You may have heard recent studies that have claimed that chewing gum after a meal will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and you may be wondering if this is true or not. This article will discuss the role of chewing gum in maintaining good oral health.
Recent studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for about 15-20 minutes after a meal will help prevent cavities, tooth decay, plaque formation and gum disease. It is important to note that this finding only applies to gums without sugars.
The sugarless gum chewing after a meal works by increasing the amount of saliva you make in your mouth. This saliva will help remove extra food parts, sugars, and other odds and ends left over after a meal. Removing this extra food-stuff will help decrease the plaque production that ultimately results in acid that will eat through your tooth enamel. There is an added bonus to chewing sugarless gum. Not only are extra particles removed, the increase in saliva may also help strengthen tooth enamel as more calcium and phosphate are produced, resulting in stronger tooth enamel.
Chewing sugarless gum should never be a substitute for good dental care habits such as regular brushing and flossing and seeing your dentist twice a year for dental cleanings and checkups. However, chewing sugarless gum is a great habit to get into during the work-day when brushing is difficult. It is important to look for gum with the ADA seal. These are the only gums that are truly ‘sugar-free’. Be careful to buy sugar-free gums before you pick up the gum chewing habit during the day!
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