Many of us find ourselves constantly chewing minty gum throughout the day to ward off boredom or hunger. Thankfully, chewing sugarless gum is one habit you won’t need to kick in 2015. In fact, clinical studies supported by the American Dental Association have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals can help fend off tooth decay. Choosing the correct chewing gum is crucial for reaping these benefits, Severna Park dentist Dr. Morgan would like to offer some insight on this hot topic.
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which has a number of positive effects on your oral health. Saliva washes away residual food debris, neutralizes the acidity of certain foods and beverages, and coats the mouth with disease-fighting substances. Saliva also carries calcium and phosphate, which are vitally important for strengthening tooth enamel.
As a rule, always look for the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval when selecting your new favorite sugarless gum. Without the ADA seal, you cannot be sure that the gum is truly sugarless and it could end up causing cavities rather than preventing them. Truly sugarless gum contains non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol rather than true sugar.
Chewing sugarless gum is not a substitute for good oral hygiene practices; it is purely a supplementary method for preventing tooth decay. The ADA still recommends flossing regularly and brushing twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
If you have any questions regarding sugarless gum or need help finding an ADA-approved toothpaste, please feel free to discuss it with Dr. Morgan or Dr. Wessner during your next visit!
Speaking of your next visit…don’t forget to schedule checks for the whole family in the new year!