From fruity flavors like watermelon and strawberry to minty fresh varieties, chewing gum is a popular treat that doesn’t have the tooth-wrecking reputation of most sweets. Have you ever wondered if there is a health benefit of chewing gum? The answer is yes, but, like most things, it’s complicated.
Chewing gum benefits depend a lot on the ingredients in the gum you chew and the type of gum that you reach for. To find out more about how chewing gum can boost your oral health, keep reading below. Your smile will thank you!
Chewing Gum Benefits
Did you know that chewing gum has been used to boost oral health for thousands of years? It’s crazy. There is archaeological evidence to suggest that some ancient civilizations employed gum-like substances to clean their teeth. As part of a complete oral health routine, gum can be a great way to take care of your pearly whites.
One of the most obvious ways that gum improves your oral health is by improving your breath. We’ve all reached for a stick of gum to freshen up our breath, and keeping bad-breath at bay is a great benefit of chewing gum.
Gum is also popular among people who are looking to quit smoking. Smoking can contribute to gum disease and other oral health issues, so using chewing gum to curb a smoking habit is a great way to protect your teeth.
The Top Benefit of Chewing Gum
While the benefits listed above are nothing to sneeze at, one of the most important chewing gum benefits is the treat’s ability to fight cavities. When you chew gum it increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, and saliva naturally aids in cleaning your teeth and fighting bad bacteria.
Chewing gum directly after eating can also help remove food particles and reduce the risk of cavity formation. Of course, gum is only effective at preventing cavities when it’s paired with a thorough oral care routine that includes tooth brushing and flossing.
Best Gum for Your Teeth
Not all gums are created equal, and when it comes to oral health, some varieties are much better for you than others. The most important quality to look for in your gum is that it is sugar free. Sugar free gums give you all the benefits of gum without any of the damage that sugar can cause.
Xylitol, a naturally-derived low-calorie sweetener, has a reputation for warding off harmful bacteria, so you’ll find it in many sugar-free gums. Another popular sugar substitute is stevia, which is derived from a plant. You can easily find sugar-free gums that contain these and other sugar substitutes in your local grocery store.
Some gums are created with special properties, like whitening gums or probiotic gums. If you want a gum that goes above and beyond, you can ask us for a suggestion. We’re happy to share recommendations for our favorite tooth-friendly gums with our patients!
Keep Learning About Oral Health
Chewing gum is one of the lesser-known things that you can do to boost your oral health. Making small changes like adding a stick of gum to your daily routine can make a big difference over time. And the benefit of chewing gum extends beyond oral health to your whole body – chewing gum benefits include reducing stress and increasing your focus and energy levels. Dr. Ross regularly has bubble blowing contests with staff and patients, so you can always look forward to visiting the office for that 🙂
If you want to learn more about dental health and get more tips and tricks for keeping your mouth healthy, contact us today. Our team is dedicated to providing our patients with a positive in-office experience. But beyond that, we also want to empower you to take your oral health into your own hands.