Normally, dentists aren’t big fans of sugary substances like gum and candies. But there are some gums that are good for you because they help clean your teeth. Here’s what you need to know about gum that could be good for you.
Gum That’s Good For You
Before you cheer the big news, let us remind you that gum that contains sugar is NOT recommended by dentists. Sugary gums contribute to tooth decay.
Sugarless gum can be beneficial when you chew it. Since it does not contain sugar, which causes oral health problems, this gum is dentist-approved for three big reasons.
Naturally Clean Teeth
Sugarless gum scraps food particles off your teeth. While we still recommend that you brush your teeth twice each day, there are times when you may not be able to brush your teeth. Whether after lunch or on the go, chewing sugarless gum is a convenient way to remove food stuck on teeth which in turn helps prevent cavities.
Chewing gum may harden your tooth enamel if it contains a substance called Recaldent (which is trademarked). This substance is a particular type of protein that actually remineralizes and strengthens your enamel. By chewing gum that has Recaldent, you can reduce the odds of developing tooth decay and strengthen your teeth while enjoying the freshening benefits of gum.
Reduce Oral Bacteria
Many types of sugarless gum contain a substance called Xylitol, which is a natural sweetener. Sugar is a favorite food of bacteria. When the gum you chew contains sugar, it feeds oral bacteria and can lead to cavities. When you chew sugar-free gum that’s sweetened with xylitol, oral bacteria is unable to feed and dies off. As a result, you are less likely to develop cavities.
Promote Healthy Levels of Saliva
When you chew gum, you trick your salivary glands into producing more saliva. From an oral health perspective, extra saliva is a good thing, because saliva clears away food particles that are stuck on your teeth and strengthens enamel.
Saliva also washes away things like acids that may be stuck on your teeth after you consume foods or drinks that contain acid. Drinks like orange juice or soda contain acid. If you don’t brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after you consume these things, the acid in the beverage can dissolve your tooth enamel. Chewing gum after drinking soda or juice helps to cleanse the mouth, protecting your enamel from decay.
If you love chewing gum, you will enjoy knowing that there are several types of gum you can find at the checkout counter that will satisfy your craving to chew that benefit your health rather than detract from it. It’s a guilt-free treat you can feel good about choosing–and giving your kids. If you’d like to talk more about the oral health benefits of chewing gum, or find out whether there are particular brands we recommend, our Tampa dentist is here for you.