Some people think chewing gum is a rude or an unprofessional habit. There are, however, some surprising oral health benefits to popping the occasional piece of gum.
Lower Cavity Risk
Choose a gum that contains xylitol, a sugar substitute, and you can actually reduce the population of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth which means fewer fillings, crowns, and other dental restorations.
Chewing gum stimulates a healthy flow of saliva, which neutralizes acids from food and bacteria. If that acid isn’t washed away regularly by saliva, it can wear away tooth enamel.
With the extra saliva that comes from chewing a piece of gum come extra minerals. These minerals in your saliva help fortify weak spots in your enamel and prevent problems like cavities and sensitivity.
As you chew, the fruity- or minty-fresh flavors of your piece of gum can mask any odors from your last meal. The increased saliva flow also helps in washing away residue and germs that contribute to bad breath.
Gum is sticky and rubbery, which makes it perfect for pulling out hidden pieces of food and plaque stuck in grooves on your teeth. Chewing gum is actually better than brushing for cleaning your teeth immediately after a meal.
Chew with Caution
Not all chewing gum is good for your smile. If you want a piece of gum, make sure it’s sugar-free. The sugary variety will only put your teeth at greater risk for decay.
Also, constant gum-chewing can be bad for your TMJ. Limit the chewing to right after meals and avoid doing it all day long.
Talk with your dentist to find out more about how chewing gum can affect your smile.
Posted on behalf of:
Buford Family Dental
4700 Nelson Grogdon Blvd. NE #210
Buford, GA 30518
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