Chewing gum can damage certain types of braces.
Chewing gum is generally not recommended for those who have braces. That said, modern braces are made with wires that are much more flexible than before, and which are less prone to damage. If you enjoy chewing gum, the best thing you can do is ask your orthodontist if it’s ok for you, depending on what type of materials have been used in the fabrication of your braces.
Read on to find out what you should know about chewing gum whilst you have braces, and what the possible risks are…
Should you chew gum with braces?
Your orthodontist may let you know that it is acceptable to chew on gum occasionally, but if you choose to do so, make sure that you go for a sugar-free type. Even if you don’t have braces, it is not advisable to chew gum that contains sugar. Sugary gum can cause plaque to form on your teeth and can lead to a range of oral health issues, including tooth decay and cavities, as well as gum disease.
Modern wires tend to be more flexible than they once were, which means that they won’t necessarily bend if you chew on the occasional piece of sugar-free gum. You should, however, always consult with your orthodontist before doing so.
Can you chew gum with clear aligners?
Clear aligners do not involve the use of any wires or brackets. Rather, they are made from medical-grade plastic and can be removed for eating, drinking, brushing and flossing. You must remove your clear aligners for every meal and snack, as well as when you chew on gum. If you don’t remove your aligners when chewing gum, the gum can get stuck inside them and even cause stains on both your teeth and aligners.
Although you should remove your clear aligners every time that you enjoy a piece of chewing gum, it is important to remember that you must wear your aligners for at least 22 hours every day. Removing your aligners too frequently can cause delays to your treatment.
Can gum get stuck in braces?
Unfortunately, chewing gum can easily get stuck in the components of your braces. If this happens, arrange to see your orthodontist for a professional cleaning. Your orthodontist will take care to remove any traces of gum from your teeth and braces and ensure that no damage is done to your brackets or wires.
While you wait for your appointment with your orthodontist, you can remove some of the gum with the help of a soft toothbrush, and loosen it with some dental floss. You may also find it helpful to rinse with a mouthwash to get rid of as many particles as possible.
What are the alternatives to gum?
To avoid damage to your braces, it is best to avoid chewing gum throughout your orthodontic treatment. You can keep your breath fresh by brushing and flossing multiple times every day, as well as by drinking plenty of water to keep your mouth clean.
If you have concerns about your oral health while you have braces, don’t hesitate to discuss them with your orthodontist who will be able to advise you on the best oral hygiene techniques and habits.
How can we help?
At South Yarra Orthodontics, we are dedicated to supporting our patients throughout their treatments. We are available to answer any questions that you have and will provide you with the guidance and information that you need.
We offer a comprehensive range of orthodontic solutions, including early treatment, Invisalign, lingual braces, metal braces, ceramic braces and surgical orthodontic treatment. To find out more about our services, please have a look here.
If you would like to come in and see us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to arrange an appointment or give us a call on (03) 9131 1999.