Chewing Gum and Braces: What You Need to Know

There are a whole host of rules about what you should and shouldn’t eat or chew when you have braces. Conventional wisdom says that chewing gum is one of the things you shouldn’t do. Some people find that a lot more difficult to abide by than others. If you’re one of those people, there are some things you should know about chewing gum and braces.

Why It’s Recommended Against

Chewing gum can get pretty sticky. This makes it easy for it to get stuck on the archwires and brackets of your braces. If the brackets loosen or if the archwire becomes bent, it could negatively impact your treatment. You could end up extending the length of your treatment by weeks.

If You Absolutely Must

Despite the potential negatives, some people have a really hard time staying away from chewing gum. If you absolutely can’t go without it, at least talk to Dr. Carver first to learn about the materials used for your braces and what impact chewing gum would have on them. Be careful about what type of gum you choose. Go with a Xylitol containing sugarless chewing gum to reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.

Gum and Invisalign

For people who are good candidates for Invisalign, chewing gum may be less of an issue. The possibility of removing the aligners is one of Invisalign’s selling points. While you should wear your aligners as much as possible, you should never wear them while chewing gum. Doing so can cause the gum to stick to your aligners, even making its way inside. The excess saliva produced by chewing gum can also stain the aligners and teeth, ruining their subtle appearance. Remove your aligners to chew an occasional stick of gum. Avoid removing them more than is recommended, however, as doing so can increase the treatment time. 

As a general rule, it’s best to avoid chewing gum while you have braces. That can be really tough for some people, especially if they’ve been chewing gum for years and have made a habit of it. If you don’t feel like you can go without for the several months that a traditional braces treatment lasts, talk to Dr. Carver to see if you are a good candidate for Invisalign. That way you can still enjoy a bit of chewing gum now and then while your teeth are straightened.

Did chewing gum mess up your braces? Stellar Family Orthodontics can help! Click here to learn what to do next.