We all live busy lives with so many things to do each and every day, that dedicating some time to maintain our oral hygiene seems like a monumental task. Because of this, we quite often take a chewing gum on our way out instead of taking 2-3 minutes and brushing our teeth properly. Now even though chewing gum isn’t an ideal tooth brushing replacement but chewing the right kind of gum might help protect your teeth.
What type of chewing gum is good for teeth?
According to ADA (American Dental Association) it is recommended to chew chewing gum that is sugar-free at least for 20 minutes after a meal. By doing so, we are stimulating saliva production which washes away the food residue left on your teeth and the bacteria that feed on it. But before rushing off, you should make sure that you buy only sugar-free. If you buy sugary gum, you will definitely end up doing more harm than good because the sugar will promote further bacteria growth and will hurt your teeth.
Does Xylitol Help?
The first chewing gum were made from tree resin. Luckily it has come a long way since then and there are more sophisticated recipes. But in general, chewing gums are a mix of natural and artificial ingredients that provide both good taste and texture. One of the ingredients that almost every chewing gum has is Xylitol, which is a form of crystal sugar that has a sweet taste but it’s actually sugar-free. The good thing about Xylitol is that the bacteria cannot feed off of it so it doesn’t cause tooth decay.
Should everyone chew sugar-free chewing gum?
Chewing gum doesn’t only help protect your teeth from tooth decay. The chewing motion that you do while chewing is actually a really good exercise for the muscles you normally use when eating. But, if you suffer from pain or clicking/popping in your jaw, it might not be a best idea to chew gum so often. Make sure that you check with your dentist or doctor to see what’s the source of the pain and jaw discomfort.
Are there other good chewing gum alternatives?
While chewing gum is a good on-the-go solution, we don’t recommend using it often as an alternative or replacement to daily brushing and flossing. Aside from gums there are other alternatives that you could use in order to promote saliva production and freshen your breath. One is eating healthier snacks, for example an apple a day or maybe even celery. They can both scrub some plaque or food residue from your teeth and making them a bit cleaner. Other options can include alcohol-free mouthwash, travel tooth brushes and floss picks.
Regular dental care
Keep in mind that chewing gums should be used as an addition to your regular and daily oral hygiene routine. Combined, they will help you keep your teeth healthy and strong. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice every day (for at least two minutes) and pay a visit to your dentist every six months to make sure that your teeth are in good health.