A good dental care routine consists of a few tried and true steps: brushing at least twice a day, flossing after meals, and avoiding excess sugar. Another advantage in winning the fight against tooth decay is chewing gum. Research has shown that chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after a meal can help increase saliva production, which helps fight plaque build-up and tooth decay.
Saliva helps to wash away food debris and bacteria that linger in the mouth, releasing sugars that attack teeth and cause plaque. As saliva circulates through the mouth, it clears away this bacteria in places where toothbrush bristles can’t reach, giving the mouth a thorough cleanse of these harmful substances. Chewing gum regularly, specifically after meals, will help strengthen your teeth and cleanse your mouth of decay-causing substances.
Be selective. Bubble gum and chewing gum are not the same. Bubble gum contains sugar. While chewing bubble gum will increase saliva production, it will also circulate the sugar through your mouth, leaving your teeth vulnerable to plaque. When choosing a gum, look for the sugar-free variety with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. Also, look for a gum that lists xylitol in the ingredients – it actually helps fight bacteria that cause cavities!
The Perks of Chewing Gum!
- Saliva is made up of water and minerals. The minerals found in saliva help protect and fortify your enamel. Since the tooth’s enamel doesn’t regenerate over time, chewing gum can help generate saliva and fortify the existing enamel.
- Chewing gum also promotes fresh breath. Reduced occurrences of halitosis are due to increased saliva production and a decrease in bacteria.
- The benefits of chewing gum don’t end with dental happiness. According to research, chewing gum can encourage alertness, reduce drowsiness, and improve memory function!