It’s no secret that chewing gum containing sugar is bad for your teeth. However, there is a healthier option in sugar-free gum, with some brands even given the official ADA seal of approval.
So what are the benefits of sugar-free gum, and what should you look out for when shopping? Let’s take a look at some pros, cons, and tips to help you keep your child’s teeth healthy.
The primary benefit of chewing gum is that it promotes the production of saliva. Saliva has a lot to do with the health and cleanliness of your mouth, believe it or not. Not only is it responsible for helping to clear food debris and plaque, but it also helps wash away the acids that coat your teeth and cause decay.
Chewing is the easiest way to produce saliva, and sugar-free gum does this without leaving extra sugars and acids in your mouth afterward. This is why dentists recommend sugar-free gum over the regular variety for your oral health.
Pros and Cons
The problem with sugar-free gums is that not all brands are created equal. Some contain controversial sweeteners that may have a negative effect on overall health.
To help you navigate the confusion, the ADA has given their seal of approval to the top brands they’ve deemed most beneficial. See them here: https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/category-display?category=Sugar+Free+Chewing+Gum+for+Reducing+Cavities
The Best Use of Gum
While chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial, it’s important to remember that it cannot replace routing oral hygiene. This means brushing teeth once in the morning and then again at night, as well as flossing daily (preferably after your last meal of the day).
Most dentists agree that chewing a piece of sugar-free gum for about twenty minutes after every meal promotes saliva production, helps clean the teeth of excess food particles and acids, and can play a significant role in helping prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Find Out More
Hudson Valley Pediatrics provides quality dentistry in Middletown, Scotchtown, and Mechanicstown. If you’d like to find out more, please contact our office to schedule an appointment today!