A LOT OF KIDS LOVE TO CHEW GUM, and our team members often have parents ask whether it’s harmful for their child’s teeth. It’s true that sugary gum is equivalent to candy, and excessive chewing can strain your jaw. But did you know…
Chewing Sugarless Gum Can Help Prevent Cavities!
That’s right. Chewing sugarless gum can actually help fight cavities. Here are some facts: 1. Gum chewing stimulates saliva production which is your mouth’s natural cleaning and buffering agent—neutralizing acids released by the bacteria in plaque! 2. Gum chewing helps wash away food particles when brushing and flossing aren’t convenient. 3. For those who don’t naturally produce sufficient salivary flow, dry mouth can create lots of oral health problems. Chewing a piece of sugarless gum for 10 minutes each waking hour for about two weeks can help remedy the problem. 4. The sweetener Xylitol, used in many sugarless gums, inhibits the growth of particular kinds of bacteria known to cause cavities. Xylitol also makes it more difficult for bacteria to stick to your teeth.
Remember That Gum Isn’t For Every Kid
As you know, gum can pose a choking hazard for young children. Even older children may not understand that they shouldn’t swallow gum. As a parent, you’ll know when chewing gum is healthy and sensible for your child. Here’s a related message from the University of Nebraska Medical Center:
And Don’t Forget…
Brands of gum containing sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Although we don’t recommend it, if your kids absolutely prefer gum containing natural sugar rather than artificial sweeteners, encourage them to chew it for at least 15 to 20 minutes so that the saliva can rinse away the sugar residue. Remember, chewing gum does NOT replace regular brushing and flossing! If you have any questions about this for our team, be sure to ask us! We love visiting about your family’s oral health. You can also comment below and we’ll get right back to you, or leave a comment on our Facebook page.