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November 2022

Chewing gum can be detrimental to orthodontics.

Chewing Gum and Orthodontic Treatments

By Braces

Chewing gum has never been good friends with dentistry or orthodontics. The same happens with candy in general. It wasn’t until recently that these types of snacks were popularized unsugared.

And we all know sugar is the true enemy of your teeth. You probably have heard somewhere that sugar can damage the tooth enamel and contribute to oral bacteria issues or gum disease. And yes, it’s all true; you should take it easy with your sugar consumption.

But it is also imperative to say that this fact doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat sugar, candy, or gum. People often see things as black or white, and this is a gray matter. Science has shown that we, humans, need a bit of every food group and sugar is one of them.

The thing is, we are used to abusing sugar daily. Candies and chewing gum used to have much more sugar than we need daily. That’s why specialists recommend avoiding them in general.

Nowadays, we have alternatives, healthy alternatives. Sugar-free gum and candies are becoming more and more popular by the day. People are now more aware of the consequences of snacking too much.

The situation with gum used to be twice as complicated as with candy. Chewing gum also constitutes a problem due to its texture, hard and sticky. For orthodontic patients with metal braces or invisible aligners, chewing gum is risky.

Can You Eat Gum With Braces?

Gum can get stuck between your archwires and bend them. In some cases, this can affect your treatment, but it won’t be necessary to set a new appointment before your next check-up.

Nowadays, archwires are often made of a more flexible metal that can take the chewing of gum without bending. We would still recommend avoiding gum in general since it can be hard to be sure about the materials of your archwires.

Chewing gum can also cause detached brackets, which is obviously not good for your orthodontic treatment.

All of these are problems with easy solutions. However, it’s best for you if you avoid chewing gum all the time and have a different snack instead.

What Kind of Gum Is Good for Teeth?

When unsugared candy was invented, the world changed its curse. Sugar-free gum is a much healthier alternative, and sometimes it is even recommended by dentists and orthodontists because the chewing exercise can be helpful in certain cases and increases saliva production.

If we leave patients with braces apart, chewing gum does not suppose a threat to your teeth except for the sugar it contains.

As we all know, sugar can damage the tooth enamel, which is the protective coat of your teeth. If the tooth enamel is weak, you can easily be at risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Eating sugar constantly hurts your oral health more than you can imagine. Chewing gum covers your teeth with sugar, and that’s how it damages your enamel.

Can You Chew Gum With Invisalign?

This question has two answers. One of the many benefits of starting orthodontic treatment with clear aligners is that you get to eat almost everything you want since your teeth can be freed in a matter of minutes.

Having the opportunity to take off your orthodontic appliances whenever you want to eat is amazing. But let’s not forget the immense importance of wearing your Invisalign aligners for as much as possible.

You literally should take them off only for eating and brushing your teeth. So, if you want to chew gum, you have to take off your aligners, and this means you can only enjoy gum for a few minutes a day.

If you chew gum with Invisalign in your mouth, you will probably have a hard time when the gum gets attached to the appliance. Remember eating with your aligners on can break your dental molds.

What if Gum Sticks to My Brackets?

This is more common than you think. People usually believe “this won’t happen to me,” and of course, it happens to them too. Traditional braces and gum are better when not mixed.

You can first brush the affected area with your usual tools for oral hygiene: toothpaste and a toothbrush. Interdental brushes for braces are very useful as well since you can reach difficult parts with them.

The gum might not come out entirely, but you should keep trying, and it will surely come out in a day or two maximum. Call your orthodontist’s office if you can’t get rid of it.

Doubts About How to Take Care of Your Braces?

Set an appointment with your team of specialized orthodontists in Sacramento, California. Your teeth will thank you.

Can an Orthodontic Treatment Be Done Without Tooth Extraction?

By Braces

For some of us, it may seem odd to have teeth removed for orthodontic treatments. People are under the impression that tooth extraction can negatively affect your denture’s functioning. You should know this is not necessarily true.

Dentists and orthodontists have many reasons to suggest tooth extractions, and deciding whether to do it will always be your decision. If you trust your orthodontist, this process should not be a problem.

A dentist may suggest removing your teeth when you have a crowded bite or crooked teeth, which are serious problems, believe it or not. Tooth decay is another common cause for extractions in cases where the damage has pierced the tooth or molars.

