While it’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t generally chew the typical over-the-counter gum with braces, it’s important that kids understand why and what their options are. While gum isn’t necessarily entirely out of the question, it is for the most part.
Can I chew gum with braces? – This is one of the most common questions we get asked each time we put a set of braces on a child. The answer is, maybe. Let’s discuss it.
Can You Chew Gum With Braces?
Chewing gum with braces is possible, but it requires some careful considerations. Make sure you only chew sugar-free gum that doesn’t contain any orthodontically damaging ingredients. Some examples are Orbit sugar-free and Trident sugar-free.
These two brands have a soft texture and the sugar-free nature makes them the safest choice for kids with braces. To reduce the risk of damaging your braces and wires, break the gum into small pieces and chew gently and mindfully. Avoid excessive force and be conscious of the pressure you apply when chewing.
Can You Chew Sugar Free Gum With Braces?
Yes, you can chew sugar-free gum but you need to deploy a certain level of caution. Learning how to chew gum with braces is just as important as understanding what gum to chew.
It’s essential to avoid sugary gum, sticky or hard gums, and remember to remove gum before eating. If you experience any pain or discomfort while chewing gum with braces, consult your orthodontist for guidance. Chewing sugar-free gum for short periods immediately post orthodontic visits for a day or two may even reduce the discomfort associated with orthodontic adjustments. This process is similar to when you rub your elbow when you hit it somewhere.
We recommend only chewing sugar-free gum because the other kinds cause tooth decay and the sugary nature typically causes them to be more sticky so they’ll stick to your braces more easily.
What Gum Can You Chew With Braces?
As we’ve said, while we don’t entirely recommend chewing gum with braces, there are some options available if you need that boost of fresh breath.
Orbit Sugar-Free Gum: Orbit is known for its soft texture and sugar-free options, making it a popular choice among people with braces.
Trident Sugar-Free Gum: Trident offers a variety of sugar-free gum flavors and is generally considered safe for those with braces.
Dentyne Ice Sugar-Free Gum: Dentyne Ice is another brand that offers sugar-free options and is often recommended for its soft texture.
Eclipse Sugar-Free Gum: Eclipse is known for its breath-freshening properties and is available in sugar-free varieties that are suitable for braces wearers.
We strongly recommend against chewing any fruity or child-minded gums like Bubble Yum or anything like that. Those are incredibly sugary and designed to be more tacky to aid in bubble blowing.
How Does Chewing Gum Affect Braces?
So, why can’t you chew any gum with braces? It’s important to educate your children on some of the risks associated with chewing gum.
Explaining the cost of braces simply isn’t enough. They need to be able to associate the negative effects with something that will impact them. Some examples are:
Pain and Discomfort: In the event that your child gets gum stuck in their braces or the brackets get bent, this will almost always lead to discomfort. These issues can cause soreness which only creates more severe long-term issues.
Tooth Decay: Chewing gum that contains sugar when wearing braces increases the risk of tooth decay because the sugar can get stuck around your braces and cause cavities. This can lead to future pain and discomfort as well.
Saliva Production: This is actually a positive that can be beneficial for people with braces. Increased saliva in the mouth helps with digestion and dry mouth which is a major cause of tooth decay.
Important Tips for Managing Chewing Gum With Braces
Here are some important tips to keep in mind if you or your child is chewing gum while wearing braces:
- Choose sugar-free gum to minimize the risk of tooth decay.
- Opt for softer gums that are less likely to stick to braces or wires.
- Break gum into small pieces to reduce the risk of damage.
- Chew gently and mindfully, avoiding excessive force.
- Always remove gum before eating to prevent accidents and damage.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing after chewing gum to keep your teeth and braces clean.
- When all else fails, choose an alternative like mouthwash or breath spray instead of chewing gum.
Let’s take a look at some additional tips to keep in mind:
Have The Right Tools
We recommend using an orthodontic toothbrush and a water pick to help with cleaning around your braces and wires.
Flossing can be challenging with braces, so a floss threader or superfloss (a special type of dental floss with a stiff end) helps you navigate around wires and brackets.
Get Regular Checkups
Continue with your scheduled orthodontic appointments for adjustments and check-ups. Your orthodontist can also provide guidance on effective cleaning techniques and make any necessary adjustments to your braces.
It’s important that you stay on a consistent schedule to prevent long-term issues from arising with your braces.
Educate Yourself About the Risks of Chewing Gum
Most importantly, educate yourself and your children about the risks of chewing gum with braces. There are many other options on the market like breath spray and mouthwash to help get rid of bacteria and freshen breath. While gum may not always hurt you, it’s never necessary.
So, can you chew gum with braces? You can – but you probably shouldn’t. Remember that maintaining excellent oral hygiene is crucial during orthodontic treatment to prevent issues like cavities and gum disease. Caring for your braces is just one step towards optimal oral health.
Are you or your child inquiring about braces or orthodontic treatment? We’re here to help in any way possible!
Contact The Super Dentists today to learn more about our pediatric dentistry services!