The Truth about Chewing Gum

You can’t check out at a convenience store, pharmacy or grocery store without seeing a display rack of chewing gum. It’s an American favorite. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American consumes 1.8 pounds of chewing gum each year.

To determine if chewing gum is good or bad for your oral health, it is important to first review the advantages and disadvantages of chewing gum.

The Advantages of Chewing Gum

  1. Sugar-free chewing gum helps clean teeth

Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum after meals and snacks can help clean your teeth and prevent plaque buildup. The action of chewing and the flavor of sweeteners in chewing gum stimulates ten times the normal amount of saliva flow, which neutralizes the acids in your mouth, washing away food particles and keeping your teeth clean.

  1. Xylitol reduces unwanted bacteria that causes tooth decay

Sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol can prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to your tooth. Over time, frequent use of xylitol will change the types of bacteria in your mouth and fewer decay-causing bacteria will survive, which prevents cavities from developing.

  1. Hardens tooth enamel

Chewing gum with an additive trademark such as Recaldent (Casein Phosphopeptide-Amorphous Calcium Phosphate [CPP-ACP]), is known to mineralize and harden tooth enamel. Chewing gum with Recaldent makes your teeth stronger and lowers your risk of tooth decay.

The Disadvantages of Chewing Gum

  1. Gum sweetened with sugar is bad for your teeth

When you choose sugary chewing gum, you’re giving the unwanted bacteria in your mouth a sugar rush that continues after you spit out the chewing gum. These bacteria are fueled by sugar to produce acids that weaken your tooth enamel and cause cavities.

  1. Can cause gastrointestinal problems

Gum causes you to swallow excess air, which can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid and reduce sufficient digestive secretions when you do eat food. You may also have adverse gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea, from the artificial sweeteners found in chewing gum.

  1. Chewing Gum May Increase Your Junk-Food Intake

Theoretically, gum is supposed to help reduce your motivation to eat. However, research shows that based on how much gum you chew, you may begin craving more sugars and end up eating less nutritious snacks and meals.

Chewing Gum Does NOT Replace Good Oral Hygiene

Sugar-free gum only acts as an addition to your oral hygiene. So, keep up your daily brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routine to protect your beautiful smile!

ADA Approved Chewing Gum

The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal means that a product has been objectively evaluated for safety and efficiency by an independent body of scientific experts, the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs.

A company earns the ADA Seal by demonstrating that its products meet the requirements for safety and effectiveness for sugar-free gum. Effectiveness may include meeting one or more of the following qualifications: reducing plaque acids, promoting remineralization of tooth enamel, reducing cavities and/or reducing gingivitis. Studies must show that the gum does not cause damage to oral tissue. The manufacturer must provide the results of both laboratory studies and clinical studies in humans.

With all these options waiting at the checkout display rack, it is easier than ever to satisfy your sweet tooth and protect it from cavities rather than grabbing a sugar-filled candy bar or snack.

At Advanced Children’s Dentistry, your Garden City Pediatric Dentist, we want to make sure you and your family are well-educated on your oral health. Call us today at (516) 758 – KIDS to reserve your child’s dental care appointment.

Advanced Children’s Dentistry is proud to serve the surrounding cities: Mineola, Hempstead, West Hempstead, Franklin Square, Uniondale, New Hyde Park, Westbury, North New Hyde Park, Roosevelt, North Merrick, Roslyn, Carle Place, Williston Park, Old Westbury, Albertson, East Meadow, Garden City Park, Floral Park, East Garden City and many more.

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