Many people may view chewing gum as a type of candy, and therefore, think it can contribute to causing cavities. Although any sugary food, including chewing gum, can result in a cavity or other dental conditions; sugarless chewing gum has scientifically demonstrated that it can protect the teeth.
How does Sugarless Chewing Gum Protect Teeth?
Food that is left in/on your teeth after a meal is broken down by bacteria found in plaque. During this process, the bacteria release acids that break down tooth enamel and cause decay. However, when you chew sugarless chewing gum after a meal, the physical act of chewing increases salivary flow in the mouth. The increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the harmful acids. An increased amount of saliva flow not only protects tooth enamel, but it carries with it more calcium and phosphate, which helps strengthen tooth enamel. It has been proved in clinical studies that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay.
Does Chewing Gum Replace other Dental Care?
Although sugarless chewing gum can do a great deal in preventing cavities and the growth of bacteria in the mouth, it is no substitute for proper dental care. There is no equivalent for brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning plaque and debris from between the teeth once a day with dental floss.
What Sugarless Chewing Gum Should You Buy?
When looking for the best chewing gum, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal. A company earns the ADA Seal by proving to an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs, that their product meets the requirements for safety and effectiveness.
Does Chewing Gum Protect My Teeth in Other Ways?
In the future, chewing gum may deliver a variety of therapeutic agents that could provide additional benefits than just the ability to stimulate saliva flow. For example, chewing gum might contain active agents that could enhance the gum’s ability to remineralize teeth and reduce plaque and gingivitis.