Avoiding Gum While Wearing Braces

avoiding gum while wearing braces

Braces are a common orthodontic treatment used to straighten teeth and improve oral health. However, wearing braces requires extra care and attention to maintain good oral hygiene. One of the most common questions asked by those with braces is whether or not they can chew gum. In this article, we will discuss the importance of braces care and provide tips on how to avoid gum while wearing braces.

Why is Braces Care Important?

Braces are designed to gradually move teeth into their correct positions, which can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. During this time, it is crucial to take care of your braces and teeth to ensure the best possible outcome. Neglecting proper braces care can lead to longer treatment times, discomfort, and even damage to your teeth.

Brushing and Flossing

Brushing and flossing are essential parts of braces care. With braces, food particles and plaque can easily get trapped between the brackets and wires, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. It is recommended to brush your teeth after every meal and floss at least once a day. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to gently clean around the brackets and wires. Floss threaders or interdental brushes can also be used to clean between the wires and teeth.

Regular Dental Check-Ups

Regular dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining good oral health while wearing braces. Your orthodontist will schedule appointments every 4-6 weeks to adjust your braces and monitor your progress. During these appointments, your orthodontist will also clean your braces and check for any issues that may need to be addressed.

Why Should You Avoid Gum While Wearing Braces?

Chewing gum may seem harmless, but it can cause significant problems for those with braces. Here are some reasons why you should avoid gum while wearing braces:

Damage to Braces

Chewing gum can cause damage to your braces, such as bending or breaking the wires and brackets. This can lead to discomfort and may require additional appointments with your orthodontist to fix the damage.

Difficulty Cleaning Braces

Gum can easily get stuck in between the brackets and wires, making it difficult to clean properly. This can lead to an accumulation of plaque and bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Risk of Swallowing Gum

Accidentally swallowing gum is a common occurrence, but it can be dangerous for those with braces. If gum gets stuck in your braces, it can be challenging to remove and may end up being swallowed. Swallowing gum can cause digestive issues and may even require medical attention in rare cases.

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Tips for Avoiding Gum While Wearing Braces

Now that we understand the importance of avoiding gum while wearing braces, here are some tips to help you resist the temptation:

Find Alternatives

If you have a habit of chewing gum, try finding alternatives that are safe for braces. Sugar-free gum is a good option as it does not stick to braces and can help freshen your breath. However, it is still recommended to avoid gum altogether to prevent any potential damage to your braces.

Keep Your Mouth Busy

Chewing gum is often a habit that helps keep our mouths busy. If you find yourself wanting to chew gum, try finding other activities to keep your mouth occupied, such as chewing on sugar-free mints or drinking water.

Be Mindful of What You Eat

Avoiding gum is not the only aspect of braces care. It is also essential to be mindful of what you eat to prevent any damage to your braces. Sticky and hard foods, such as gum, can cause damage to your braces and should be avoided. Opt for softer foods that are easier to chew, such as cooked vegetables, soft fruits, and lean meats.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for avoiding gum while wearing braces. Brushing and flossing after every meal can help remove any food particles that may get stuck in your braces. It is also recommended to rinse your mouth with water after eating to help dislodge any food debris.

What to Do if You Accidentally Chew Gum

Accidents happen, and if you accidentally chew gum while wearing braces, here are some steps you can take:

Remove the Gum

If you can feel the gum stuck in your braces, try to remove it gently with your fingers. If it is difficult to remove, use a toothpick or floss to dislodge it.

Rinse Your Mouth

After removing the gum, rinse your mouth with water to help remove any remaining pieces. You can also use an antiseptic mouthwash to help kill any bacteria that may have been introduced.

Check for Damage

After removing the gum, check your braces for any damage. If you notice any bent or broken wires or brackets, contact your orthodontist for an appointment to get them fixed.

Resist The Temptation

Braces care is essential for maintaining good oral health and achieving the best possible outcome from your orthodontic treatment. Avoiding gum while wearing braces is crucial to prevent any damage to your braces and maintain good oral hygiene. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can successfully resist the temptation of chewing gum and ensure a smooth and successful orthodontic journey. Remember to practice good oral hygiene and attend regular check-ups with your orthodontist for the best results.