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You are going through orthodontic treatment and everything’s going smoothly! But you may be wondering how you can maintain a healthy smile throughout the process. One common concern during orthodontic treatment is the increased risk of cavities. The brackets and wires make it more challenging to clean your teeth effectively, leading to the buildup of plaque and bacteria. However, there is a surprising solution that can help decrease the risk of cavities – chewing gum! But not just any gum will do. In this blog, we will explore how chewing the right type of gum can benefit your oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Chewing gum has been a popular pastime for centuries, and it turns out that it can offer more than just a refreshing taste. When it comes to orthodontic treatment, chewing gum can provide several benefits. Firstly, it stimulates saliva production, which helps to neutralize acids in the mouth and wash away food particles. This is particularly important when wearing braces, as it can be difficult to remove all the food debris that gets trapped around the brackets and wires. Chewing gum can also help to strengthen the teeth and gums by increasing blood flow to the area. Additionally, it can provide relief from any discomfort or soreness caused by orthodontic appliances.
Not all gums are created equal, especially when it comes to orthodontic treatment. It's crucial to choose the right type of gum that will benefit your oral health rather than harm it. When selecting gum, opt for sugar-free varieties that are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has been shown to have dental benefits. It helps to prevent the growth of bacteria in the mouth, reducing the risk of cavities. Avoid gums that contain sugar, as they can contribute to tooth decay and counteract the positive effects of chewing gum. Look for gum that carries the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval, as it indicates that the product has met the ADA's strict criteria for safety and efficacy.
Now that you know the benefits of chewing gum and how to choose the right one, it's time to incorporate it into your orthodontic oral care routine. After each meal or snack, remove any food particles by thoroughly brushing and flossing your teeth. Once your teeth are clean, pop a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth and chew for about 20 minutes. This will help to stimulate saliva flow and wash away any remaining food debris. Remember to dispose of the gum properly after use. It's important to note that chewing gum should never replace regular brushing and flossing, but rather complement your oral hygiene routine.
While chewing gum can be a helpful addition to your oral care routine during orthodontic treatment, there are other vital steps you can take to maintain good oral health. Make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your orthodontist, who can monitor your progress and address any concerns. Follow a balanced diet that is low in sugary and acidic foods, as these can increase the risk of cavities. And of course, practice diligent oral hygiene by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. By combining these habits with the right gum, you can keep your smile healthy and cavity-free throughout your orthodontic journey.
Ready to take the next step in your orthodontic journey? Our team at Kyle Orthodontics is here to help you achieve the smile of your dreams. Contact us today at (512) 262-7895 to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can guide you through a successful orthodontic treatment. Don't let cavities hinder your progress – let us support you on your path to a beautiful, healthy smile!