You should pay attention to your dental care routine to avoid tooth decay since it can turn into a delicate matter when cavities appear. Cavities usually mean losing teeth and the need to wear implants even at an early age.

Since cavities are a consequence of the tooth decay process, you must check your dental care routine and make a strict habit of following your dentist’s tips. Kids can be the principal affected by this issue because parents tend to think that since their children will be losing all of their teeth by the age of 6 or 7, it doesn’t matter if they ruin their baby teeth. But the truth is that cavities can damage your kid’s oral health and lead to infections.

Of course, it becomes irreversible when an adult with permanent teeth needs to get extractions due to cavities or perhaps to get orthodontic treatment like braces. In most cases, the dental expert’s suggestion will not suppose any damage to your lifestyle or denture.

Let’s break down when extractions are needed:

Why Would I Need to Have a Tooth Extracted?

There is plenty of reasons why your dentist may suggest getting rid of one or even some of your teeth. Here are some common and not-so-common explanations:

  • Baby teeth on adults: sometimes teens or young adults (21) still have primary teeth in their mouths. Usually, this means minimum extractions (1 or 2 teeth).
  • Tooth decay or cavities: when a tooth presents cavities, the deterioration process has gone too far, and the best alternative is to pull out the tooth and replace it with an implant.
  • Wisdom teeth: this last set of molars is like a roulette game because not everybody has them, and not everyone needs them removed. There are cases where a person only gets one or two of them. The thing is, if you don’t have the space for them, they can change the whole distribution of your bite.
  • Crowded teeth: this is orthodontics’ kingdom. Having your teeth too close or overlapping can be a serious problem, and this is why your orthodontist may want to create more space in your palate by extracting some teeth.

So, this last point takes us to the option of removing teeth before getting traditional metal braces.

Why Would I Need to Have a Tooth Extracted?

Tooth extractions are not a rule in orthodontics; it is not like it’s mandatory to have some teeth removed by an orthodontist. It is common, though. Whether your dental expert recommends extractions or not will depend on your particular case.

Traditional brackets are one of the primary reasons to have teeth removed because it is an orthodontic treatment often used to correct misalignment. When someone has a crowded bite, it’s usually because they do not have enough space for all of their teeth.

One of the best options to solve the problem is to create the space. You should not have gaps between your teeth after this since the braces will correct your denture.

Wisdom Teeth Removal for Braces

Unlike other teeth, wisdom teeth are the usual candidates for extractions. Since these two pairs of molars are not necessary for the correct functioning of your denture, extractions mean no trouble for you.

If you are planning or considering beginning orthodontic treatment and your X-Rays show wisdom teeth, your dental specialist will most likely suggest taking them out.

This is done as prevention because sometimes orthodontists don’t know for sure if the wisdom teeth will erupt, but once you have had braces or clear aligners, getting two pairs of new molars can throw all the previous work into the garbage.

If your wisdom teeth are yet to come out, it’s probably best to have them extracted before you start any other orthodontic procedure.

What to Eat After Tooth Extraction

Being submitted to teeth extraction can be uncomfortable and even painful. However, it is nothing to worry about since the pain will disappear in a few days, and you can eat lots of ice cream.

Yes, ice cream is one of those few things you can eat during the first one or two days after having a tooth removed. The cold will ease the pain you might be feeling and will help with inflammation in the affected area.

What else is good for you during this short period?

  • Soups: preferably cold ones. Bland or liquid diets that avoid chewing will save a lot of unnecessary pain.
  • Soft bread or bland meals: once you have gotten through the first two days, perhaps you would still like to take it slow with the recovery process. Boiled vegetables and bland proteins are good options.
  • Avoid crunchy or hard meals and super hot and spicy food. During this period, these are not your friends.

All of these recommendations are also good if you have orthodontic braces or aligners. If you’re new to the procedure, you may not know this yet, but the first days after you’ve been to your dentist’s office, you can experience mild to moderate pain in your gums.

This is due to the pressure of the orthodontic appliances. After a short period, your teeth will get used to their new position, and the pain will go. But while you are experiencing this, you can find some comfort in ice cream and bland diets.

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