Chewing Gum & Other Surprising Recommendations for Better Oral Health
Reaching for a piece of minty-fresh chewing gum after a meal out may already be part of your routine when you’re out with friends, but did you know that chewing sugar free gum does more for you than just freshening your breath?
Thanks to the role it plays in helping prevent tooth decay, chewing a piece of sugar free gum after eating or drinking may save you thousands on potential dental treatments, and here’s why.
Why Gum Could Boost Cavity Prevention
Studies are always showing that tooth decay is preventable, but could it really be as simple as chewing one additional piece of sugar free gum per day?
New health economic research published in the British Dental Journal has demonstrated that adding sugar free gum into families’ oral health routines could easily and effectively reduce tooth decay.
Their research was based solely on 12 year olds, and showed that collectively, chewing one additional piece of sugar free gum per day could save over 3 million dollars on dental treatments a year, almost 4 million dollars a year with two pieces, and over 9.5 million dollars by chewing up to 3 pieces per day.
Their research also showed that if this model was to be applied to the whole population, anyone over 7 years of age could benefit from chewing sugar free gum and reap the benefits of substantial savings.
How chewing gum can give you healthier teeth
Chewing gum works by creating additional saliva in the mouth that helps in washing away any residual foods or sugars that may be left behind after a meal. It can also promote the remineralisation of tooth enamel.
While dental foundations still recommend that the best and most effective way to keep teeth clean is by brushing for two minutes, twice a day, this new information on chewing gum may be a simple and exciting way to help in keeping your families mouths clean when brushing your teeth may not be available. Chewing sugar-free gum after a meal, and throughout the day can be simple and effective in breaking down lingering foods and neutralizing harmful plaque acids that cause tooth decay.
Xylitol gum may have additional benefits
Xylitol is a natural sweetener that is found in many fruits and vegetables. Originally used as a natural alternative to sugar, it is used as a sugar substitute in many brands of sugar-free chewing gums. Xylitol can have many health benefits including the most well-documented, in oral health. Because of Xylitol’s anti-adhesive quality, it helps to promote oral health and prevents harmful bacteria from adhering to teeth.
Other Lesser-Known Ways to Get Healthy Teeth
There are other ways to get healthier teeth, some of which are lesser known, but just as simple and effective. Try a few of these tips and tricks to achieve a healthy and bright smile.
Drink Water – All Day
Water is better for your teeth – and your entire body – than nearly all your other beverage options. Drinking water helps to wash away left behind food debris, and also keeps your saliva levels high so your mouth is always in clean mode. Keeping your body hydrated is your best defense against tooth decay because of the proteins and minerals contained in your own saliva that fights against enamel-eating acids. Can your daily can of soda do that? We’re afraid not.
Set a Flossing Reminder
Struggling to get into a flossing habit? Set a nightly reminder on your phone, and leave containers of floss in your lounge areas for convenience so there are no excuses. Research suggests that it takes a full 21 days to form a habit, so stick with it!
Avoid These Secretly Dangerous Snacks
What’s good for your body might not be the best choice for your teeth. Before you begin a new diet, make sure it’s not going to result in damaging your smile. Some of these food options may be secretly causing you dental decay without you even knowing:
- Juicing – The sugar and citrus in fruit juices can wreak havoc on your enamel and these drinks are filled with acidic compounds that wear away your tooth surface and welcome cavities.
- Dried Fruits – This snack sticks right to the surface of your teeth, kickstarting decay. What you thought was a healthy snack just turned into candy.
- Dark Beverages – Dark-colored drinks have a staining compound that washes over your enamel and stays there. These drinks can cause discoloration and the weakening of your tooth enamel.
Need help in picking out the perfect chewing gum to combat cavities? Ask us which brands we recommend at your next dental exam.
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