While it is an accepted fact in the dental community, many people often question whether chewing gum is good for their oral health. Doubters can rest easy knowing that scientific evidence and numerous studies have shown that munching on sugarless gum is beneficial for your chompers.
HOW DOES CHEWING SUGARLESS GUM HELP?
Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free GumOne major way gum helps is by increasing the production of saliva in the mouth, which:
Reduces dry mouth
Helps neutralize acids
Washes away food particles
When you eat or drink, your teeth are exposed to acid that is produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar and carbohydrates. This acid can erode the enamel of your teeth over time and cause tooth decay. Gum stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva, which neutralizes this acid. Saliva also helps prevent cavities by dissolving sugars that might be lodged in spaces between the teeth, therefore limiting the growth of bacteria colonies and subsequent acid. Additionally, the mechanism of chewing can help dislodge food particles and break up plaque.
WHY SUGAR-FREE GUM?
Although chewing gum is beneficial, chewing sugary gum negates those benefits by increasing the presence of sugar in your mouth. It’s important to limit your sugar consumption (even in the form of gum) because bacteria in the mouth feed off sugar and produce decay-causing acids.
ADA Approved GumSugar-free gums that have the American Dental Association® (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are sweetened with sweeteners that do not cause cavities, such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol. The following sugar-free gums have the ADA Seal and have been shown to meet ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness:
Dentyne® Ice™ Sugarless Gum
ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Sugar Free Chewing Gum
Stride Sugarless Gum
Trident® Sugarless Gum
Wrigley’s 5® Sugarfree Gum
Wrigley’s Extra® Sugarfree Gum
Wrigley’s Orbit® for Kids Sugarfree Gum
Wrigley’s Orbit® Sugarfree Gum
Dentists and the ADA recommend chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking.
While sugar-free gum is beneficial, chewing gum does not replace brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day.
If you already have cavities or dental issues, Fresno Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mann at Elite Dental Mann DDS can help. To schedule a consultation, please call (559)797-4355.