You May Be Surprised By the Truth About Sugarless Gum
Many people who chew sugarless gum are looking for one thing and one thing only: to freshen their breath. While it may have that affect, you may be surprised that it can help with a lot more too. In fact, it can help protect and improve your oral health and can even help prevent cavities. How does it work? California Dental Group is here to explain the ins and outs.
Sugarless gum can help increase your saliva – which in turn prevents cavities
The American Dental Association has done numerous studies and they’ve all led to the same conclusion: chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes after eating a meal can help prevent your teeth from decaying. Why? Because chewing helps boost saliva in your mouth. This saliva then works to wash away food, neutralize acids, and to clean and protect your teeth from bacteria that can cause cavities.
The key is that it’s sugarless
We keep mentioning sugar free gum because it must be sugar free. It’s true that chewing sugared gum would also help improve saliva flow, it’s also true that sugar helps feed bacteria. In short, chewing sugared gum would actually increase the risk of decay in your mouth.
Not all sugarless gum is created the same
Most any sugar-free gum will help but there’s one ingredient that takes it a step further. Look for gum that’s sweetened with xylitol. This chemical helps to lower the amount of bacteria that sticks to your teeth.
Strengthen your enamel
Calcium and phosphate are both found in saliva, and both help to strengthen your tooth enamel. Reinforcing your enamel is particularly helpful and important after a meal and can lead to extra bacteria-fighting and decay-reducing properties.
The American Dental Association makes it easy to choose a gum
You’ll find that there are some sugarless gums with the ADA seal. This indicates that the gum has been tested and proven to accomplish at least one – if not all three – of these things:
- Lowering plaque acids and / or cavities
- Reducing gingivitis
- Encouraging the remineralization of tooth enamel
If your pain purpose of chewing sugarless gum is to achieve any or all of these effects then we recommend you choose a gum with the ADA seal.
A word of warning: Chewing gum doesn’t replace the need for brushing and flossing
It’s true that sugarless gum can help keep your mouth in tip top shape but it’s not enough on its own and it should never be thought of as a substitute for your normal brushing and flossing routine. We recommend you brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and that you floss daily. This is your best shot at getting and maintaining a healthy mouth.
Do you want more tips on keeping your mouth clean and healthy?
At California Dental Group we are dedicated to providing optional care for every one of our patients. The top priority for every patient should be good, regular, daily brushing and flossing habits but a close second is getting your regular dental checkup. If you’re overdue, or you have other questions for us, call us at (800) 407-0161 to schedule your appointment.