In 2016, the average American consumed 1.8 pounds of gum. We know what you’re thinking; that sounds unhealthy! But actually, chewing gum has oral health benefits.
One of the best ways to ensure your teeth remain clean throughout the day is to produce enough saliva. Saliva production is easy to if you are eating and drinking throughout the day- but it also helps aid in the work of rinsing your mouth of those unwanted food particles.
Chewing Increases Saliva Flow
Research indicates that chewing gum for about 20 minutes after a meal can reduce tooth decay by promoting the production of saliva! Saliva not only encourages bacteria and food particles to separate from your enamel and gum line, but it helps neutralize the acids in your mouth, which can reduce heartburn!
Gum Must be Sugar Free
In order to reap the benefits, you need to select a sugar-free gum. Although this seems like a poor alternative, sugar-free gum is actually still sweetened using chemicals, like xylitol or sorbitol. These substances don’t cause cavities and will still give you that sweet rush of flavor!
Chewing sugar gum can promote cavities because bacteria loves sugar and feeds off of it to stay alive.
Does Chewing Gum Replace Brushing and Flossing?
Wouldn’t it be nice if a little gum was all it took for a perfectly shiny smile? Unfortunately, the reality is that gum can help, but it can’t remove plaque like flossing and brushing twice a day!
Although chewing gum has its perks, be aware that:
- Xylitol should be far away from your dog; this additive is dangerous for your pet.
- Swallowing gum is a no-no. Although the 7-year digestion myth isn’t true, swallowing too much can be detrimental to your intestine. Educate your children and make sure to supervise them while they are chewing!
- If you have braces, refrain from chewing! Gum can bend or break the wires.
Interested in learning more about your sugar-free gum options? Your dentist can help you out! For more information regarding oral health information, visit our blog.