Chewing Gum Designed for Your Teeth
People chew on a lot of things besides food, and many of these items can do permanent damage to your teeth. If you have the habit of chewing ice, your fingernails, tobacco, paper clips, hard sugary candies or very acidic products like lemon slices, you are most likely causing harm to your enamel. From cracked teeth, damaged restorations and worn away enamel, chewing on things besides food is not a good habit.
But there is something that is socially acceptable (in most settings) to chew on, is relatively inexpensive, can be purchased most anywhere, comes in lots of flavors and best of all, not only won’t damage your teeth, but will help them. That product is sugarless chewing gum – specifically gum containing xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that some studies have shown can lower the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. While sugar feeds this type of bacteria, xylitol puts them on a diet, creating a healthier atmosphere in your mouth.
Benefits of Sugarless Gum
Sugarless gum also has two other very beneficial effects for your dental health.
- Gum chewing after a meal, if brushing and flossing is not possible, helps dislodge food particles from between your teeth.
- Gum also helps keep your mouth moist and hydrated, which means saliva has an opportunity to wash away bacterial acids.
A newer product to look for is gum containing casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP). More commonly known by the trademarked name Recaldent, CPP-ACP was developed to remineralize and harden tooth enamel. This action makes your teeth stronger and more resilient to fight off decay. So while sucking on sour candies or lemon slices removes enamel from your tooth surfaces, gum containing CPP-ACP does good rather than harm.
While it may never become socially acceptable to chomp on gum at the symphony, blow bubbles while in a business meeting or pop your gum during a funeral, it’s a good idea to have it handy for everyday life. Along with brushing your teeth after meals, flossing regularly, and visiting the dental offices of the Sacramento Dentistry Group, chewing sugarless gum is another aid for your dental health. Next time you’re in line at the grocery store, grab some gum containing xylitol for your purse, your work desk, your car or your home. Save the paperclips for paper and your fingernails for scratching the dog’s ears – chewing gum is what’s good for your teeth.