Of course, you can chew gum while wearing braces. Should you, though, chew gum while wearing braces? That can be a tricky question to answer.
For a long time, the response was a resounding “No.” Not only did our favorite gum cause damage to dental works, but they were also loaded with sugar, which cavity-causing bacteria love. What’s the end result? Damage to your orthodontic treatment is even more likely, as is the possibility of cavities near your brackets and wires. But times, and gum recipes, have changed. Today’s sugar-free gum provides us with some new ideas to chew over.
Sugarless gum is less sticky than standard gum, so it won’t stick to your appliance as often. If there’s a risk gum could hurt your wires or brackets, we’ll advise you to wait until your braces are off before eating gum.
Some orthodontic patients find that chewing gum for a few minutes after an adjustment helps to alleviate discomfort in their jaws and ligaments.
Research even suggests that chewing sugarless gum can actually help prevent cavities. How is this possible?
Since chewing gum enhances our saliva production! Okay, saliva isn’t usually an exciting, exclamation-point-worthy subject, but consider the dental benefits:
Food particles and bacteria are washed away by saliva. And, since braces can trap food while we eat, having some help washing away any meal-time mementos is a huge plus.
Saliva aids in the neutralization of acids in the mouth. Cavities are caused by acids found in foods and formed by oral bacteria, so diluting and neutralizing their effects protects our enamel.
Saliva aids in the absorption of minerals that help to regenerate damaged enamel. Acids in the mouth attack minerals in the enamel that strengthen our teeth, such as calcium and phosphate. Saliva, on the other hand, contains calcium, phosphate, and fluoride, both of which can help to regenerate weakened enamel.
So, chewing gum while wearing braces is a good idea, right? Should you chew gum with braces on? Our doctors and team at Georgia School of Orthodontics are eager to help you find the best solution. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of dentist-approved sugarless gum with us at your next visit to our Atlanta or Gwinnett office.