What about Your Other Favorite Candy & Treats?
Chewing gum has been popular with kids and adults since it was launched in the 1800s. The pandemic saw a 12.9% slump in chewing gum sales, but it looks to be getting back on track as people return to old habits.
If there’s nothing more you love than chewing gum or blowing bubbles, you may wonder whether getting Invisalign will cramp your style. Well, we’ve got some good news and bad news for you.
Let’s take a deep dive into the question, "Can you chew gum with Invisalign?" and see how you can keep your teeth in great shape along the way.
Can You Chew Gum With Invisalign?
Yes, but at the same time, no.
When you’re wearing your Invisalign trays, absolutely not. It’s impossible to chew gum while wearing your aligners. If you tried, it would just get stuck in the trays and make a huge mess, and it wouldn’t be enjoyable at all.
But that doesn’t mean that for the 12–18 months of your Invisalign treatment you can never touch a stick of gum. You just need to chew it at the right time. And you need to choose the right type of gum.
Eating With Invisalign
One of the things people love about Invisalign is how easy it is to care for your braces. Unlike traditional braces, you can actually remove them to eat and drink. That makes them super-convenient, and Invisalign for Teens now also allows adolescents to benefit from this feature.
All you need to do is remove your aligners and enjoy your meal. When you’re done, brush your teeth thoroughly, clean your aligners, and put them back in. This is now your chance to indulge in chewing gum!
Of course, not all chewing gum is created equal. It’s best to avoid sugary foods as much as possible when you’re having an Invisalign treatment. The sugar combines with bacteria in your mouth to form acids that eat away at your teeth.
So, if you must chew gum, choose a sugar-free variety. You’ll still need to brush your teeth after using it and clean your aligners before putting them back in.
One word of warning. If you love to chew gum for hours, this will get in the way of your progress with Invisalign. To work best, you need to wear your aligners for 22 hours per day.
Don’t let gum chewing slow down your results!
Is Chewing Gum Bad for Your Teeth?
Like any candy, if the chewing gum you choose contains sugar, it will cause cavities in your teeth.
But sugarless chewing gum is a different story. According to the American Dental Association, it can reduce the risk of developing caries. This is only when it is used in addition to twice-daily brushing with fluoride-containing toothpaste and some form of flossing.
The ADA even issues a “Seal of Acceptance” to certain chewing gum products. If they receive this seal, the company has to demonstrate that it meets the ADA’s requirements for safety and efficacy. For example, it may need to show that it’s effective at reducing plaque acids to meet the efficacy requirement.
Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth. This reduces the level of plaque acid and reduces the risk of tooth decay.
The verdict? Choose a sugarless chewing gum that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance if you feel the need to chew gum after a meal while using Invisalign.
Let's Talk About Candy
You’re partway through your Invisalign for Teens treatment. Things are going great, but now your friends are trying to get you to eat Halloween candy or some other sugary treat. What are you going to do?
First of all, never eat candy when you’re wearing your aligners. You might think you can get away with sucking on a few milk duds or Swedish fish, but that would be a seriously bad idea. The sugar will dissolve in your saliva and get into the trays.
The trays will then hold that sugary concoction against your teeth for hours. This will accelerate the process of producing cavities!
It’s important to prioritize your oral health throughout this dental treatment. Make sure you eat nothing and only drink water while wearing your aligners.
Of course, it’s fine to eat candy in moderation after meals while using Invisalign. One of the perks of Invisalign is that even hard candy and chewy confections are not off-limits. But only eat them before brushing your teeth and putting your clean aligners back in.
What's the Worst Candy for Teeth?
There is no single worst candy for teeth, but there is a category that’s particularly bad. Sticky candy.
It’s bad for an obvious reason—it sticks to your teeth. It’s harder to remove, and you need to brush well and floss to get rid of every last vestige of it. With Invisalign, it’s a big risk to take.
Hard candy is also not great because the sugar hangs around in your mouth for a long time. That gives bacteria more time to turn sugars into harmful acids. And sour candy combines sugar and acid—a terrible combo for your oral health.
What's the Best Candy for Teeth?
Again, the winner is sugar-free candy. Not everybody enjoys the flavor, though, or is happy about consuming artificial sweeteners. So, what’s the next best thing?
We’re delighted to say that it’s chocolate. Because it melts at body temperature, it washes away from your teeth fairly quickly. Dark chocolate is best, especially in varieties that are high in cocoa solids and low in sugar.
Whatever candy you choose, be sure to brush your teeth and replace your aligners soon after eating them.
Choose Arkansas Family Dental for Invisalign
Now that we’ve answered the question, "Can you chew gum with Invisalign?" we hope that you’re happy to go ahead with the treatment. Unlike other forms of braces, you can eat pretty much whatever you want, as long as you brush your teeth afterward.
Arkansas Family Dental provides outstanding dental care for the whole family. The smile of your dreams may only be a few months away.
Click here to learn more about Invisalign and schedule a visit today!