Living with teeth braces has become a reality for many children, young adults, and even adults who wish to improve their teeth by straightening them and putting them into the correct position so that they could have a more natural bite, improved dental health, and a prettier smile. However, the process of using braces is often very long, and the materials from which they are made off can become warped or damaged if the user is not following the “Do Not Chew List” given to them by their dental physicians. This list covers all types of food that can damage braces, especially if a user consumes this food regularly. While this list mainly covers hard foods and foods whose complex pieces can get stuck between teeth and brace elements (such as nuts, popcorn, pizza crusts, carrots, and corn on the cob). Users are also highly discouraged from consuming foods or treats that require long and constant jaw movement, such as caramel apples, licorice, toffee, tootsie rolls, sugar daddies, caramels, and of course, all types of chewing gum.
While many people can control themselves into not eating most items from their “Do Not Chew List,” not consuming chewing gum has proven to be one of the most vital challenges. Because of the tendency of bracer users to destroy chewing gum, this phenomenon received attention from dental health and medicinal sources. While it is accepted by many that chewing gum can have many beneficial effects on dental and mental health, their use and the bracers can have significant adverse effects.
The most commonly used type of teeth braces uses brackets on individual teeth, connected with a strong wire. During each visit to the dentist, those brackets will be moved (or rotated) a bit, enabling slow but steady movement of individual teeth into the correct position. Strong wire to hold teeth in the right place represents the foundation of excellent and effective dental braces. Chewing gum (and other foods) can put unnecessary strain on the central brace wire, warping it and enabling teeth to drift out of their position. In the worst-case scenario, teeth can start moving into the wrong places, causing additional dental problems for the user. Chewing gums can also stick to the metal construction of the bracers, causing discomfort or dental health issues.
However, chewing gum while wearing braces is possible if it is done responsibly. Firstly, the only types of gum that are used should be “dental” chewing gums. They are made from specific ingredients that will not cause the gum to stick to bracers and will additionally use sugar replacements to improve your dental health. Chewing gum while wearing braces can strengthen the roots of the teeth that are put under strain by the metal construction. Dentists often recommend that users chew only a small portion of gum while feeling the pain in their teeth. When the pain stops, spit the gum immediately out, clean their teeth and braces, and continue maintaining their dental health (with toothpaste and brush) until the next meal.
If you have braces and want to chew gum, it's essential to consult with your orthodontist for specific guidelines and recommendations.