Chewing gum with braces

For any teenager, getting braces can be a big change. Not only will they have appliances in their mouths, but they will also have to make some lifestyle changes to ensure they protect their smile. This includes wearing a mouthguard when playing sport and avoiding certain foods such as nuts and hard lollies. When you think about it, that’s a small price to pay for straight and beautiful teeth, which your child will have for the rest of their lives.

But fortunately there is one thing that teenagers don’t have to give up, and that’s chewing gum. Usually consumed after meals, regular chewing gum can help your child get fresher breath so they feel more comfortable in social situations. With a few helpful hints, it shouldn’t complicate your child’s orthodontic treatment.

What types of gum are suitable for braces?

There are two main types of gum on the market – chewing gum and bubble gum. Chewing gum is usually sugar-free, and can actually protect teeth from cavities because it stimulates saliva, which washes away the sugars that might have remained on the teeth. Chewing gums usually come in two forms – either soft strips or hard pellets. It is better to choose the soft strips for those with braces, to reduce the chance that appliances will be bent or broken.

On the other hand, bubble gum usually contains sugar, which can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Additionally, bubble gum tends to be more sticky, so it’s worse for teenagers with braces because it can get stuck between their brackets and wires.

What if my teen breaks their appliances when chewing gum?

Sometimes, if you have a very strong bite or if you are not careful, chewing gum can result in broken or bent appliances.  If any complications do arise from chewing gum you should contact your orthodontist immediately.

For these teens, it might be better to avoid chewing gum., But you may still want to freshen your breath. Mints that dissolve in your mouth are a great alternative. You can also drink water infused with the citrus flavours of lemon or lime – this will help you hydrate and freshen your breath at the same time.

If your teen is yet to begin their orthodontic treatment, use our Finder tool to search for a registered specialist orthodontist in your area.

 

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