How Chewing Gum Can Prevent Cavities

how chewing gum can prevent cavitiesThere is a silent battle always raging in your mouth. This is between oral bacteria, acids in foods and drinks on one side, and your natural defenses against those threats on the other. The things that you do or don’t do can tip the balance of this battle one way or the other. The best dentist in Georgetown KY recommends that you chew sugar-free gum as one of the helpful measures to protect your oral health from the threats. This is especially true for the risk of developing cavities. Read on and discover why chewing gum is your ally.

Not All Gum Is Good for Your Teeth

When it comes to cavity prevention, our dentists at ThoroughDent Smiles caution that not all gum is equal. Gum that has sugar in it is actually counterproductive to preventing cavities. This is because it gives oral bacteria food (sugar) on which to feed and multiply rapidly, thereby attacking your teeth in a more damaging way.

Secondly, the sugar in the gum is also acidic in nature. Therefore, your tooth enamel will be under constant attack while the gum is in your mouth. Even afterward, the sugar residues take a while to be removed by saliva.

As you can see, chewing gum with sugar in it is bad for your oral health. However, sugar-free gum is beneficial. This is because it doesn’t have any sugar in it to feed oral bacteria or leave acids that attack your teeth and form cavities.

How Does Sugar-Free Gum Prevent Cavities?

When you chew sugar-free gum, you stimulate the salivary glands to produce larger amounts of saliva. Dr. Kristina Neda points out that as more saliva flows through your mouth, acids from the food and drinks consumed are neutralized sooner than would have been possible if you didn’t chew the sugar-free gum.

Secondly, chewing gum cleans out the remains of the food you just ate. This brings numerous benefits, such as preventing bad breath and reducing the likelihood of developing cavities. 

When to Chew Sugar-free Gum

Dr. Brian Leeson, a dentist in St. Petersburg FL,  recommends chewing sugar-free gum in-between meals when you are unable to brush.

It is best to chew the gum soon after you have completed your meal. This is because this is the time when acid levels are highest in your mouth. As already mentioned, the act of chewing gum stimulates saliva production so the acids are neutralized at a faster rate. 

Is Chewing Gum Good for People with Braces or Dentures?

Now that you know how beneficial sugar-free gum is in the fight against the development of cavities, you may be wondering whether it is okay for you to chew gum if you have dentures or braces.

If you have dentures, it is advisable for you to visit ThoroughDent Smiles so that our dentists can ascertain whether the specific type of dentures you have can allow for chewing gum without it sticking to the roof/palate of those dentures. If you have braces, you are safer refraining from chewing gum. Gum can stick to or damage components of braces. Once again, talking to a dentist open 7 days a week can clarify this matter so that you don’t take an avoidable risk during your orthodontic treatment.

Is Sugar-Free Gum a Substitute for Brushing?

The experts at ThoroughDent Smiles emphasize that you should always brush your teeth twice a day. You should also make sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Chewing sugar-free gum is only a stop-gap measure to prevent cavities while you are on the road. This is only when you are unable to brush immediately after having a meal. Brushing gets rid of plaque, but chewing sugar-free gum isn’t as good at performing such task.

Should I Buy Sugar-Free Gum Sticks or Gum Pellets?

In essence, gum sticks and gum pellets are the same except for their size. Pellets tend to be smaller than gum sticks. You might want to buy sugar-free gum pellets if you are a younger person or have a smaller mouth. If chewing gum sticks doesn’t cause any difficulty, then, by all means, use that type of gum if it is your preference.

Need More Advice?

If you still have questions about how to use sugar-free gum to prevent cavities or questions about any other aspect of your oral health, contact ThoroughDent Smiles. Our professional and highly experienced staff will address all your concerns.