When people think of cavity protection, they generally think of brushing more, flossing, and keeping regular dental appointments. However, there is another habit that can be added to your regular routine that can benefit your mouth and the health of your teeth. Chewing gum has been a habit that millions of Americans have enjoyed for over 100 years. Sugar-free gum was introduced in the 1950s as a healthier option to prevent cavities from developing. Keep reading to learn how this tasty habit can benefit your smile.
Inside your mouth at any given time live millions of bacteria. These bacteria are present in order to help the mouth break down the tiny particles that are left behind after eating and drinking. While this may sound like a beneficial element, these bacteria quickly turn to harmful elements inside the mouth. As the bacteria work to break down particles, they begin to produce acids to help make the process go faster. The acids that are produced inside the mouth act like any other type of acid – they are incredibly corrosive and destructive. Once the acids have taken care of the tiny particles that were left behind from the snack, meal, or beverage that you enjoyed, they continue attacking whatever is in their path: this being your teeth. Cavities are the direct result of acids attacking and destroying tooth enamel.
Chewing gum may not seem like an obvious choice for cavity prevention, but it can benefit the mouth in a truly significant way. As you chew gum, your mouth increases its production of saliva. Saliva is necessary for washing away bacteria from the mouth so that it does not take over and ruin your oral health. Chewing gum for twenty minutes after you eat or drink anything other than water will allow the increased saliva production to wash away unwanted bacteria and food particles before the bacteria are able to begin producing damaging acids.
Of course, it is imperative that you chew sugar-free gum. If you chew gum that is loaded with sugar, you are simply increasing your chance for cavities. Gum laden with sugar leaves tiny particles of sugar behind, and sugar is bacteria’s favorite thing to feast on. Thus, chewing gum with sugar acts in the exact opposite way of benefiting your oral health – it can lead to devastating results.
At Rolling Hills Dentistry, we are happy to recommend a sugar-free chewing gum. Call today to find out more about how this tasty habit can benefit your smile.
Posted on behalf of Rolling Hills Dentistry