Chewing a gum is a daily habit amongst many youngsters. Let me debunk the myth that gum chewing is harmful to your teeth. You might be startled to know that unlike candies, chewing gum is actually good for your teeth. Chewing gum has lately gained interest due to its ability to stimulate salivation and accelerate the clearance of food particles from the mouth after a meal.
As many of us know, saliva i.e. our spit helps to keep the mouth moist. Saliva flow increases when we chew which in turn helps in swallowing our food. After we eat a cavity producing diet, the plaque pH becomes acidic making our teeth susceptible to tooth decay. Saliva, in addition also neutralizes the acid in our mouth which are produced by the sugar bugs that cause tooth decay.
Chewing a gum increases the salivary flow which can help in decreasing the amount of tooth decay by clearing the acid quickly from our mouth. Hence it’s not a bad idea if your child can chew a sugar free gum after a meal.
Sugar free is the new diet trend. Are sugarless chewing gums really that beneficial? Most commonly sugar free gums use xylitol to sweeten the product. Chewing gums with xylitol have gained special attention. It not only helps in cleansing our mouth but also reduces the cavity producing bacteria. Bacteria cannot produce acids from xylitol unlike other sugars. In the presence of xylitol, the bacteria also lose the ability to stick to the teeth thereby making the mouth free from cavities. With prolonged use of xylitol, the types of bacteria in the mouth also change. Many ADA approved sugar free gums are readily available in the market.
BENEFITS OF SUGAR FREE CHEWING GUMS:
1)Increases salivary flow
2)Cleanses food debris from the mouth
3)Neutralizes the plaque pH
4)Reduces the bacterial growth
5)Prevents tooth decay
One should be careful that prolonged chewing may lead to muscle fatigue and TMJ pain.
Chewing gums have turned out to be a blessing in disguise such that you can enjoy your sweet tooth and prevent cavities at the same time. Prevention is simple. Talk to your dentist about the smart choices you can make to help improve your oral health through the use of sugarless chewing gums. Your teeth will thank you for that.
To conclude conclusion chewing gums though play an important role in prevention of cavities, it should invariably be used in conjunction with the traditional tooth brushing and flossing.
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Keywords : chewing gum, sugarless chewing gum, xylitol, sugar free, oral health, antibacterial, cavities, tooth decay
Note : This article was written and published by Dr. Ankita Shah for WorldOfMoms.