By Scott Suter D.D.S.
December 19, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
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With the growing body of knowledge around the benefits of sugar-free gum and xylitol-containing gum for cavity prevention, many of our Colorado Springs braces patients find it unusual that they have to limit gum chewing while wearing braces or other orthodontic treatments, such as a retainer. Other patients may have heard these rules and known not to chew gum -- but maybe they do not know why refraining from chewing gum can be such a tooth-friendly choice.
A common misconception we hear in our Colorado Springs braces office is that patients should not chew gum because it increases the risk for a braces bracket to break off, becoming unsecured from its desired position. While this is certainly a concern, patients should not chew gum with braces for the main reason that chewing gum with braces can bend the wire between the braces.
Braces are made up of brackets that are connected  together via a wire. This wire is adjusted as needed to straighten the teeth. While the wire is strong, it has its limits for remaining straight. Gum can bend braces wires, and even a small amount can re-direct the forces exerted on the teeth to straighten them. If a wire becomes severely bent, the teeth may start to shift in an undesirable position. This can extend the amount of time a patient wears his or her braces and can require replacing the wire.
Even if you really enjoy chewing gum, you will enjoy wearing your braces for a shorter amount of time and seeing the excellent cosmetic results more. So make a commitment to skipping the gum (and other sticky foods such as caramels, taffy and chewy candies, for that matter) while wearing braces.
For more information on orthodontic treatments at Suter Orthodontics, call our Colorado Springs dentist's office at (719) 550-0222."