Chewing gum may have been your school teacher’s favorite nemesis but there’s a lot more to chewing gum and it’s benefits than meets the eye – or the teeth.
Did you know that sugar-free chewing gum that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) is proven to be good for you teeth? So good in fact, that if you chew sugar-free gum after eating, it increases the flow of saliva…which in turn bathes your teeth and gums, helping to neutralize and wash away the acids from food that break down tooth enamel and cause decay.
Pretty amazing, right?
But wait…there’s more.
- Increased saliva carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.
- Studies have shown that 20 minutes of chewing sugar-free gum after eating can help prevent tooth decay.
- In the future, gum might contain active agents that could enhance the gum’s ability to remineralize teeth and reduce decay, plaque and gingivitis.
Before the toothbrush as we know it was invented, humans chewed to help clean their teeth.
- The Native Americans of New England chewed Spruce Tree sap.
- Grecian women favored chewing mastiche, the sap of the mastic tree, to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.
- Modern chewing gum evolved from a chicle-based gum brought to the United States in the early 1860s. Chicle is derived from the milky juice (latex) of the Sapodilla tree that grows in tropical rain forests of Central America.
- The sugar-free gum we enjoy today is blended with a synthetic gum base, softeners, artificial, non-cavity causing sweeteners, flavorings and colors.
- When brushing immediately after eating isn’t possible, chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to help keep teeth clean and your breath sweet after eating or drinking.
The positive effects of chewing sugar-free gum are great but it can’t and shouldn’t replace your daily oral health routine. Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and a dental check-up twice a year are essential.
Dr. Holbrook is committed to your dental health.
Call our offices today to schedule an appointment…for your smile’s sake!