You may be surprised to learn that chewing gum is not harmful for your dental health. In fact, it’s good for it! There are multiple reasons why chewing gum can promote a healthier smile. However, before you pop in that stick of gum, there are couple rules you should know about. First, make sure your gum is a sugarless brand. If not, you could be causing far more harm than good. The American Dental Association gives its seal of approval to countless sugar-free brands, or those that contain aspartame, sorbitol, mannitol or Xylitol instead of real sugar. Second, it is important to moderate the amount of time you are chewing gum, especially if you are prone to TMJ problems. Chewing for hours on end can overwork your jaw muscles, and the extra strain can lead to jaw stiffness, jaw popping and inflammation of the TMJ.
The Benefits of Chewing Sugarless Gum
Why does the ADA actually promote sugarless gum? The ADA recognizes the following proven oral health benefits of chewing sugarless:
- Prevents dry mouth
- Reduces plaque acid
- Strengthens the teeth
- Helps prevent cavities
- Dislodges food debris
As long as you are chomping down on a sugar-free variety, chewing gum immediately works to increase saliva flow in your mouth. We need proper saliva production in order to neutralize acids in the mouth as well as rinse away harmful bacteria and food debris. Not only does this make for healthier teeth and gums, but it can also mean fresher breath and whiter teeth too!
If you can’t get to a toothbrush after meals and snacks, keep a pack of sugarless gum handy instead. Gum can be next best thing to a toothbrush or floss for cleaning your teeth, just don’t rely on it as a substitute for your twice-a-day dental hygiene routine.
While chewing (sugar-free) gum passes the test for your smile health, there may be other habits that are not so beneficial. Contact Green Dental of Alexandria today to make sure your lifestyle habits are in check with a healthy smile!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Hye Park, Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St, Suite GR03
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 549-1725