Can Chewing Gum Actually Be Good for Your Teeth?August 10, 2018
If you love chewing gum, but you’re worried about your oral health, we have good news: The American Dental Association (ADA) gives its Seal of Acceptance to several types of gum from top brands—and even cites some benefits of chewing gum.
Many may think of gum as candy and, for a long time, that's what most varieties were. But now, the ADA recognizes many gums that are scientifically demonstrated to help protect your teeth. So, chew away, but choose carefully. There are plenty of sugary gums out there that can be harmful to your oral health (and it's not always easy to tell which is which).
- What Is the Right Gum?
First things first. For healthy chewing, stick to sugar-free gum. Like candy or other sweets, sugary gum can damage teeth by causing cavities and other oral health issues. The easiest way to tell which gums are healthy is to look for the ADA Seal. You’ll find it on several leading sugarless gums that meet their requirements for oral health safety.
In fact, part of the ADA’s requirements include efficacy—meaning ADA-approved gum is known to offer benefits like reducing plaque acids, strengthening tooth enamel, fighting cavities and protecting against gingivitis.
- Chewing Gum Can Actually Be Good for Your Teeth
Absolutely - especially when you can't brush immediately after a meal. Any sugar-free gum can help remove food particles that cause cavities; it also produces additional saliva, which helps clear food from your mouth and reduce levels of decay-causing acid. Some gum is even labeled "cavity fighting" and may be even more effective if it contains certain ingredients:
- Xylitol: A natural sweetener, it’s been shown to reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
- Recaldent®: Thought to promote remineralization and harden tooth enamel.
- Tips for Overall Oral Health
Healthy teeth and gums can help make your whole body feel better. Regular checkups, cleanings and x-rays are critical. They can also be expensive, but good dental coverage can help you save on oral health costs. Here are some tips to help ensure a clean smile with healthy teeth, gums and more:
- Go to the dentist regularly—the ADA recommends regular dental visits at intervals determined by a dentist.
- Before you leave the dentist's office after a visit, schedule your next appointment. Even if it's months in advance, it'll help make sure you get back in due time.
- Find a good dental coverage provider and take advantage of your benefits for cleanings, x-rays and other important dental care.
- To Chew or Not to Chew?
Gum fans, get ready to smile. Not only are you not hurting your teeth when you chew sugarless gum, but you're also are doing your whole mouth and body a favor by cleaning out bacteria and acid, and rebuilding minerals that protect your teeth. You may have to skip the sugary gum, but there are plenty of "good gum" options out there that taste great-and that can keep your smile looking bright for years to come.