Remember that time when you and your best friend were punished in front of the whole class for chewing gum? And it won’t be a surprise if you thought chewing gum was a bad thing, in your childhood. But what if we told you that chewing gum is actually good for your teeth? Yes, you read it right but only if it is the right kind of gum.
- How does chewing gum make the teeth healthy?
- Why do you need to chew sugar-free gum?
Chewing gums that are not dental-approved or loaded with sugar, may end up doing more harm than good to your teeth. However, popping a sugar-free, dental-recommended gum in the mouth every now and then can be actually beneficial for overall oral health. Numerous reasons show why chewing gum is healthy for the teeth, and we will explore them in detail here:
Increased saliva production: The mouth produces saliva not just for good digestion but also for its self-cleansing mechanism. Not eating for long periods can reduce saliva and decrease the self-cleansing mechanism, leaving the teeth and gums vulnerable to damage. Chewing gum can promote saliva production, which helps to neutralise and rinse away the acid formed in the mouth when food is broken down in the body. All that extra saliva can generate minerals and actually help to toughen the tooth enamel and reduce the risk of tooth decay and dental cavities.
Preventing cavities: Studies have shown that gums that contain natural sweetener called Xylitol can reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in the plaque. It also neutralises acids formed by the bacteria, which helps strengthen the enamel and prevent tooth decay. So, check whether your gum contains Xylitol to ensure that you’re in safe hands.
Slowing down decay: Some medical-approved chewing gums also have an added substance called casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP), also known as Recaldent. It helps in the process of remineralisation that slows down the tooth decay. However, please note, if you are allergic to milk, then you must not chew gum that contains Recaldent.
So, popping a piece of gum in your mouth after a meal can help protect and strengthen your teeth, and improve the overall oral health.
Children and teenagers tend to chew gum frequently. So, if you are a parent, make sure they choose a sugar-free, dental-approved gum and not the sugar-loaded bubble gums. Not just for your children and family, but also for yourself. It is because sugar can contribute to the accumulation of plaque on the surface of the teeth and accelerate tooth decay and trigger other dental problems such as cavities, gingivitis, and more.
If you are still confused about which gum is good for your teeth, look for the ADA seal. This seal will tell you whether the product is safe and good for overall health. So, ensure that you read the package before buying it and always select the sugar-free one that contains the necessary ingredients to combat plaque and decay.
While chewing gum has multiple benefits, it cannot be a substitute for a dental care routine. It can add to it and promote oral health but cannot replace good habits. So, make sure that you brush your teeth twice a day, use mouthwash, floss well, and maintain a proper oral health care routine. Additionally, use good quality dental products such as Oral-B electric toothbrushes, and ensure that your teeth are clean and healthy.