Sugar-free chewing gum is one of the select few dentist-approved choices in the candy aisle. In addition to refreshing the mouth after a flavorful meal, chewing gum can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Hires Dental Care in Toledo, OH explains four ways chewing gum can improve your oral health.
1. Whitening Teeth
Many common habits that people have can lead to discolored teeth, and teeth may also naturally become discolored as we age. Drinking coffee, smoking, or eating highly-pigmented foods can stain our tooth enamel, causing many to seek teeth whitening treatments.
While toothpaste and at-home whitening kits can whiten teeth, there are also whitening chewing gums available at most drug stores or department stores, too. Chewing whitening gum helps wash away stain-causing food particles by stimulating saliva production and also coats the teeth to prevent difficult stains in the first place.
2. Increasing Saliva Flow
Saliva is important to your overall oral health because it washes away food particles and oral bacteria that destroy tooth enamel. Saliva helps the mouth maintain the correct pH, and a dry mouth causes an imbalance in the mouth’s pH level.
How does chewing gum increase saliva, though? When you chew gum, your muscles compress the salivary glands in the mouth, which release saliva to help the mouth stay moist. Increasing saliva production by chewing gum after eating will help keep the mouth clean by helping flush out food particles and bacteria.
3. Combating Bad Breath
Everyone experiences bad breath sometimes, and there are many causes. Sometimes it’s simply a result of an especially spicy meal, but it may also be a sign of oral health problems such as dry mouth or gum disease. If you experience persistent bad breath, you might want to see your dentist.
For the occasional bad breath day, you might turn to the minty or fruity smells of sugar-free gum to temporarily mask the taste and odor. Chewing gum also stimulates saliva production which washes away odor-causing oral bacteria.
4. Preventing Tooth Decay
In addition to keeping your mouth comfortable, saliva helps wash away leftover food particles and tooth decay-causing oral bacteria. Saliva carries nutrients like calcium and chemicals like fluoride which help strengthen tooth enamel. Since chewing gum increases saliva production which washes away bacteria, it helps prevent tooth decay when paired with a healthy oral hygiene regimen that includes routine brushing and flossing.
According to studies, people can reduce tooth decay just by chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating. Although chewing gum doesn’t replace regular brushing and flossing, you can consider chewing gum as a helpful addition to your oral care routine.
Comprehensive Dental Care in Toledo, OH
Sugar free gum offers several benefits to your oral health, but it can’t completely replace regular at-home oral health care and routine visits with your dentist. If you’re in Toledo, OH and it has been a while since your last dental examination, schedule an appointment with us online or call our office at 419.365.2217.