If you are an American who loves chewing gum, getting braces might stir up thoughts about whether you will be able to eat it after getting those barbed wires on your teeth or not. Well, you do not have to give it up entirely. Although it is not recommended to eat gum with braces, there are ways you can minimize the issues that may arise with doing so.
Chewing Gum with Braces
Nowadays, braces are built differently to last long. They are equipped with sturdy brackets and wires that significantly reduce the risk of damage caused by eating gum. This means you can be easy when it comes to enjoying gum with braces. However, you must note to strongly have sugar-free gum only when you have braces.
As a matter of fact, in certain cases, they not only allow but encourage the use of gum with braces. Why so? Well, according to recent studies by the ADA – American Dental Association, when you cannot brush your teeth after a meal with braces, eating sugarless gum for about 20 minutes or so can prevent tooth decay. This boosts salivary production in your mouth, which does the following:
- Gets Rid of Harmful Acids: Saliva eliminates acids by bacteria in plaque that can lead to tooth decay.
- Strengthening Tooth Enamel: Saliva is packed with minerals like calcium, phosphate, and fluoride that help fortify tooth enamel.
Alternatives to Chewing Gum
Your dentist probably emphasizes the importance of avoiding sugary foods, more so after getting braces. This is primarily because of the stickiness of sugar. Sugary films on your teeth enamel for an extended period heighten the risk of tooth decay.
Choosing sugarless gum when wearing braces is allowed by the ADA. These gums are sweetened with sugar substitutes such as aspartame, sorbitol, xylitol, or mannitol, all of which are cavity-friendly.
1. Brushing and Flossing
If you are using gum with braces as a preventive measure against cavities, consider adding brushing and flossing to your routine. Brush your teeth at least two times daily and floss once, clean your teeth after meals, and drink plain water to achieve similar results.
2. Mints as an Alternative
To freshen your mouth, chewing gum, sugar-free breath mints, or mouthwash is a good alternative. Just make sure not to go with hard mints, as they can break your bracket if not handled carefully.
3. Other Considerations
The worst-case scenario with gum is that it could get stuck in your braces. If this happens, do not wait and take immediate action. Brush it off as much as possible from your teeth; however, avoid vigorous scrubbing to prevent damage to your brackets and wires.
For gum that has intertwined in the crevices and cracks of your braces, other than brush, you can also use regular dental floss to remove it.
Chewing gum with braces is no longer a solid “no,” but you must follow guidelines to maintain your oral health and protect your braces. If you wish to learn more, contact professionals from Cinco Ranch Family Dentistry at our dental clinic at 22167 Westheimer Pkwy Unit 110, Katy, TX. 77450. Connect via call at (281) 407-5442.