There are a lot of different opinions as to whether chewing gum is beneficial to your teeth or not. Are all chewing gums inevitably the same, or can some be better than others? Chewing gum can be good for you, but there are a few things we have to consider:
Which chewing gums are good for you?
If the gum you’re chewing has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of acceptance on it, chances are it’s not bad for your teeth. This seal assures that scientists have performed studies on the gum testing its safety and effectiveness. This seal also certifies that claims the gum wrapper may portray are in fact true. To help you in this quest to find the seal, as of now, only sugar-free gums have received the ADA seal of approval.
How do the benefits work?
Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is very helpful after eating. The increase in saliva can help to neutralize acids and which in turn helps to prevent tooth decay. Studies have shown that chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals is most effective.
Sugar vs. sugar-free?
While chewing gum with sugar will have the same effect of increasing saliva flow in the mouth, the sugar in the gum can be used by plaque and bacteria to produce the acids that can cause tooth decay, effectively cancelling out any positive effect the gum would be having. Sugar-free gums use sweeteners that will not cause decay, such as aspartame and xylitol. Spry is an excellent choice when looking for a chewing gum alternative; it is made with xylitol and tastes great!
Does chewing gum replace brushing/flossing?
No way! Chewing gum is great if you can’t brush immediately following eating or drinking, but it should never be used as a replacement. You should still brush and floss twice daily.
As long as you choose chewing gum marked with the ADA seal, you can chew with confidence. Your breath will be fresher and your mouth will feel cleaner!