The sticky nature of chewing gum combined with the repetitive action of chewing has caused many people to believe that gum can be harmful to your teeth. What people don’t realize is this is just a myth, and chewing gum can actually help improve your oral health (okay there are a couple of caveats...)
Chewing Gum Helps Increase Saliva Production:
Recent research suggests that individuals who chewed gum after eating noticed an increase in saliva production. Increased saliva production can help improve oral health by minimizing damage done to the teeth by acids and sugars that are found in the food that is eaten. So if you don't have the opportunity to brush after a meal, popping in a piece of gum can be a great option!
The Type of Chewing Gum Matters:
While chewing gum can help improve your oral health, you have to choose a very specific type of gum. You can’t just pick any gum off the shelf and expect to see a reduction in tooth decay.
The type of chewing gum you need to use is sugar-free. Using a gum that contains sugar could actually cause more damage to your teeth. All sugar-free gums are labeled as such on the package.
In addition to sugar-free gum, you may want to look for gum that has some kind of agent in it. Some gums have active ingredients in them that can help reduce tooth decay, reduce plaque buildup, or even help restore your teeth.
Improve Oral Health by Chewing Gum:
If you want to improve your oral health by chewing gum, take the following things into consideration.
1. Make sure to use the right gum (sugar-free)
2. Try to find gum that is uniquely designed to improve your oral health
3. Chew gum for approximately 20 minutes after meals
4. Promptly dispose of gum after chewing
5. Chew in a gentle manner, not in a way that puts too much force on the teeth
6. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day
7. Do not chew gum if you have cracked or broken teeth. Call Dr. Gantz here at Enhanced Dental Care to get them repaired before resuming your regular chewing.
Remember: Chewing gum doesn’t replace regular trips to the dentist and brushing and flossing.
When it comes time to have a dental checkup, come visit the friendly staff at Enhanced Dental Care in Walla Walla, Washington. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (509) 525-9111. We look forward to seeing you soon!