When you think of foods that are bad for teeth, candies are usually at the top of the list and include chewing gum. However, did you know that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after a meal can prevent tooth decay? Here are the reasons why gum chewing can benefit your dental health.
The action of chewing increases saliva flow. Saliva is good for dental health because:
- It washes away food debris.
- It neutralizes acids produced by food and bacteria.
- It brings calcium and phosphate into your mouth, which strengthens tooth enamel.
ADA approved sugar-free gums have non-cavity forming sweeteners such as aspartame, sorbitol, and mannitol. But another natural sweetener often found in these gums, xylitol, also neutralizes acids and even prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth.
Other Facts About Chewing Gum
- Saliva isn’t just good for your teeth, but it also helps get rid of bad breath.
- Gum chewing after meals can also prevent heartburn because of the acid-neutralizing properties of xylitol and saliva.
- Xylitol is sometimes found in mouthwashes and toothpastes.
- Acid attacks the mouth most often after meals because it is produced not only by plaque bacteria, but by the sugars in the foods we eat. This is why gum chewing after meals is a good way to fight against acid attacks.