When you’re going through orthodontic treatment, you often think about making some changes, even in your daily habits, like what you eat.
One question that comes up is, “Can you chew gum when you have Invisalign?”
In this article, we’ll talk about gum-chewing while using clear aligners and share some tips to keep your teeth healthy while still enjoying your favourite treats.
Chewing Gum With Invisalign: Truth Revealed
The short answer is yes, you can chew gum with Invisalign, even though dentists recommend avoiding sugary gums.
In moderation and with the right precautions, chewing gum is generally permissible during Invisalign treatment. However, just like with metal braces, you can face some repercussions, such as cavities and tooth decay.
The Dos of Chewing Gum with Invisalign
1. Choose Sugar-Free Gum
Choose sugar-free gum to safeguard your teeth from pesky tooth decay. It’s a good idea to steer clear of regular sugary gum, especially when you’re in the midst of your orthodontic treatment, as it’s loaded with sugar that can pave the way for those dreaded cavities. If you can’t find sugar-free gums, choose a clean gum with natural sugar alcohols.
2. Remove Your Aligners
If you’re determined to enjoy some gum, the first step is to remove your Invisalign braces. They are designed to be removable, making it convenient for you to eat, drink, and chew gum. By removing your Invisalign braces, you evade the possibility of sticking your gums to or staining your aligners.
3. Practise Good Oral Hygiene
After chewing gum, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene. Rinse your mouth and clean your teeth to remove any residue or sugar. A soft-bristled toothbrush can help clean your teeth effectively.
4. Reinsert Your Aligners
Once your teeth are clean, you can wear Invisalign braces. Properly align them over your teeth, starting at the back and working your way forward, using your fingertips to ensure a snug fit.
5. Take Proper Care of Your Invisalign Trays
Chewing gum may leave residues on your aligners, potentially causing stains or discolouration. Regularly cleaning Invisalign braces helps prevent these aesthetic issues, ensuring your aligners remain discreet and transparent.
The Don’ts of Chewing Gum with Invisalign
1. Avoid Unhealthy Chewing Gum
Stay away from unhealthy chewing gum that contains excessive sugar or artificial sweeteners. Such ingredients can lead to tooth decay and should be off-limits during orthodontic treatment.
2. Steer Clear of Sticky Gums
Gums with a sticky or gummy consistency should be avoided. They can stick to your aligners, making them difficult to remove and potentially damaging.
3. Don’t Overindulge
While occasional sugar-free gum is generally fine, avoid excessive gum chewing. Too much gum can increase saliva production, and constantly removing and reinserting your aligners can be inconvenient.
4. Old Habits Die Hard
If you have a habit of chewing gum too aggressively or popping bubbles, it’s best to break those habits during your Invisalign treatment. Such behaviours can put unnecessary pressure on your aligners and even lead to damage.
What Are The Risks That Come With Chewing Gum With Invisalign?
Chewing gum with Invisalign aligners can be an enticing idea, especially when you’re looking for a quick breath freshener or a way to satisfy your gum-chewing cravings.
However, you must be aware of the potential risks of gum chewing.
Here are the risks that come with chewing gum while wearing Invisalign:
1. Damage to Aligners
Invisalign aligners are designed for tooth movement, not for chewing. Chewing gum with your aligners in place can lead to wear and tear on the aligner material, resulting in visible damage, reduced effectiveness, or the need for replacement aligners, which can add extra costs to your treatment.
2. Poor Oral Hygiene
Chewing gum may lead to an increase in saliva production. While this can be beneficial for oral health in some cases, excessive saliva can also lead to moisture getting trapped between your teeth and aligners, which can create an environment where bacteria thrive, potentially increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay.
3. Aligner Dislodgement
Chewing gum vigorously or biting into sticky gum can dislodge your aligners. If your aligners are not securely in place, they may not be as effective in moving your teeth as intended. To avoid interruptions in your treatment progress, removing your aligners before chewing gum is essential.
4. Potential Staining
Some types of chewing gum may contain artificial colours or substances that can lead to aligner staining. Stained aligners may become more noticeable, potentially compromising the discreet nature of your treatment.
5. Added Treatment Time
If you frequently chew gum with your aligners in place, it can lead to additional wear and tear on your aligners. This may require adjustments or additional aligners to ensure your treatment continues effectively. This, in turn, could extend the overall duration of your orthodontic journey.
6. Commitment Issues
Invisalign treatment relies on consistent wear of the aligners, typically for 20 to 22 hours daily. Chewing gum excessively or with your aligners in place can disrupt this schedule, potentially affecting the success of your treatment.
Please exercise caution regarding gum chewing to minimise these risks and enjoy your Invisalign treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is chewing gum with Invisalign the same as with traditional braces?
With traditional braces, there’s a risk of chewing gum getting stuck inside the brackets and wires, making it difficult to clean. However, Invisalign aligners aren’t fixed, so you can take them off before chewing gum, making it a more convenient option.
2. Can I chew hard candy with Invisalign?
It’s best to avoid hard candies altogether while undergoing Invisalign treatment. Hard candies can damage your aligners, and they’re also known to contribute to tooth decay. It’s essential to prioritise your oral health during orthodontic treatment.
3. What should I do if a gum got stuck into my Invisalign braces?
If a gum sticks to your braces:
- Brush gently to remove what you can.
- Use dental floss to get rid of the rest.
- Brush your teeth again.
- Rinse with mouthwash or salt water.
- Contact your dentist.
4. What’s the difference between regular gums and sugar-free gums?
Sugar-free gum contains less than 0.5 grams of sugar per serving and uses alternative sweeteners like Acesulfame-K, Aspartame, Neotame, Saccharin, Sucralose, Erythritol, Isomalt, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol, and Xylitol. Some sugar-free gums with ingredients like citric acid may reduce plaque buildup.
What’s Next: Avoid Gums With Invisalign
Invisalign treatment allows you to achieve a straighter smile with the convenience of clear aligners. While you can enjoy chewing gum with Invisalign, it’s essential to choose a sugar-free gum, remove your aligners before chewing, and maintain excellent oral hygiene.
Following these guidelines, you can protect your tooth health, keep your aligners in good condition, and work toward the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you have any concerns or questions about your Invisalign treatment, ring one of our five conveniently located My Local Dentists clinics in Sydney:
- +61 2 9000 1239 (Burwood)
- (02) 9630 9996 (Northmead)
- (02) 9809 7000 (West Ryde)
- (02) 9171 0840 (Leichhardt)
- (02) 8318 5966 (Northbridge)
Janakiram, Chandrashekar, et al. “Xylitol in Preventing Dental Caries: A Systematic Review and Meta-analyses.” Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, vol. 8, no. 1, Medknow, Jan. 2017, p. 16. https://doi.org/10.4103/0976-9668.198344.
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