Believe it or not, chewing the right type of gum can actually help your teeth! The American Dental Association (ADA) has approved chewing gum as a tool to fight tooth decay. Of course, it has to be sugar-free, but there are a few choices out there that are not only harmless but actually good for you. Talk to Dr. Nish Patel during your next visit to our Bradenton, FL office to find out exactly how chewing gum can keep your teeth healthy.
Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is particularly useful after eating. When we eat, potentially cavity-creating particles stay behind on the teeth, which over time could lead to plaque build-up in those hard-to-brush places such as in the back of the mouth and between teeth. More saliva in the mouth will wash away the food debris, and it also brings more phosphate and calcium to the mouth to help strengthen tooth enamel. Reducing plaque build-up and building strong enamel means fewer cavities!
Of course, a lot of chewing gum on the market is packed with sugar, which Dr. Patel does not recommend. Too much sugar gives oral bacteria lots to feed from, which increases the risk of cavities. If bacteria are well-fed, they multiply faster, and the bacteria will eat away at tooth enamel and eventually create cavities. Avoiding sugar will help your teeth (and your overall health, too).
Instead, try sugar-free gum that’s ADA-approved. Check packaging for the ADA seal. Any gum with this seal contains artificial sweeteners that do not contribute to cavities. This is the only way you can be assured that your chewing gum is sugar-free and actually beneficial to your oral health.
Chewing ADA-approved sugarless gum after eating has been clinically shown to help prevent tooth decay because it increases saliva flow to the mouth. However, chewing gum is meant to be one of many tools to prevent tooth decay, not a one-stop solution. Always brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss once a day, and make regular appointments with your dentist. Chewing gum can’t replace these other very important steps in your oral hygiene routine!
If you have any questions about your oral health, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist. It’s always recommended to consult with Dr. Patel before starting any new dental regiment. Regular visits with us are the best way to maintain your oral health and catch serious oral diseases early to avoid painful and lengthy procedures.