Chewing Sugar-Free Gum After Meals
Have you ever wondered if chewing sugar-free gum helps protect your teeth? We may always hear that chewing gum in between meals is a good idea. Let’s take a look at sugar-free chewing gum and learn about it’s benefits.
After you eat a thin, sticky coat of film begins to form on your teeth. This film is called “plaque” and it contains bacteria that creates an acid which then can cause tooth decay and gum disease by eating away the enamel and dentine on your teeth. Chewing sugar-free gum after meals can help produce more saliva in your mouth which can help reduce the plaque bacteria acid in between brushing your teeth.
The specific reasons that chewing sugar-free gum can be beneficial for your teeth and gums include:
1. The mechanical action of removing bacteria
2. An increase in saliva secretion (which contains immunoglobulins, lysozyme and bicarbonates which reduce the acidity of the mouth and bacterial proliferation).
3. The action of xylitol – now present in all sugar-free chewing gums, also has a limited antibacterial activity.
Choose sugar-free gums and chew it no later than 10 minutes after eating to get the maximum benefits. Only chew it for about 10 minutes as the benefit of the adhesive action is reduced after that time.
It should be remembered, however, that excessive chewing gum use can cause various annoyances. Chewing for many hours a day in fact puts stress on the joints and muscless of the jaw, creating headaches and pain or cranial-mandibular disorders. Furthermore, chewing without ingesting food causes an increase in acids in the stomach which are not used and which can create minor annoyances.
Chewing gum is not a substitute for brushing and flossing. Brushing with a toothbrush scrapes your teeth gently to remove more plaque and acids than chewing-gum alone. Nothing can replace the action and access that dental floss provides in between your teeth, in those hard to reach places that a toothbrush can not even reach.
Give us a call for your bi-annual teeth cleaning. Call Angel Dental of El Monte for your all your general dental care and cosmetic dentistry needs. We want to maintain and improve your smile! Call (626) 444-2002