Humans have been chewing gum for thousands of years, in fact, a few years ago scientists discovered a piece of chewing gum in Finland that is believed to be up to 6,000 years old. Surprised? Then consider this: the act of chewing gum offers many benefits such as improved concentration, faster reaction times and increased saliva production, which helps to keep your teeth healthy and decay free. 

However, although gum carries with it these and other benefits, chewing gum while wearing Invisalign braces can also cause problems for the wearer-- here's why. 

Invisalign was Not Designed to Withstand Constant Chewing

Sometimes, you may be tempted to eat or chew gum whilst wearing your Invisalign aligner, especially at those times when your new aligner hurts to remove. This is inadvisable because Invisalign trays were not designed to withstand the constant chewing that comes from eating, or worse, chewing gum. 

The Sticky Gum will Cling to Your Tray

Gum, especially the sugary kind, is notoriously sticky once it begins to dry. You already know what it can do to a pavement or the underside of a school desk (yuck)-- just imagine what it might do to your aligner once it gets crushed into the surface.

You Might have to Give up Gum for a While

There's another major reason not to chew gum whilst wearing your aligner: teeth movement. Even if you are disciplined and manage to take out your tray before chewing gum, every time, that still isn't ideal because now you are interfering with your treatment. 

Think about it. If you are removing your tray every half an hour or so to chew gum for ten minutes, you stand to lose a lot of time that could be spent with your aligner in. You should ideally wear your trays for 22 hours a day for maximum tooth movement. Getting into the habit of taking them out to chew gum throughout the day will slow down the progress of your treatment, costing you more money and time in the long run. 

Try to quit, at least until you start to see meaningful results from your treatment.

How to Remove Gum from a Tray 

If you can't resist chewing a piece of gum with your tray in, then you need to be ready to do some cleaning, just in case. Grab a toothbrush and a tub of peanut butter (smooth), then smear the peanut butter over the affected areas of your Invisalign tray. Using gentle strokes, brush away the gum. Peanut butter works well for most things so it should work for your tray too. You can also put your aligner in the freezer to freeze the gum so it's easy to peel off, but never put it in the freezer for more than 20 minutes!