Hello gum chewers, today we’re going to talk about that sticky wad in your mouth. You know that it can freshen your breath, but can it really help protect your smile from dental caries?
It really depends on the type of gum. Chewing regular sucrose-based gum can be helpful 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 it also has antimicrobial properties that lessen plaque build-up. This means that xylitol inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes dental caries.
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, settle upon a sugarless gum with xylitol.
I’m Dr. Steven W. Haywood of Southern York Smile Care. We offer cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and sedation dentistry. If you have any questions about how to beautify your oral health, or if you would like details about any of our unprecedented cosmetic dental care, give us a call today at 717-235-3871.