Hello gum chewers! In this post from Mark A. Miley DDS, your dentist in Upper Arlington Ohio, we’re going to talk about that sticky wad in your mouth. Blowing bubbles is fun, and you know that it can freshen your breath. But can it help protect your smile from tooth decay?
It really depends on the type of gum. Chewing regular sucrose-based gum can be beneficial in removing bits of food from the surface of teeth, but that benefit is negated by the stream of sugar washing over your teeth as you chew.
However, gum with some alternative sweeteners has an added benefit for your pearly whites. Xylitol is a sweetener which not only has fewer calories than traditional sugars, but also has antimicrobial properties that diminish plaque build-up. This means that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
So if you’re headed out to a restaurant, bring a pack of sugar-free gum with you and pop it in your mouth when your meal is done. Of course, brushing and flossing are the ideal practices for your oral health, but when you can’t brush, select a sugarless gum with xylitol.
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