There have been rumors for years that chewing gum can help keep your teeth clean. Of course, there are other theories that say anything that adds extra sugar to your mouth is hurting your choppers. Today, the smile specialists at GPS Dental are ready to weigh in. So, what’s the verdict? Is chewing gum hurting or helping your teeth?
The Good News
Drum roll please…
Survey says: Keep on chewing! Studies have shown that sugarless gum can actually help you maintain a healthier mouth. How? When you chew gum, your mouth produces saliva. After you eat, sugars and acids from your meal stick around, but that added saliva helps wash them away. This extra “rinse” helps prevent tooth decay and damage.
Even better, increased saliva actually introduces additional calcium and phosphate which can strengthen the enamel of your teeth. For more tips on candy and tooth care, take a look at our blog post: How to Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy.
The Bad News
Don’t forget to check for sugar! Sticky sugar is only going to make more problems for your mouth, just like other chewy candies. Always opt for sugarless gum, or skip the ritual altogether.
Also, while it should go without saying, we’ll mention that if you’re experiencing jaw pain, you need to avoid extra chewing (including gum). Talk to your dentist about your pain and treatment options. (Not such a fan of the dentist? We’ve got dental anxiety tips for you!)
- Make sure you’re chewing sugarless gum – otherwise, you’ll be doing more harm than good.
- Chew your (sugarfree) gum for about 20 minutes after your meal for maximum benefit.
- Look for gum with the ADA seal of approval, so you know you’ve got the best gum for your mouth.
- Chewing gum does not replace your brushing and flossing routine.
Sugarless gum has officially been given the seal of approval, but it doesn’t take over other parts of your tooth care routine. It’s just one step toward a healthier mouth. Schedule your next appointment for the next step – call GPS at (210) 633-3477.