Are you a gum chewer? Good news, this habit could actually benefit your dental health. You might be wondering how that’s possible. Doesn’t chewing gum damage your teeth? Continue reading to learn more.
Now listen, before you start stuffing your face with bubble gum, there is an exception… The chewing gum must be sugar-free otherwise you are just chewing on a stick of sugar, which we know isn’t healthy. Any gum that is advertised as sugar-free will help prevent cavities in your mouth by eliminating food particles on your teeth. Also, chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps to wash away food, strengthen teeth, and minimize acid levels in the mouth that contribute to tooth decay.
Gum with Xylitol
Do you know that chewing gum that contains a sugar replacement called Xylitol is even more effective at preventing cavities? Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener which has been proven to reduce cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. When chewing on gum that contains Xylitol, it inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, a type of bacteria that causes cavities. When bacteria in the mouth comes across Xylitol, they lose the ability to adhere to the teeth, stunting the cavity forming process.
Harden Your Tooth Enamel with Sugar-free Gum
Your tooth enamel is the tough outer surface layer of your teeth and protects against decay. Although it is considered the hardest mineral substance in your body, it isn’t indestructible. Some gum manufacturers have started adding casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) to products. This substance hardens and remineralizes tooth enamel, which leads to stronger teeth and reduces tooth decay.
Eating a Healthy Diet
In addition to chewing sugar-free gum, you should eat a balanced diet. This means you should consume a range of different foods from each of the five major food groups. Avoid eating or drinking anything that is high in sugar as this is a common cause of tooth decay. If you’re craving a snack, opt for nutritious foods like cheese, raw vegetables or yogurt and don’t forget to pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth after!