August 22, 2022
Anyone who has toddlers or small children knows that they find chewing gum very appealing. So lets talk about how chewing gum can be beneficial to your oral health. Growing up I remember being told that gum was bad for my teeth, and had friends who weren’t allowed to chew gum until they were twelve. Chewing gum has come a long way. The American Dental Association says, “The physical act of chewing tends to increase salivary flow. If you chew sugarless gum after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth.” So what they are saying is that chewing sugarless gum is good for our oral health. Now I’m not saying to go and give you toddler a stick of gum, just know that chewing gum can be beneficial. They also say that chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating can help prevent tooth decay.
Some may wonder if chewing gum can replace brushing teeth or flossing after a meal? While chewing sugarless gum has its benefits, it will not replace brushing and flossing, which should always be the first defense to tooth decay. There are some types of gum that contain “therapeutic agents,” this means they have agents that are able to help to remineralize teeth, reduce plaque and gingivitis. When looking for gum that is going to be good for your teeth, be sure to look for gum that has the ADA Seal of Acceptance. What is the ADA Seal of Acceptance? This means that the company that makes the gum has met the requirements for safety and efficacy in sugarless gum. They must also provide studies that show that the gum is safe for the tissue in our mouths.
Before you go out and buy your kids a pack of sugarless gum, make sure they are brushing and flossing their teeth twice a day, as recommended by all dentists. If you are worried about your child chewing gum you can check with your dentist, and he will be able to give you some guidance. You can also visit the websites listed below for more information.