Chewing gum is great for freshening your breath, but can gum strengthen your teeth, too? Does that sound too good to be true? Chewing gum, if you choose the right type, can actually have many benefits for your dental health. Continue reading to learn more!
All Gums are Not the Same!
Some gums are good for your teeth, while others aren’t. So the answer to the question, “Can gum strengthen your teeth?” all depends on the type of gum that you choose! Some gums are made with ingredients that can increase your risk of cavities, like sugar. Sugar can lead to problems because it feeds the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth which in turn produces an acid that can eat away at the enamel or outer layer of your teeth.
The good news is, some gums do not have sugar, and some even contain beneficial ingredients! Let’s talk about these “good gums” so that you can spot them on store shelves!
Finding Good Gums
Shopping for chewing gum can be complicated because all the different types of gum are typically mixed together amongst shelves of sugary candy. But take heart, because there are usually some healthy choices hidden in there, too!
The first thing to look for when selecting a chewing gum is the words “sugar-free.” These gums contain alternative sweeteners that aren’t harmful to your teeth like sugar is. But better yet, there’s a special sweetener called xylitol that many gums use which can actually be beneficial for your teeth. Xylitol is special because it has been shown to work to change the pH balance of your mouth with use over time to neutralize and reduce bacteria and acid and its ability to adhere to your teeth.
How Can Gum Strengthen Your Teeth, Though?
The act of chewing gum helps to increase your saliva production, which is your body’s natural way of neutralizing acid from foods and bacteria and fighting cavities. With the help of beneficial ingredients like xylitol that are in some chewing gums, your body’s defense against cavities can be boosted even further. All this help can give your teeth more of a chance to remineralize and get stronger. It’s pretty amazing, actually!
Asking Your Dentist About Gum
When looking for a chewing gum, it’s always a good idea to ask your dentist for suggestions of popular brands or types of gum that contain the right ingredients to best benefit your teeth. Any question about how to keep your teeth healthy and strong is always a great question to ask your dentist and they’ll be glad they could assist you in finding new ways to take good care of your dental health.
Call our Sioux Falls Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.