Chewing gum is often considered a sugary treat, but some gums claim to help with oral health. You may wonder whether there is truth to this or if these are baseless claims. The fact of the matter is that yes, chewing gum can actually help clean your teeth – but it depends on the type of chewing gum you use and how you use it.
Here is what you need to know about the impacts of chewing gum on your oral health. Let’s dive into it!
Can Gum Clean Your Teeth?
People have been chewing gum for thousands of years in order to combat various oral health concerns, from bad breath to cleaning teeth to even helping to curb hunger and thirst. Modern-day gum is a bit of a mixed bag. While some of it can be good for you, other gums can actually worsen your oral health.
Ultimately, whether or not gum cleans your teeth comes down to whether or not it is sugar-free. Gums flavored with sugar can help mask bad breath and taste good, but since they have sugar, they can increase your risk of cavities. Sugar-free gums, on the other hand, can actually help to stave off tooth decay.
This is because sugar-free gums stimulate your saliva production. This helps to remove food particles from your teeth and to neutralize the bacteria in your mouth. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that if you chew sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating, your risk of cavities decreases.
When Should You Chew Gum For Your Oral Health?
In order to ensure that the gum helps to clean your teeth, it’s best to chew sugar-free gum right after eating for about 20 minutes. While gum is not a substitute for brushing and flossing your teeth, it helps to minimize the amount of plaque buildup in your mouth after eating.
Don’t Forget To Brush And Floss
While gum can help to clean your teeth, it’s no substitute for brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. Gum should be used in addition to, rather than in place of, your normal dental hygiene routine. This is because while gum can help with removing food particles and increasing saliva production, it cannot properly remove plaque and bacteria and the like the way that brushing and flossing can.
For optimal results, combine chewing sugar-free gum after eating with a proper brushing and flossing routine.
What Can Gum Do For You?
In addition to minimizing the amount of plaque in your mouth after eating thus preventing tooth decay and increasing saliva flow, gum has a multitude of other benefits for your oral health. Some gums can help to whiten your teeth by removing surface stains. Others can freshen your breath, which can be especially helpful after eating something with garlic or onion or strong spices. It can also help to relieve your stress, and some gums have CBD in them to help even more in this aspect.
Is There Anyone Who Shouldn’t Have Chewing Gum?
While sugar-free gum can help many people reduce their risk of tooth decay, there are some who should likely avoid chewing any sort of gum. For instance, if you have braces, jaw pain, or a temporomandibular joint disorder, such as TMJ or TMD, you should talk to your dentist about the options available to you, as gum could be a bad choice for you.
How To Find The Best Gum For Your Oral Health
Look for the ADA Seal! This means that the gum is for sure sugarless and that it has been approved to help with your oral health. The ADA has specific criteria that gums need to adhere to in order to get their seal. These days, it’s easy for anyone to make a claim on their packaging, and it can be difficult to determine whether or not it is true.
When you see the ADA Seal of Approval on the gum’s packaging, though, you can rest assured that its claims are true, because in order to get said seal, the company must have had all of their information and claims verified by the ADA. In order to ensure that you select the right gum for your oral health, find one with this seal on it.
Keep Your Teeth Clean And Healthy
Avenues Family Dentistry provides a wide range of dental services, from yearly cleanings to filling cavities and more. If you have questions about your oral health, please do not hesitate to contact us and schedule an appointment today!