Everyone knows that chewing gum doesn’t mix with braces at all. But is it really that bad? It might surprise you to learn that consuming gum during your time with braces or Invisalign can be beneficial to your oral health as long as you consume the right type of gum.
Can You Eat Gum With Braces?
The short answer is it depends on the type of chewing gum. While there is still discourse on whether chewing gum is good for you or not, it is agreed that everyone should avoid chewing gum that contains sugar, that includes people who aren’t going through an orthodontic treatment like Peabody teeth braces.
The sugar in chewing gums reacts with the bacteria in your mouth to produce acids that demineralize your teeth’s enamel. Additionally, sugar makes gum stickier, increasing the possibility of it sticking to your braces’ metal wire and bending it. A bent wire can make your teeth move differently from intended, setting your treatment back a few weeks if you don’t take care of it immediately.
Sugar-free gum, however, is not nearly as bad as regular chewing gum and even has some benefits to your oral health. According to Healthline, dentists will recommend the use of gum as long as it’s sugar-free and has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
Of course, issues like bent wires, although less likely, can still occur. Given that some braces are more likely to suffer damage than others, it’s best to ask your specialist orthodontist in Peabody if chewing gum is beneficial to you.
What Kind of Gum Is Good for Teeth?
The ADA states that sugar-free gum can benefit your oral health. Chewing on plain sugar-free gum stimulates your saliva flow rate tenfold and the effect is bigger when chewing on sugar-free flavored and sweetened gum. The increased saliva flow rate allows for better removal of enamel-damaging acids in your mouth, natural remineralization of the enamel, and the creation of a protective layer against erosion.
If you are looking into buying some sugarless gum for your own, just search for the ADA-accepted seal on the packaging. The ADA awards the seal to products whose companies proved, by laboratory or clinical studies, that their sugar-free gum won’t harm the sensitive tissue in your mouth and offer the characteristics mentioned above. Here you can take a look at all the products awarded the ADA-accepted seal.
Can You Chew Gum With Invisalign?
You can chew gum during your Invisalign treatment, just don’t forget to use sugarless gum and remove your clear aligners beforehand. Thanks to the removable nature of Invisalign, patients can enjoy basically any type of food of their liking without putting their treatment at risk. If you were to chew gum while wearing the appliance, you would run the risk of damaging your aligner, which can lead to both pain and delays in your orthodontic treatment process.
When you are chewing sugarless gum, don’t forget to brush your teeth and aligners before putting them back on to avoid bacteria accumulation and its consequences. Additionally, don’t lose track of time. You should wear your Invisalign clear aligners from 20 to 22 hours a day; if you chew gum for extended periods, you run the risk of not wearing them enough and delaying your treatment in the process.
What if Gum Sticks to My Brackets?
If you get gum stuck in your braces, try to remain calm. The worst thing that can come out of getting gum stuck in your braces is an unexpected visit to your orthodontist.
First, try to remove all the gum possible by brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It’s important to not apply much force during the whole process to avoid damaging your orthodontics. After brushing, carefully use regular dental floss to remove as much gum as possible from your braces. Brush again if there is still gum left, and then proceed to rinse thoroughly. If there’s still gum trapped in your mouth, call your orthodontist.
Even if you manage to remove all the gum stuck to your braces, it’s important to inform your orthodontist about the situation. They might want to check on your appliance for any possible bends on the archwire.
Keep Your Treatment on Track
If you have questions regarding orthodontic treatment or have an orthodontic emergency at hand, our orthodontic specialists in Peabody are here to help you in any way they can. Just schedule an appointment with us here or call us at 978-487-5850.