Why Is Chewing Gum With Braces Not Recommended by Most Orthodontists?
Why Should You Avoid Chewing Gum With Braces?
Dental braces are popular because of the long list of benefits that they provide. These include alleviation of speech impairment and improved ability to chew food. However, these are accompanied by an oral hygiene routine that you need to strictly follow every day and a list of foods that you need to avoid. All of these are worth it in exchange for a more beautiful smile.
Ideally, you should be on a soft foods diet, meaning you must avoid hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods. Since Americans love to chew gum, one of the most popular questions from patients who are about to undergo orthodontic treatment is if it is okay to chew gum with braces.
The short answer is NO. To know why chewing gum with braces is not okay and what the alternatives are, read on!
Why Do Some People Say That It’s Fine to Chew Gum With Braces?
on the internet that chewing gum with braces is fine and does not have You probably heard it before from a relative or a friend or read it somewhere consequences. Others say that that metal braces now are more durable hence chewing gum is completely fine. In fact, others claim that they get benefits from chewing gum as long as it is sugar-free.
The advantages are real enough according to research. Regular gums are loaded with sugar and tend to stick to braces but sugar-free chewing gums help reduce bacteria in the mouth to prevent cavities and tooth decay. They also help increase saliva production which washes away bacteria and removes food particles especially if you can’t brush your teeth immediately after eating.
Some sources claim that chewing gum can help increase blood flow which will eventually alleviate pain and inflammation that are often present when wearing braces. The question is, are these benefits worth the risk?
Why Should You Not Chew Gum With Braces?
Whether sugar-free or not, there are risks involved when chewing gum with braces. Just like other sticky food, there is a good chance that the gum might get stuck and cause the wires to bend when you try to remove them. Wires are tightly fitted to guide the movement of your teeth during the treatment period, and bent wires can greatly compromise the results and lengthen your treatment.
Good for you if you immediately notice bent wires and are able to set an appointment with your orthodontist at once. If you don’t, undetected bent wires can cause your teeth to move in the wrong direction and worsen their condition instead of improving it. This can add more discomfort, not to mention expenses for the treatment.
Also, while it is true that chewing can increase blood flow, regular gum chewing can actually add tension to your teeth and cause pain.
What’s The Final Score?
Now that you know the risks as well as the possible benefits of chewing gum with braces, it is really up to you to decide. Most orthodontists suggest that you forego chewing gum during the treatment period. Simply put, the risk is just too significant to be taken for granted and the benefits can actually be gained from braces-friendly alternatives.
If you are chewing gum to freshen up your breath, go for sugar-free mints or citrus-infused water which will keep you hydrated at the same time. If you want to address pain and inflammation, take over-the-counter pain relievers, or apply an ice pack to alleviate the swelling. As for the claim that chewing sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities, it’s better to brush and floss instead.
More Tips for That Perfect Smile
Wearing braces is not a walk in the park as it also comes with other challenges aside from avoiding chewing gum. The routine is not as difficult as you think, and the small discomforts that you might encounter are all worth it in exchange for a more confident you, with a perfect smile.
To lessen discomfort and prevent the extension of the treatment period, make your priority while wearing braces for your oral health. Starting with your hygiene, brush your teeth regularly, and floss hard-to-reach areas. Use soft bristles and be gentle when brushing so as not to hurt your gums. Read here.
Make it a habit to schedule appointments with your orthodontist as well. Regular visits to the clinic will ensure that all your brackets and wires will remain in their correct positions and adjustments will be done as early as possible as necessary. This will also prevent serious gum problems such as periodontitis.
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