American’s love their gum. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the average American consumes 1.8 pounds of gum each year!
Even though that may sound disturbing to many, chewing gum actually has several benefits for your oral health.
Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing will definitely help keep your pearly whites healthy and clean, but you’ll never guess what helps keep your teeth clean throughout the day.
Saliva! Yes, saliva has the capability to defend your teeth against plaque by neutralizing acids that come in to contact with your mouth. Pretty cool, right?
Let’s take a look at how gum and saliva work together to fight off unwanted germs.
Chewing Increases Saliva Flow
This may not have crossed your mind, but when we chew, our mouth fills up with saliva to naturally wash away our food. Saliva also works to deliver nutrients to our teeth to keep our enamel strong.
If you want to continue producing saliva throughout the day without having to consume food, choose a stick of sugar-free gum! Research findings report that chewing sugar-free gum for just 20 minutes a day can cut down on decay.
Gum Must be Sugar-Free
Chewing on some sugary gum is always a nice treat, but it isn’t recommended. That sugar will be thrilled to attach to your teeth and help perpetuate its nasty duty of keeping bacteria alive.
There are tons of sugar-free gum selections on the market that don’t cause decay and still offer a sweet flavor you can enjoy.
Does Chewing Gym Replace Brushing and Flossing?
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all rely on chewing gum for healthy teeth? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case!
To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, it is important to properly clean your teeth with a soft bristle brush, floss, and get regularly scheduled professional dental cleanings every 6 months.
Be Careful with Gum
Although sugar-free gum can increase saliva flow, leading to a cleaner mouth, there are a few downsides that are worth pointing out.
Keep in mind:
- If you wear braces, gum should be avoided. Gum can easily stick to wires and cause damage.
- Dogs can’t enjoy the benefit of gum like humans! Make sure to keep your gum away from your furry friend.
- Swallowing your gum won’t in fact mean it will stay in your belly for seven years; however, swallowing large amounts of gum in a small period of time can harm your intestines. Always supervise young children who are chewing and educate your kids about the importance of spitting out their gum once it has lost its flavor.
Want to learn more about the benefits of chewing gum? Contact us and we can recommend some sugar-free selections for you and your kids.