Patients often wonder whether it is acceptable to chew gum while they have braces or are undergoing Invisalign treatment. In this post, our BC orthodontists discuss what you should know about chewing gum with braces or Invisalign.
Reasons to Avoid Chewing Gum With Braces
Gum and braces are not a good combination, and may result in prolonged treatment or even unexpected trips to the orthodontist.
The stickiness of gum can get stuck in the brackets, wires, and elastics of your braces and be very difficult to remove. Gum being stuck in your braces can not only be harmful to the braces themselves, but also damage your teeth and lead to cavities.
The major concern of chewing gum with braces is that it can cause the wires to bend. Even a minor bend in a wire can cause your teeth to shift in the wrong direction. If your teeth begin to move out of place, it will likely add a significant amount of time to your treatment timeline.
What Happens When You Have Gum Stuck in Your Braces?
Even though it is advised to avoid chewing gum with braces, some patients choose to do it anyways. If you do decide to chew gum, it is important to ensure none of it gets stuck in your braces, and if it does, there are some steps to take to help remove it.
First, use your toothbrush to remove as much of the gum as you can. e sure not to scrub too hard as you could end up damaging your brackets and wires. If you notice some gum stuck between your braces or teeth, carefully floss the area to ease it out. It would then be best to gently brush the area again because flossing should help dislodge any gum stuck in those hard-to-reach areas.
If you find that you can't remove all of the gum, you should see your orthodontist as soon as possible. They will be able to thoroughly clean your teeth without you having to worry about moving or damaging the wires. Even if you are able to remove all of the gum, it's worth mentioning to your orthodontist so they can examine your braces to ensure everything is still intact and in the correct position.
Tips to Prevent Gum from Getting Stuck When Chewing with Braces
The best way to avoid damaging your braces due to chewing gum is to simply avoid chewing it. If you feel like you must chew gum to freshen your breath, do so for just a few minutes after a meal, and then thoroughly floss and brush your teeth.
Keep in mind that if you are turning to gum to take care of bad breath, you should be able to deal with it by brushing and flossing regularly and after meals, as well as ensuring you stay hydrated. These are simple steps that can keep your breath fresh without jeopardizing your orthodontic treatment
Can You Chew Gum with Invisalign? Understanding the Do's and Don'ts
Since Invisalign clear aligners are removable and should be taken out to eat or drink, it is much less of a risk to chew gum when compared to those with traditional braces. You should not chew gum while you have your aligners in as it can damage them and also cause discoloration.
We would recommend only taking your aligners out for a very short period to chew a piece of sugarless gum. Once you're done, you should brush and floss thoroughly before putting your aligners back in.
It is important to remember that treatment with Invisalign is heavily dependent on wearing them for about 22 hours per day. This means that taking them out for an extended period of time just to chew gum can impact the outcome of your treatment.