Can You Chew Gum With Braces? Dos and Don’ts for Those with Braces
Braces can be a life-changing solution for individuals looking to achieve a straighter and healthier smile. However, successful treatment requires certain restrictions and care requirements. One common question that arises among new patients is, “Can you chew gum with braces?” In this blog, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of chewing gum while wearing braces to help you maintain your braces and oral health during your orthodontic journey.
Should You Chew Gum While Wearing Braces?
Chewing gum while wearing braces creates a bit of a sticky situation — literally and figuratively. While the safest answer is “No, it’s best to avoid all gum while wearing braces,” there are some types of gum that pose less of a risk, and even balance it out with some benefits. But first, let’s dive into both schools of thought — those for and against chewing gum while wearing braces.
Risks Associated With Chewing Gum While Wearing Braces
What’s the harm in chewing gum with braces on? Read on to find out.
Broken Brackets Lead to Pain and Discomfort
Gum is inherently sticky, and chewing gum is frequently an activity where one can multitask and let their mind wander. So, it’s very likely that while chewing gum, someone with braces may end up with bent or broken brackets as their gum gets stuck and twisted. Not only is this messy to clean up, but the gum can also shift and bend wires. This leads to discomfort and probably an additional appointment to fix your braces and make sure everything is still on track.
Gum Containing Sugar Can Cause Tooth Decay
If you’re going to chew gum while wearing braces, be sure you choose a sugar-free gum. Gum containing sugar greatly increases your risk of tooth decay and cavities because the sugar lingers while you’re chewing.
How to Safely Chew Gum While Wearing Braces
Again, the safest route is just to avoid gum altogether during your orthodontic treatment. However, in the event where a burst of fresh breath is needed and you don’t have your toothbrush or mouthwash on hand, sugar-free gum can be utilized in moderation. See below for tips.
Always Opt for Sugar-Free Gum
If you chew sugar-free gum carefully, it can help remove debris and bacteria, lowering your risk of tooth decay and cavities.
Even after your braces treatment, choosing sugar-free gum is the best route for your oral health. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance to ensure it’s sweetened using aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol or mannitol, rather than sugar.
Chew Gum for Freshness Rather Than Fun
Sometimes people chew gum to occupy their mind, almost like a fidget spinner for the mouth. If you’re wearing braces and you feel the need to pop in some chewing gum, treat it as a quick breath mint rather than an activity. Break off a small piece of sugar-free gum, chew slowly and mindfully for a few moments, and then discard it. That way, you get the fresh breath you’re seeking while minimizing the risks associated with chewing gum with braces.
Alternatives to Chewing Gum With Braces
Remember, the safest choice is to avoid gum altogether during your orthodontic treatment, whether you’ve invested in Invisalign, metal braces, or clear braces. Below are some better alternatives to acquiring fresh breath.
Keep a Travel Dental Kit On-Hand
It may not seem “cool” to have a toothbrush as a sidekick, but trust us, it’s much better than having spinach stuck in your teeth or having stinky breath! Whenever possible, carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and a proxabrush to get in between your brackets for a stellar cleaning between meals. Check out our resources page on Taking Care of Braces for more tips.
Use ADA-Accepted Mouthwash
If a dental kit is too much to carry around with you, mouthwash can freshen your breath when needed. Just be sure it’s marked with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. Mouthwash helps remove debris and bacteria, reviving your breath with minty freshness without the risk of bent and broken wires.
Schedule an Appointment at Freytag Orthodontics
By following these guidelines, you can maintain the integrity of your braces and promote good oral hygiene throughout your orthodontic treatment. Remember, your orthodontist is your best resource for any questions or concerns related to your braces and oral care.
The team here at Freytag Orthodontics is ready to answer any questions you have regarding your orthodontic treatment. Better yet, your initial exam is free! Request a free exam at one of our two locations in Northwest Tucson and discuss affordable treatment options with an average treatment time of only 16 months. Schedule an appointment today.