Navigating life with braces involves plenty of adjustments, from adhering to a meticulous oral hygiene routine to avoiding certain foods that can cause damage. One of the frequent questions that patients with braces often ask their orthodontists is, “Can I chew gum with braces?”

What are braces?

Braces are orthodontic devices dental experts design to correct tooth issues such as crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and gaps. They exert constant pressure on the teeth, gradually aligning them to their correct positions. 

Can you chew gum with braces?

Lady chewing gum

The short answer is that it’s usually best to avoid chewing gum while you have braces. However, the long answer is a bit more nuanced.

Why is chewing gum discouraged?

Traditional braces consist of various components, including brackets, bands, and archwires, which can be easily damaged by sticky substances. Chewing gum can get stuck in these components and cause a host of problems, including:

  1. Damaging the braces: The sticky consistency of gum can cause brackets to detach from the teeth and distort the archwires. 
  2. Complicating oral hygiene: Gum can get stuck in braces, making brushing and flossing much more difficult. This can lead to plaque build-up and increase the risk of cavities and gum problems.
  3. Prolonging treatment time: Damage caused to the braces can result in interruptions to the treatment process, potentially extending the overall treatment time.

Is any gum safe for braces?

While the general rule of thumb is to avoid gum, there is an exception. Sugar-free gums containing xylitol, a natural sweetener, may be safe to chew sparingly and can even provide benefits for oral health. Xylitol has been shown to reduce the levels of harmful oral bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. 

However, even if the gum is sugar-free, it still carries the risk of sticking to your braces and creating issues. Therefore, it’s essential to chew gum cautiously and sparingly, if at all, during orthodontic treatment.

Alternatives to chewing gum

If you’re missing the refreshing sensation of chewing gum, consider these alternatives:

  1. Sugar-free mints: These can provide the burst of freshness you’re looking for without the sticky mess.
  2. Oral hygiene products: Many types of toothpaste, mouthwash, and even dental floss come in mint, cinnamon, and other flavors that can leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
  3. Vegetables and fruits: Crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots not only keep your teeth clean but also stimulate saliva production. This aids in cleaning out microorganisms and food fragments.

Navigating gum chewing with Invisalign and braces

Lady removing wax from metal braces

Dental braces and Invisalign aligners have revolutionized orthodontic treatment, offering efficient and relatively unobtrusive ways to straighten teeth and correct bite disorders. One question, however, frequently arises: Can I chew gum without causing harm?

Invisalign and gum: A different scenario?

Invisalign aligners offer more flexibility compared to traditional braces. Since they are removable, you can take them out to eat, drink, and yes, chew gum. It’s crucial to remove your aligners when chewing gum, as gum can stick to them, leading to potential damage. Remember, after enjoying your gum, brush your teeth before putting your aligners back in to ensure optimal cleanliness and effectiveness of your treatment.

Keeping your orthodontic treatment on track

Whether you’re using Invisalign or traditional braces, maintaining your dental hygiene and adhering to your orthodontist’s guidelines plays a key role in the success of your treatment. Regular check-ups, proper cleaning techniques, and being mindful of your diet all contribute to keeping your treatment on track. Be sure to avoid hard, sticky, and overly chewy foods that may damage your orthodontic appliances.

Can I chew sugar-free gum with braces?

Traditional braces are more restrictive when it comes to chewing gum, as gum can stick to the brackets and wires, leading to potential damage or distortion of the braces. However, while not ideal, chewing sugar-free gum occasionally and in moderation may be permissible. Sugar-free gum containing xylitol can potentially contribute to oral health by reducing oral bacteria. Still, it’s essential to chew it cautiously to avoid dislodging or damaging your braces.

What should I do if my gum gets stuck in my braces?

In case you find yourself in the sticky situation of having gum stuck in your braces, don’t panic. Carefully remove as much as you can by hand, then use a toothbrush to brush away any remaining pieces. If necessary, a water flosser can be handy in dislodging stubborn bits. If some gum still remains, make an appointment with your orthodontist to get it professionally removed.

Patient and dental professional at the clinic


While chewing gum is not strictly prohibited with braces, it’s generally discouraged due to the risk of damage to the braces and possible complications with oral hygiene. If you do choose to chew gum, opt for sugar-free varieties and do so sparingly. 

Remember, your time with braces is a period of investment in a lifetime of beautiful smiles. So, while you may miss some of your favorite activities, like carefree gum chewing, these are small sacrifices for the long-term reward of a perfect smile.

Always consult with your orthodontist about any concerns or questions you have regarding your braces care routine. After all, they are your best partner in achieving your best orthodontic outcome: a healthy, aligned, and beautiful smile!

Straighten your smile with dental braces

Dreaming of a straighter, more beautiful smile? Dental braces may be the solution you need! They are an effective way to correct crooked teeth, overbites, underbites, and other misalignments. Embrace the journey towards the smile you’ve always wanted. Call now to schedule your initial consultation for braces with Oasispark Dental today!

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