How To Remove Popcorn From Your Teeth

Posted on: 24 March 2017

If you get popcorn stuck in your teeth, it should be removed as soon as possible. Popcorn is a nutritious snack, but the kernels eventually irritate the gums and attract bacteria.

The longer the popcorn stays lodged in the teeth, the more risk there is for an abscess. You don't always need to see a dentist when popcorn gets stuck in your teeth. Here are tips to remove popcorn from your teeth.

Swish Some Water in Your Mouth

To remove the popcorn, you need salt, a toothbrush, floss, and a plastic dental pick. Mix a tablespoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water. The salt helps ease swelling.

Swish the mixture around in your mouth to help loosen the particles. Don't swallow, unless you want an upset stomach. As an alternative, use a water jet set on low. Setting it on high may push the food further in the teeth.


If rinsing your mouth doesn't work, try brushing and flossing. Dampen a toothbrush with water. Dab a pea-size amount of toothpaste on the brush. Toothpaste is optional, but the foaming action of toothpaste will further help dislodge the food.

Brush the teeth at a 45-degree angle, moving in various directions, including circularly. If the hull is lodged under gum tissue, brush in upward strokes. Rinse the toothbrush to prevent the spreading of bacteria.


Dentists recommend flossing after every meal, but it is useful for dislodging stuck food particles anytime. Don't be tempted to use objects like pens not meant for the mouth, since they could puncture gums.

Make a C-shape with the floss, and work it around one tooth at a time, close to the popcorn and in between the teeth. While you want to keep it close to the area, avoid pressing down too hard on the hull, or you may lodge it further. Rinse your mouth with water.

Remove the Popcorn Without Floss

If brushing and flossing fail, or if you don't have floss, try a plastic dental toothpick. Place the flat end of the pick at the infected site in between the teeth. Prod gently at the popcorn at the curve of the tooth. You may also use a standard toothpick.

Chew a piece of unsweetened chewing gum or dental gum. The salivation should help remove the particles.

Try working your tongue over the popcorn. Gently move your tongue; taking care not to press too hard.

If you can't remove the popcorn, relieve pain with clove oil or over-the-counter medicine. Don't delay contacting your dentist. Contact a dental office like Northwest Dental Services and Implant Center for assistance with any dental problems.