We all know the golden rule: no chewing gum with braces. But is it really that bad? You might be surprised to learn that chewing gum can actually be beneficial for your oral health during your orthodontic treatment, as long as you choose the right kind of gum.
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The Type of Chewing Gum Matters
So, can you eat gum with braces? Well, it depends on the type of gum. While there is ongoing debate about whether chewing gum is good for you or not, everyone, including those without braces like Peabody teeth braces, should avoid gum that contains sugar.
Sugar in gum reacts with bacteria in your mouth, producing acids that demineralize the enamel on your teeth. Additionally, the stickiness of sugary gum increases the chances of it getting stuck to your braces’ metal wire and bending it. A bent wire can disrupt your treatment progress, setting you back by a few weeks if not addressed promptly.
However, sugar-free gum is a different story. It is not as harmful as regular gum and can even bring some oral health benefits. According to Healthline, dentists recommend sugar-free gum that carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.
Of course, the possibility of bent wires still exists, although it is less likely. To determine if chewing gum is beneficial for you, it’s best to consult your specialist orthodontist in Peabody.
The Good Gum for Your Teeth
The ADA confirms that sugar-free gum can actually benefit your oral health. Chewing plain sugar-free gum increases your saliva flow rate by tenfold. This effect is even more pronounced when you chew sugar-free flavored and sweetened gum. The increased saliva flow rate helps remove acid that damages your enamel, encourages natural remineralization, and creates a protective layer against erosion.
If you decide to purchase sugarless gum for yourself, look for the ADA-accepted seal on the packaging. The ADA awards this seal to products that have proven, through laboratory or clinical studies, that their sugar-free gum is safe for your delicate oral tissues and possesses the aforementioned characteristics. For a list of products with the ADA-accepted seal, check out our 5 WS page.
Chewing Gum and Invisalign
If you are undergoing Invisalign treatment, you can still chew gum, but remember to use sugarless gum and remove your clear aligners before doing so. Invisalign’s removable nature allows you to enjoy almost any type of food without compromising your treatment. However, chewing gum while wearing your aligners can damage them, leading to pain and delays in your orthodontic progress.
When you chew sugar-free gum, remember to brush your teeth and aligners before putting them back in your mouth to prevent bacteria buildup and its consequences. Additionally, be mindful of time. You should wear your Invisalign aligners for 20 to 22 hours daily. If you chew gum for extended periods, you risk not wearing them enough and delaying your treatment.
What if Gum Gets Stuck?
If you find yourself with gum stuck in your braces, stay calm. The worst-case scenario is an unplanned visit to your orthodontist.
First, try to remove as much gum as possible by gently brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Be careful not to apply too much force to avoid damaging your braces. After brushing, use dental floss to carefully remove any remaining gum from your braces. If there is still gum left, brush again and rinse thoroughly. If the gum persists, contact your orthodontist.
Even if you manage to remove all the gum, be sure to inform your orthodontist. They may want to check for any possible bends in the archwire.
Keep Your Treatment on Track
If you have any questions or encounter an orthodontic emergency, our expert orthodontic specialists in Peabody are here to help. Schedule an appointment with us here or call us at 978-487-5850. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!