5 Techniques for Removing a Popcorn Kernel From Your Gums

Dec 01, 2022

Getting popcorn stuck in your teeth can be annoying or painful, but it’s always unpleasant! How does it get stuck in your gums and teeth, though? Popcorn is made from dried corn kernels with tough shells that are heated until the steam created inside causes the kernels to “pop” into the white, fluffy snack we all love. Popcorn is a healthy, low-fat, high-fiber food made without too much butter or salt, so don’t feel guilty about indulging!

Popcorn, however, has one annoying feature due to its tough shell or hull. A properly popped popcorn has less of a hard shell, but even the best pieces of popcorn have thin hull remnants. Here are five common techniques for removing a kernel from your gums.

    1. Brushing to Remove Popcorn Kernels From the Gums

Flossing is a better way of removing popcorn because it can reach between your teeth and your gums, whereas your toothbrush cannot. Brushing your teeth is a good alternative if you don’t have access to flossing thread. Instead, brush your teeth gently from the tops of your gums down.

During dental cleanings in Austin, TX, your dentist will recommend using interdental brushes. They are incredibly user-friendly and prous advantages to oral healthcare. And now, they come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate everyone’s mouth.

Because your teeth have concavities and indentations, floss can sometimes be difficult to maneuver. First, warm them, then insert them in warm water to soften them and make them easier to bend and contour around the teeth. Next, insert the toothbrush between the teeth. If it is too large, do not force it through because it may cause gum damage. To brush out the popcorn, you want it to push the brush in and out between the teeth. After a few strokes, check the brush to see if you’ve gotten the stubborn popcorn o.

               2. Using Floss and Other Objects

To remove popcorn, use rope floss and the C-shape technique. Popcorn kernel hulls are the ideal size and shape for getting caught between our gums and teeth. We may not even realize we have popcorn stuck between our gums and teeth until the gums become sore a few days later.

A popcorn kernel is slightly concave, allowing it to suction itself to the tooth/gums beneath your gum line, making it difficult to remove. Instead, use dental floss to remove the popcorn kernel from the gum list. It is recommended using rope floss has more grip and increases the likelihood of getting the popcorn kernel out.

Be gentle if you don’t want it to get deeper under the gums. Move the dental floss up and down the tooth and gums in slow, delicate motions.

               3. Get in Touch With Our Dentist in Austin TX

Never leave a popcorn kernel in your gums because it can lead to serious, life-threatening complications. It can lead to an abscess. If it grows large enough, it may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier, or the bacteria that accumulate around the kernel may enter your bloodstream and cause infective endocarditis.

Have your dentist or dental hygienist at Lifetime Smiles Cosmetic Dentistry look at it for you. Your dentist can also perform a dental examination and cleaning to eliminate plaque and food debris.

              4. Use Saltwater to Rinse Your Mouth

To get the stuck kernel out of your gum tissue, rinse your mouth with water (especially warm saltwater). This method is the least reliable if you have a popcorn piece stuck deep within your gums; however, it is sometimes the best option to try, especially if you don’t have access to a bathroom or a mirror to floss or brush.

Warm salt water can also help relieve gum irritation caused by the uncomfortable popcorn piece.

              5. Use A Waterpik

Waterpiks are also another technique for removing popcorn kernels stuck in the gums. They do not replace flossing, but they provide numerous benefits that floss does not. To dislodge the popcorn, use gentle but effective water.

You can use any tip/attachment, but the Waterpik pocket tip is the best. It has a rubber end that cleans more surface area by getting beneath the gumline. Use it on a low setting to avoid pushing the kernel further between the gum and the tooth.

Book an appointment with dentist in Austin,TX

* Fields with asterisks are required.
Click to listen highlighted text!