Is Chewing Gum Good for Braces?

Chewing gum during orthodontic treatment with braces may not be ideal.

Teeth play a fundamental role in functional body processes and aesthetic appearance; in recent years, many patients have had concerns about their teeth.

Furthermore, engaging in an orthodontic treatment involves adapting to new eating habits and food restrictions that enhance effectiveness. In this sense, dental treatment with braces exerts pressure that causes mild discomfort on the teeth. So doctors recommend eating soft, chewy foods to minimize the discomfort when chewing.

Here we list examples of foods you could eat during treatment:

  • purées;
  • soups;
  • cooked and soft meats without fiber;
  • fish;
  • pureed fruit and;
  • cooked vegetables.

Orthodontists recommend patients avoid hard foods like nuts or meats with bones. Eating hard-to-chew food might bend the wire arches, or brackets might lose.

Sticky foods such as chewing gum or chewy candies make hygiene difficult and could get stuck in orthodontic appliances.

When patients look for foods they can eat with braces, they must question whether it doesn’t harm the treatment devices. In general, and according to specialists, any food with a soft texture is suitable for eating.

Some of the soft foods to eat with braces are:

  • Soft fruits:
    • Grapes,
    • Kiwis,
    • Bananas.
  • Steamed vegetables.
  • Dairy Products:
    • Yogurt and cheese.
  • Soft meats:
    • Chicken,
    • Sausages,
    • Fish.
  • Desserts:
    • Jellies,
    • Custards,
    • Smoothies (sweetened with non-caloric sweeteners).
  • Flour Products or Cereals:
    • Soft tortillas,
    • Cooked rice,
    • Pasta.

So, where does this leave chewing gum? Can you even have chewing gum or another snack when you’re wearing braces?1

Can You Chew Gum With Braces?

We don’t recommend chewing gum with braces because it produces more friction between the teeth than usual, making it easier for brackets to break or detach from teeth.

When brackets detach or wires break, derail or deform, it delays the treatment plan, and the orthodontist has to repair the orthodontic device. In addition, it is annoying for a patient to have sticky gum entangled between wires and brackets.

However, if you choose to chew gum, we recommend you try gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval labeled on the package.

What Kind of Gum Is Good for Braces?

As previously noted, ADA-approved sugar-free gum is the best option if you want to chew gum during orthodontic treatment.

Also, in noting some benefits of chewing gum, it helps increase saliva production. Saliva helps neutralize and remove acids produced when plaque bacteria break down food and drink on the teeth.

Research carried out in 2018 shows that chewing gum could reduce the impact and pain caused by braces placement on teeth.

In addition, ADA-approved chewing gum contains xylitol, a sweetener that promotes dental cleaning while preventing cavities. Remember that caries is a silent enemy, especially within an orthodontic treatment.

Can You Chew Gum With Invisalign?

One of the advantages of using Invisalign is the ease a patient has to remove their trays when eating or drinking.

Chewing with the trays on can wear and damage the orthodontist intended shape, making them useless. Furthermore, if you chew gum with your Invisalign trays on, you could face two problems:

  • gum can get stuck in the tray and might be hard to remove, and;
  • the tray gets deformed, and that does not help align your teeth

How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene?

A common problem occurs in orthodontics patients who do not follow the required complete hygiene steps; the accumulation of dental plaque and tartar on teeth.

Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay, gum disease, and cavities affecting oral health. Plaque accumulation could cause gingivitis, gum inflammation, and bone tissue damage.

To avoid reaching harmful extremes and damaging the orthodontic treatment due to lack of care, we encourage patients to follow these recommendations:

  • brush their teeth at least three times a day or after each meal;
  • use an interdental brush or self-threading flossers and complementarily use dental irrigators and;
  • visit the dentist for a deep dental cleaning every six months.

What Not to Eat With Braces?

It is essential to be aware of and control the intake of contraindicated foods during braces treatment. Here is a list of foods you should avoid eating during the orthodontic treatment process with braces:

  • Hard To Chew and Crunchy Foods:
    • Popcorn,
    • Ice cubes,
    • Hard crust bread.
  • Fruits and vegetables:
    • Raw carrots,
    • Whole apples,
    • Pears
  • Sticky foods:
    • Gum (especially sugar-sweetened),
    • Chewy candies.
  • Sugary foods:
    • Candy apples,
    • Pop-tarts.
  • Hard To Bite Meats:
    • Tomahawk,
    • Ribeye,
    • Ribs.

A Patient-Centered Approach To Orthodontics

At Hillsdale Orthodontics, our objective is to give our patients a smile with a characteristic smile, one that melts people’s hearts for new and expanded opportunities.

Call or schedule an appointment to jointly discover a new you with a beautiful smile that amazes the people around you.

Share:

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University – Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania – Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Certificate in Orthodontics

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University – Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania – Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Certificate in Orthodontics