because they are chock full of salt, butter, and unhealthy oils and fat.  

One of the most popular venues for popcorn is movie theaters. Even if you discount some of the pseudo-studies that rank the threat of movie popcorn right up there with nukes and climate change, the grease stain on your hands and jeans should be evidence enough that the oil and butter theaters use could give a vegan cardiologist a heart attack.  

Even if such flavor enhancing ingredients are left off, “naked” popcorn is high in carbohydrates and contains some sugar and fat. The problem is carbs and sugar combine with harmful mouth bacteria to produce lactic acid, a major fiend that wears away tooth enamel, the guest topic in our March Agent Straight-Talk series.

And let’s not forget the innocent-looking popcorn kernel. These kernels can lodge between your teeth or even between a tooth and your gums. If brushing, flossing and rinsing don’t dislodge the kernel, a cracked tooth or a tooth abscess can result.

All this isn’t to say that you can’t have your popcorn and eat it too. Just take care that when you do indulge in the tasty treat, eat a small amount. Rinse with water after enjoying a few bites and take care to brush, floss and gargle with an oral rinse as soon as possible after enjoying this great tasting “tooth detergent.”

As Ben Franklin said, “Moderation in all things – including moderation.”

Photo sources:,

Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC

Top News

Get a free quote on a dental plan.

It's fast, easy and secure.


Site Navigation