Chewing sugar-free gum, especially after meals, helps to protect your mouth. This sounds like a dubious claim made only by people looking to sell you something–but it’s actually true.
Chewing gum fights cavities by stimulating saliva flow in your mouth. Saliva is your body’s first defense against cavities–in fact, it is the saliva, not the gum itself, that fights the tooth decay. Saliva cleans food particles and other debris away from your teeth; it also helps teeth by providing nutrients that strengthen the enamel. The bacteria that live in your mouth feed on simple sugars, turning them into acid that dissolves enamel. Washing away the food particles and neutralizing those acids are both important functions in preventing tooth decay.
Of course, chewing sugared gum also stimulates saliva, but the sugars present in the gum feed the bacteria that cause cavities, negating the positive effects of chewing gum.
Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating helps prepare your teeth for brushing. Brushing teeth directly after eating can damage enamel–the acids present in food make enamel sensitive to abrasions such as brushing your teeth or using toothpaste. It is a good idea to chew sugar-free gum between meals and brushing in order to quickly clean teeth without damaging them.
Of course, chewing gum is only a small part of a complete oral healthcare routine. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your dentist regularly. To schedule an appointment in the Sherman, Texas area, call Marze Dental at 903-892-4531. Dr. Brawley T. Marze Jr. and our team will be happy to help keep your smile bright!