The Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum
While it is an accepted fact in the dental community, many people often question whether chewing gum is good for their oral health. Doubters can rest easy knowing that scientific evidence and numerous studies have shown that munching on sugarless gum is beneficial for your chompers.
How Does Chewing Sugarless Gum Help?
- Reduces dry mouth
- Helps neutralize acids
- Remineralizes enamel
- Washes away food particles
When you eat or drink, your teeth are exposed to acid that is produced when the bacteria in your mouth break down the sugar and carbohydrates. This acid can erode the enamel of your teeth over time and cause tooth decay. Gum stimulates your mouth’s production of saliva, which neutralizes this acid. Saliva also helps prevent cavities by dissolving sugars that might be lodged in spaces between the teeth, therefore limiting the growth of bacteria colonies and subsequent acid. Additionally, the mechanism of chewing can help dislodge food particles and break up plaque.
Why Sugar-Free Gum?
Violet Beauregarde may have been onto something, but her obsessive gum chewing doesn’t necessarily mean she can have free range on all the sugary candy in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. Although chewing gum is beneficial, chewing sugary gum negates those benefits by increasing the presence of sugar in your mouth. It’s important to limit your sugar consumption (even in the form of gum) because bacteria in the mouth feed off sugar and produce decay-causing acids.
Sugar-free gums that have the American Dental Association® (ADA) Seal of Acceptance are sweetened with sweeteners that do not cause cavities, such as aspartame, sorbitol, or mannitol. The following sugar-free gums have the ADA Seal and have been shown to meet ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness:
- Dentyne® Ice™ Sugarless Gum
- ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Sugar Free Chewing Gum
- Stride Sugarless Gum
- Trident® Sugarless Gum
- Wrigley’s 5® Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Extra® Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Orbit® for Kids Sugarfree Gum
- Wrigley’s Orbit® Sugarfree Gum
Dentists and the ADA recommend chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking.
While sugar-free gum is beneficial, chewing gum does not replace brushing and flossing. It is important to remember to maintain proper oral hygiene by brushing at least twice per day and flossing at least once per day.
If you already have cavities or dental issues, Dr. Sands can help. To schedule a consultation, please call (310) 273-0111 today. You may also fill out our online contact form for more information.