There have been many studies which have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. Your dentist in Walnut Creek can provide what you need to know below.
How Does Sugarless Gum Help Prevent Tooth Decay?
Sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in the mouth. This helps to wash away debris and other food particles. It also helps to neutralize the acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth. Saliva provides disease-fighting substances inside the mouth to prevent disease. It also carries more calcium and phosphate with it to strengthen tooth enamel.
How to Pick a Sugarless Gum
Start by looking for a chewing gum that has the ADA seal of approval on it. All of these gum brands are sweetened by non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, aspartame, mannitol or sorbitol.
What’s Wrong with Gum that Contains Sugar?
Chewing gum with sugar will also increase the saliva flow, but it contains sugar which is damaging to the teeth. Sugar can cause a growth of plaque bacteria that will turn into decay-causing acids.
Chewing Gum as Part of Your Oral Care Routine
When you aren’t able to brush or floss after a meal, chewing sugarless gum is a great option, but don’t ever let it completely replace your oral care routine. It is still important to maintain good practices that will keep your teeth clean and healthy.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each
- Floss your teeth once per day
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Eat a healthy diet
- Visit your dentist twice a year for checkups and professional cleaning
Swallowing gum can cause health issues. That’s why it is important that you supervise your children while they chew gum. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be at least 4 years old before chewing gum.
If you are unsure which sugarless gum would be best for you, be sure to speak with your dentist in Walnut Creek. They will be able to offer recommendations as well as offer you a comprehensive checkup to look for any issues you aren’t aware of.