Believe it or not, the right type of chewing gum can actually help your teeth stay healthy! The American Dental Association (ADA) has approved chewing gum as a tool to fight tooth decay. Of course, this should be sugar-free gum, but there are a few choices out there that are not only harmless but actually good for you. Talk to Dr. Jason Petkevis during your next visit to our Chester Springs PA office to find out exactly how chewing gum can keep your teeth healthy.
Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which is particularly beneficial after eating. When we eat, cavity-creating particles can potentially be left behind on the teeth. Over time this could lead to plaque build-up in those places that are hard to reach with your toothbrush such as in the back of the mouth and between teeth. More saliva in the mouth helps wash away the food particles, and it also contributes more phosphate and calcium to the mouth to strengthen tooth enamel. Reducing the buildup of plaque on your teeth and building stronger enamel means fewer cavities!
Of course, a lot of chewing gum available on the market is loaded with sugar, which Dr. Petkevis does not recommend. Too much sugar feeds oral bacteria living on the plaque in your mouth, which increases the risk of cavities. If these bacteria are well-fed, they multiply faster, and the bacteria will eat away at tooth enamel and eventually create cavities. Avoiding sugar helps your teeth and your overall health, as well.
Instead, you should choose a sugar-free gum that is ADA-approved. You can check the packaging for the ADA seal for this designation. Gums with this seal contain artificial sweeteners that do not contribute to cavities. Doing this assures you that your chewing gum is sugar-free and actually beneficial to your oral health.
Chewing ADA-approved sugarless gum after eating has been clinically shown to help prevent tooth decay due to the increase of saliva flow to the mouth. However, chewing gum is only meant to be one tool of many to prevent tooth decay. Always brush your teeth at least twice daily, floss once at least once a day, and make regular appointments with your dentist. Chewing gum does not have to be harmful but it can’t replace these other very important steps in your oral hygiene routine!
If you have any questions about your oral health, don’t hesitate to call 610.400.1459 or schedule an appointment online with Dr. Petkevis. It’s suggested that you always consult with your dentist before starting any new dental regiment. Regular examinations and cleanings at your dental office are the best way to maintain your oral health and catch serious oral health issues early to avoid painful and complicated procedures.