Are you dealing with tooth alignment issues or malocclusions like overbites or underbites? Then you can straighten your teeth discreetly with Invisalign! It’s a popular braces alternative that helps patients get their dream smile without the confidence and maintenance issues that traditional orthodontics often impose.
But it doesn’t mean you won’t have to make a few key adjustments during your Invisalign treatment. For example, if you have a habit of chewing gum regularly, you might need to cut it down. Check out this short blog post to understand why:
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign involves wearing clear aligners that put pressure on your teeth to move them. First, you’ll get a scan of your teeth and send it to an Invisalign lab, where they’ll make custom trays to help pull the teeth to where they need to be.
For the treatment to work, Invisalign must be worn for at least 22 hours every single day until you finish your treatment. If you don’t, you can seriously delay your treatment because your teeth will not be migrating. Going without your trays for too long can also mean your teeth go back to their original position, which deletes all your progress.
So, Why Can’t You Chew Gum?
Orthodontists recommend taking out your Invisalign before you eat or drink anything other than water, and this includes gum. Gum can stick to your aligners, foster bacteria, and stain your trays. Not only does this make your treatment less discreet, but it can also increase your risk for cavities and other oral health problems.
Invisalign must be taken off before eating and drinking, and before you put them back on, you need to brush your teeth (or cleanse the mouth with water) and rinse your aligners.
How Does Eating or Drinking with Invisalign Lead to Cavities?
Cavities form when unwanted bacteria present in the mouth start eating food particles that linger after your meals. When they feed, they release bacteria that slowly break down the tooth enamel and form a hole, known as a cavity.
Invisalign trays can trap bacteria and food, giving them constant access to your teeth. When you chew gum, you are giving bacteria sugars, which they can feed on and disrupt your oral health.
How to Chew Gum During Your Invisalign Treatment
It’s best to avoid constant snacking or chewing gum while on Invisalign to ensure you keep them on for at least 22 hours a day. But, technically, you can still enjoy a piece of gum if you time it right.
Just be sure to opt for sugar-free gum, drink a glass of water, and rinse the aligners before putting them back in. Our orthodontists in Kent and Maple Valley can offer you more tips on how to maintain your oral health during your Invisalign treatment. Schedule an appointment at Haeger Orthodontics now to learn if you’re a good candidate.