Although many believe gum to be just another form of candy, research shows that chewing gum can actually aid in dental health!
According to the American Dental Association, “The physical act of chewing increases salivary flow in the mouth; if chewed after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on teeth.”
Does it matter what kind of gum you chew?
Sugarless gum is your best bet when trying to wash away harmful sugars, acids, and bacteria. If you chew gum that is full of sugar, it will only end up introducing more harmful acid into your mouth.
Also, choosing a gum that contains xylitol is
Can you chew gum in place of brushing and flossing?
The short answer is no. But here’s why:
While chewing gum can aid dental health, it is not thorough enough to remove plaque from all areas of your mouth. There simply is no substitute for a daily brushing and flossing routine.
When should you chew gum?
It is generally best to chew gum immediately following a meal. This will more effectively wash away any leftover sugar/bacteria leftover from what you have eaten, allowing the least amount of plaque buildup before you brush your teeth again.
When you shouldn’t chew gum
Though it is generally a health benefit to chew sugarless gum, there are some cases in which you should steer clear. You should not chew gum if you:
- have been dealing with any jaw pain
- have been diagnosed with TMJ/TMD (temporomandibular disorder)
- suffer from chronic headaches or migraines
So unless you’re experiencing any of the above health issues, we encourage you to make chewing sugarless gum a part of your daily dental care routine!