Chewing gum has been around in various form since ancient times and has greatly increased in its popularity in our modern era. In fact, statistics report that annual U.S chewing gum sales are around a staggering $2 billion.
For the modern consumer, chewing gums are available in an abundant variety of brands, flavors, and ingredients. What can you do to ensure your gum choices and habits are doing more good than harm? Consider the following tips for you to chew on.
Picking the Right Kind of Gum
Not all chewing gums are created equal when it comes to promoting good oral health. It is therefore imperative to keep an eye on the ingredient list. Gum with a high sugar content may taste good, but it can actually provide an environment for bacteria and tooth decay to thrive.
Therefore, make sure your chewing gum of choice is sugar-free. Gums that contains the ingredients xylitol (a natural sweetener) and calcium lactate are also believed to aid tooth enamel, and help in the reduction of cavities and plaque.
Does It Pass the Test?
Gum manufacturers will use advertising gimmicks or make an endless variety of claims regarding their particular product, all in an effort to encourage you to buy from them. The best choices are the sugarless gums that possess the stamp of approval from the American Dental Association (ADA). This signifies that the manufacturer has provided the results of both laboratory studies and clinical studies in humans, and the gum has been deemed acceptable.
To Chew or Not to Chew
The physical act of chewing helps keep your mouth moist by stimulating the production of saliva. This increase in saliva helps clean the mouth of food debris, as well as neutralize and wash away acids that can damage tooth enamel.
Clinical studies therefore reveal that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. An acceptable mint-flavored gum can also prove helpful in providing a quick fix in combating bad breath.
Taking Preventative Measures
Excessive gum chewing can create unwanted issues associated with the muscles and joints in the jaw, as well as aggravate pre-existing disorders of the TMJ. Balanced gum chewing habits are therefore the order of the day.
Chewing sugarless gum can be a useful tool in keeping your teeth protected. In no way, though, is it to be viewed as a substitute for brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist. We would be proud to help you maintain a lifetime filled with outstanding teeth and gums. Show your smile some love and contact our office today to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Jeff Files, one of the top dentists in Redmond, WA.
Which chewing gum is your favorite, and why? Share your thoughts through the comment box!