To Good to be True: Chewing Gums are Actually Good for the Teeth?

Young girl chewing bubble gum

These days, it’s nearly impossible to go past through a cash register in a convenience store, grocery store, or pharmacy without coming across a bunch of display racks for different brands of chewing gums. In fact, statistics reveal that an average American consumes around 1.8 pounds of chewing gum on average every year.

It’s easy for people to associate chewing gums with most candies. Candies can’t be good for our oral health, so chewing gums may be as damaging if they’re under the same category. However, experts have now revealed that there are varieties of chewing gum that can actually do wonders for the teeth.

The Right Gum

If you can’t see yourself completely giving up on this perennial favorite, here’s some great news for you: The American Dental Association (ADA) has officially given its Seal of Acceptance to a number of gum types from leading brands. In addition, they’ve even enumerated a number of benefits you can enjoy from chewing gums.

Now, the ADA recognizes that there are many gums out in the market that have been scientifically proven to help protect your oral health. When you chew gums, your mouth produces more saliva, which, in turn, helps offset and rinse away a good portion of the acid that forms inside the mouth when you break down all the food you’ve consumed.

These acids can also eat away your tooth enamel, causing you to develop tooth decay at a much faster rate. But, all the extra saliva produced can generate a number of minerals which can help. Chewing a gum right after every meal actually helps in protecting your teeth promoting better oral health. Choose carefully, however, as there are many sugary types out there that can be extremely damaging, and it’s not always easy to spot the difference.

Those that contain a sugar replacement called Xylitol work even better at preventing cavities. According to several studies, Xylitol, a naturally occurring sweetener, is capable of decreasing the number of bacteria in the mouth that are responsible for cavity-building. Compared to sugar, Xylitol is incapable of acting as “fuel” to these organisms, reducing the number of bacteria and keeping your mouth a healthier place for your teeth.

The Sugarless Variety

Colorful assortment of gum balls

A kids dentist in Herriman says that parents can tell their children and teens who enjoy chewing gum this oral care hint. However, make sure that they go for the sugarless type, not the sugary bubble gums that are more common. Otherwise, it can have the opposite effects, which, in the long run, means you may have to deal with plaque buildup on your teeth. Experts recommend sugarless gums, which often have a seal of approval included on the packaging to help consumers make the right choice.

But, don’t forget to remind your kids that chewing gums isn’t a replacement for their regular oral care routine. Proper flossing and tooth brushing at least two times a day using high-quality products should still be practiced, along with regular dental visits.

Now, with all of these healthier chewing gum options, it’s a lot less challenging to satisfy your cravings for something sweet without thinking about all the risks.

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