Do you chew gum after meals? If it’s sugarless gum, you are significantly boosting your dental health. According to the American Dental Association, studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. You may think that you are just freshening your breath, but what goes on inside your mouth when you chew gum provides far greater benefits.
Chewing sugar-free gum increases your saliva flow. Your “spit” is an essential weapon to better oral health. The extra saliva in your mouth fights cavities and accomplishes the following:
- Rinses away food particles, harmful bacteria and other debris
- Neutralizes acids on your teeth and gums
- Delivers disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth
- Provides extra calcium and phosphate to strengthen your tooth enamel
Although the smile benefits of chewing sugarless gum are powerful, they should never be a substitute for brushing and flossing. However, for those after-meal moments that you can’t whip out your toothbrush, a stick of gum will work just fine.
Just like your toothpaste, look for the ADA seal of approval on your pack of gum. This ensures that the gum is only sweetened with those sugars that do not cause cavities. Xylitol gum has recently received a lot of attention for its smile-boosting powers.
At Grateful Dental, we love helping patients find easy and convenient ways to keep their smile brighter and healthier. The next time you chew a piece of sugarless gum, we hope you’ll appreciate its cavity prevention capabilities.