As children, most of us enjoyed chewing gum as often as our parents would allow. This activity is not only pleasurable and a great way to “keep busy,” but can also provide you with hidden benefits that you had not previously considered. With this in mind, we say enjoy that stick of sugar-free gum as often as you wish! Brands sweetened with xylitol are some of the best when it comes to the benefits we will discuss here. As much as your kids or grandkids might wish it were true, sugary gums are more harmful than good.
Why Chewing Gum Is Good For Your Teeth
Chewing Gum Gives You Fresher Breath
Certain flavors of gum, such as cinnamon or mint, can give you an immediate boost of freshness. Popping in a piece of gum after a meal or in the middle of your workday can keep you from feeling stale. Your co-workers may appreciate it, as well!
Chewing Gum Creates More Saliva
Saliva may not seem like something that you want more of, but this substance is absolutely necessary for optimal oral health as well as fresh breath. Chewing gum is especially beneficial for individuals who suffer from dry mouth, as it encourages the production of saliva, which keeps the mouth comfortable. Additionally, saliva dilutes residual sugars after meals and reduces the buildup of plaque that causes cavities and gum disease.
Chewing Gum Actually Cleanses Your Teeth
When you can’t brush, you can chew. Most of us do not keep a toothbrush handy at all times, although this would be ideal. Instead of brushing after each meal, you may consider chewing a piece of sugar-free gum to keep your mouth cleaner. The gum itself can pick up residual food debris that lingers after meals, and, as discussed, it also increases saliva production for a short time, which cleans the mouth a bit further. Just remember, chewing gum is not a substitute for the daily oral care recommended by your dentist, it is only an additional “helper” when you need a little mid-day cleaning.