Chewing gum is fun, tasty and we got told off for it in school, so it can’t actually be good for you, right?
Well actually, it can. However, not any old gum picked up at the supermarket will be beneficial for your oral health.
Which type of gum should I chose?
Firstly, make sure to pick up sugar-free gum, as sugar-packed gum will have the exact opposite effect of cleaning your teeth. Sugar laden gum contributes to acid attacks and tooth decay.
Sugar-free gum, however, helps to keep your gnashers fresh by the act of chewing. Chewing stimulates saliva in the mouth, which helps to wash away any leftover food, acid and sugars, which may turn into plaque. Chewing gum neutralises the mouth, which is beneficial after finishing meals or eating a sweet treat.
By helping to reduce the levels of acid and sugar in the mouth, you are helping to prevent plaque build-up and therefore tooth decay. Plus, the minty flavoured gum also helps to freshen the breath after a meal, it’s a win, win.
Gum can’t replace the brush
Now we must be very clear here. We’re not saying that you should bin your toothbrush and chew sugar-free gum for 2 minutes every morning and night. Chewing gum shouldn’t replace your existing oral hygiene routine but should be added to the mix, especially after meals to help break down the harmful bacteria.
What exactly is xylitol?
You might have seen this word pop up on sugar-free gum packets that have a tooth friendly sign on. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar that’s found in plants and trees but is good for your teeth. It can stunt bacterial growth by up to 90%, so not only does it neutralise the acid in your mouth but also prevents them from starting in the first place, making it extremely hard for plaque to stick to your teeth. Just magic, isn’t it? Well, we think so.