- Published Date: 16 Jul 2020
- Updated Date: 01 Oct 2021
- Reading Time: 4 min
Most patients who take part in the invisible aligner treatment available from ALIGNERCO are greatly excited to get started with the treatment and to take a step ahead towards straight, beautiful teeth. However, there are some caveats that come with the treatment, as is the case with all long-term dental and orthodontal treatments. In particularly there might be some foods that we recommended that you don’t eat as much of while going through the treatment.
Aside from cutting hard candy and sugary drinks from your snacking roster, you might also be wondering about how wearing our invisible aligners can affect your routine of chewing gum. A lot of people chew gum not only to keep their mouth busy but also to improve their oral hygiene. Here, we’ll take a look at how to make sure you’re chewing in a way that won’t get in the way of your treatment or otherwise endanger your oral health.
How chewing gum can improve your oral health
A lot of people are pretty fuzzy about the benefits and the drawbacks of chewing gum. In fact, you might think that chewing gum can be a bad habit and, indeed, without moderation and the right gum, it certainly can do some harm. However, much of that harm has been done by the sugar that is easy to remove, nowadays, thanks to the many sugar-free gum options out there.
Once you get rid of the danger of sugar in gum, there are actually a host of benefits that can make it a benefit to your oral hygiene.
- Preventing dental erosion: When we eat or drink, especially foods that are acidic, we can contribute to the slow erosion of our teeth. Our saliva can help prevent this and chewing a piece of gum after eating or drinking can cause our mouth to produce more saliva, protecting our teeth from erosion.
- It moisturizes the mouth: If you have a dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, it can cause a host of issues, including making it easier for bacteria to grow throughout the mouth. As chewing gum stimulates saliva, it can help with this issue, too.
- It helps with bad breath: While sugary gum can lead to the build-up of plaque, making bad breath worse, sugar-free gum can fight it. Chewing helps shift debris from your teeth, while the saliva production can help stop bacteria from forming.
- Improving your tooth enamel: The mineralization of tooth enamel plays an important role in protecting your teeth from decay. Sugar-free gum can help with this process.
The above oral health benefits can actually make it worth taking the time to indulge in a little gum chewing. However, to make sure that they don’t get in the way of your oral health or the effectiveness of your invisible aligners, it’s wise to follow the tips below.
Don’t chew while wearing your invisible aligners
While our invisible aligners are highly convenient, and super discreet thanks to their clarity, it doesn’t mean that you can continue on with your oral habits as usual. For instance, a lot of people find they snack less and bite their nails less because the aligners do get in the way of your bite.
Aligners should not be worn when you are chewing or eating anything. They are to be taken off for meals. After you finish eating, you should then be sure to brush your teeth before putting the aligners back on. This counts for chewing gum, as well. Gum can stick to your aligners, causing all kinds of problems, so it’s recommended you don’t chew when you have them in.
This might make it a little less convenient to chew gum, but it’s worth it for a brighter and healthier smile.
Stick to sugar-free gum
A lot of people will cut down on their gum chewing as a natural result of wearing invisible aligners. You may not want to go through the process of taking the aligners out, brushing after chewing and putting them back in too many times a day. However, if you are going to take them out to chew some gum, then make sure that you’re chewing gum that doesn’t actively get in the way of your oral health.
Most of us know, by now, that sugar can be very bad for your teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities by leading to the development of plaque. You can help manage this by brushing as soon as possible after chewing. However, there are also plenty of sugar-free gum alternatives to further reduce the harm that they might cause. From Orbit to Xylitol to Pür, there are plenty of brands that don’t use pure sugar.
Sugar-free brands of gum can be found in the vast majority of corner stores and supermarkets, so you can pick them up without too much hassle.
Make sure you’re not chewing all day long
There are plenty of benefits that can come with chewing gum, as we have already covered above. But, it’s important to make sure that you’re not doing it too much. Moderation is important in all things. It is recommended by most dentists that you chew gum once a day, usually after a snack or lunch to get the most benefit out of them. They can help to freshen your breath when you might not be able to brush your teeth. However, with invisible aligners, you want to make sure that you brush your teeth any time you take them off to eat, anyway.
However, it’s not recommended that you chew gum throughout the day. If the gum starts to lose its flavour, that’s when you should think about getting rid of it. Otherwise, the more than you chew it, the more that the motion can end up hurting your jaw. Chewing gum too much can actually lead to a host of problems seemingly unrelated to your mouth, too, including giving your headaches, worsening any digestive symptoms you might have, and even increasing your dietary cravings.
When you’re seeking treatment for crooked teeth with the use of invisible aligners, it’s always wise to ask your orthodontist about whether or not you should chew gum. Even if they give the go-ahead, do be sure to remove your aligners before chewing.