That gum that tempts you when you’re checking out at the store? Grab it! It’s good for your health. You might think that chewing gum can damage your smile, but the surprising truth is that gum can be good for your teeth.
Cleanup Crew on Aisle 8
It’s a reasonable conclusion that anything sold in the candy aisle can’t be good for your teeth. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Science proves that chewing gum can actually protect your teeth.
Chewing stimulates your salivary glands. Pop in a piece of gum after eating and the increased saliva will neutralize and wash away the acids produced by bacteria that would otherwise eat away at your enamel.
Chewing gum won’t save you from brushing. Traditional gum containing sugar can do more harm than good. In order to give your teeth a healthy boost, choose a gum sweetened with xylitol. Clinical evidence demonstrates that chewing sugar-free gum will decrease your chance of developing cavities, and chewing gum with xylitol ramps up the protection level even more.
That Gum is Ancient
People have chewed gum since the first caveman discovered tree sap was chewy. Today’s ingredient list is much more in-depth, with synthetic materials like resins and waxes.
Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal or snack has been proven to knock off food particles and increase saliva production. Your saliva helps neutralize the acids released by bacteria, and getting food off of your teeth deprives the bacteria of more food. Chewing sugar-free gum that uses Xylitol as a sweetener stimulates the production of around ten times the normal rate of saliva, so it’s even more effective.
Chewing gum is even more effective at preventing cavities if it contains Xylitol. It’s a naturally occurring sweetener that inhibits the growth of the oral bacteria that cause cavities. It actually keeps the bacteria from adhering to the tooth, stopping the cavity-causing process in its tracks. With Xylitol use over time, the decay-causing types of bacteria decrease because they can’t thrive in the conditions of your mouth.
Don’t brush off this advice
Chewing sugar-free gum after meals or when it’s not practical to brush, but chewing gum can’t replace a thorough brushing and flossing routine.