Standard dental care to prevent tooth decay includes avoiding sugary or sticky treats. One exception to this rule is sugarless gum. Unlike gum and candies with sugar, sugarless gum can actually help prevent decay and reduce your visits to your dentist for restorations.
Gum and Tooth Decay
Your mouth has a natural defense system against tooth decay. A major element of this defense system is your saliva. When saliva is released, it helps wash away any food particles that might linger on your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production, helping wash out even more of the particles that can remain after you eat. In addition, saliva helps neutralize the acid that develops in the mouth as a result of bacterial action. Saliva also carries minerals through your mouth that help remineralize your teeth, which can actually repair places affected by very early stages of decay.
Unlike gum and candies with sugar, sugarless gum can actually help prevent decay and reduce your visits to your dentist for restorations.
To be sure your chewing gum will help rather than harm your teeth, look for an ADA Seal. This seal, granted by the American Dental Association, ensures the gum has ingredients that will not increase the likelihood of tooth decay.
How Often Should I Chew Sugarless Gum?
Chewing gum—even sugarless gum—will never be a substitute for regular brushing and flossing. However, if you’re away from home and can’t brush after a meal, chewing gum for about twenty minutes can help clean your teeth and prevent decay from developing. If you enjoy chewing gum, be sure to use only sugar-free brands. Gum with sugar in it can also help stimulate saliva production, but the sugar in the gum will stay on the teeth, leaving behind food for the bacteria that naturally populate your mouth. If this bacteria multiplies, it will produce acidic waste products that then eat through the teeth, causing cavities.
In addition to looking for an ADA Seal on your gum of choice, ask your dentist what type of gum is most likely to help prevent cavities by calling 817-465-0355 today.