What You Need To Know To Protect Your Teeth
Chewing gum has gotten a bad reputation over the years, since most types of gum contain questionable ingredients (aspartame) and often have more sugar than anyone would want. But the reality is that certain chewing gums can have positive effects on your teeth and even improve their function and longevity. Gum has been around for years, evolving into a blend of synthetic materials. While some consider it to be a type of candy, most sugarless gums are far from it.
Here’s the truth:
- Gum can help your oral health: It’s true! Research has shown that chewing gum after eating a meal increases salivary flow, which neutralizes and washes away acids and bacteria that come from food. Over time, acid can erode your tooth enamel, which as many people know does not come back.
- Increased saliva strengthens enamel: Your saliva carries calcium and phosphate, which help enamel stay strong.
- Some gum has active ingredients that are beneficial: Depending on what type you buy, chewing a stick of gum might be able to reduce tooth decay and decrease your risk for gingivitis.
- However, you still need to brush and floss: Don’t think that chewing gum has saved you from having to floss. It’s still recommended that you brush your teeth twice a day, which cleans plaque and bacteria from your teeth. Dental care is still needed even if you’re an avid gum chewer.
- Don’t expect much from teeth whitening gums: These gums claim to have teeth whitening benefits, but the truth is, you won’t see too much of an improvement to your teeth. They do, however, reduce the formation of dark staining. The best whitening results will ultimately come from a professional whitening service.
When you’re looking for a chewing gum that has health benefits, we recommend looking for those that carry a seal of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). These are typically sugarless and have been proven to help with strengthening teeth. If you have any questions about ways to keep your teeth healthy, please call us today to schedule an appointment for professional dental care!