Whether or not you can chew gum with braces on can be a cause of debate. Some say you should never attempt it – while others insist it can even be good for you.
In reality, chewing gum while wearing braces is generally not a wise idea. The reason? You increase the risk of damaging your braces and your teeth.
Braces most often consist of metal wires and brackets that are competently designed to gently move your teeth into shape. While they are extremely sturdy and bend-resistant, some food items can cause them to move or shift around. One of the most common culprits for this can be hard or sticky food, such as chewing gum. If eating chewing gum causes your braces to bend, you may or may not feel it. Apart from being super inconvenient, it can also lead to your teeth alignment to change into an undesirable or awkward trajectory, which could ruin the results of your dentist’s hard work.
A secondary danger of chewing gum is, of course, its high sugar content. Bits and pieces of gum can get lodged in between the metal brackets, making them hard to remove by brushing or flossing. Sugar can then contribute to tooth cavity and infections, which could mean another unnecessary trip to your dentist.
So can you chew gum with braces on? It’s never a good idea. If you’re a chewing gum lover, there are a few things you can do without having to risk your braces – and teeth – getting damaged. If you enjoy the feeling of chewing, try going for foods that are soft and not as chewy – such as apple or carrot slices. For an easy breath freshener, try chewing on some parsley or placing a clove on your tongue. Lastly, if you’re after a sugary treat, opt for sugar-free chocolate or yogurt. There are plenty of good options out there – there’s no need to rely on possibly harmful chewing gum while you’re wearing your braces. After all, a beautiful smile is worth it!