Is Chewing on Gum Actually Good for Our Teeth?

Keep Chewing

Most of us have enjoyed consuming some minty, fresh ‘chewy’ after our daily coffee or lunch to prevent bad breath, fulfil an afternoon sweet-tooth craving or help our teeth feel clean when we can’t brush. We’ve been lead to believe chewing on gum after a meal is good for our dental health, but how beneficial is it really?

The good news is, chewing gum between meals is a great way to maintain good oral health, however we shouldn’t fall into the trap of reaching for any old soft minty treat. Sugar-free gum is the only gum we should be consuming and even better, gum that has been sweetened using sugar replacement, Xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener that has many proven benefits including stopping bacteria adhering to your teeth.

While chewing gum should never replace a full dental hygiene regiment, chewing on sugar-free gum for up to 20 minutes is highly beneficial for those moments when there is no time to floss and brush with Fluoride. The act of chewing gum helps to wash away left-over food particles and can even neutralise acids produced from the food we eat.

What’s this about acidity in my mouth?

Acid forms in our mouth from the consumption of sugary foods and drinks as well as the bacteria found in plaque. Plaque and food acids can remove some of the minerals making up the enamel which , in turn, can lead to erosion of the enamel. Erosion of your enamel leads to those nasty dental problems such as cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

Saliva to the rescue (gross, we know)!

Saliva is our natural defence against acidic bacteria but it usually takes about an hour for our saliva to replace the minerals the enamel has lost. Both the act of chewing and the artificial sweeteners in sugar-free gum can stimulate up to ten times the normal rate of saliva flow which helps replace these minerals more quickly.
So enjoy your sugar-free minty fix between meals and chew your way to a healthier smile.

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