Is Chewing Gum Good for Your Teeth?

| August 22, 2018

If you’re a gum fan, you may be wondering whether you’re helping or harming your teeth with your habit. Fortunately, we’ve got the answer right here. Read on to learn about how gum chewing impacts your teeth and what type of gum to look for, if you’re going to chew. 

Is Chewing Gum Good for My Teeth?

It depends on the type of gum you’re chewing. Sugarless gum is good for your teeth. However, gum with sugar? Consider it a no-no.

Why Is Sugarless Chewing Gum Good for My Teeth?

Plaque bacteria in your mouth produce acids that can wear away at enamel, causing cavities. You’re also exposed to acids when you consume things like citrus fruits, fruit juices, and carbonated drinks. Fortunately, saliva is your natural defense.

When you chew sugarless gum, saliva production increases. When you increase saliva production, you experience a host of benefits. For one thing, saliva washes away food and debris that may be stuck between your teeth. It also neutralizes the acids in your mouth. Additionally, saliva carries calcium and phosphate, which help strengthen enamel.

However, those aren’t the only benefits of chewing sugarless gum. Because it increases saliva production, it can also help with dry mouth and bad breath.

According to research, gum chewing can even improve mood.  In a study of 133 volunteers, those who chewed gum while performing tasks displayed greater alertness and a more positive mood.

Clearly, sugar-free gum is pretty amazing!

When Should I Chew Sugarless Gum?

For the best results, it’s a good idea to chew sugarless gum right after eating. Just make sure that when you do, you chew for at least 20 minutes to cancel out acid’s effects.

What About Chewing Gum that Contains Sugar?

Unfortunately, it isn’t a good idea to chew gum with sugar. Although sugary gum does increase saliva production, the sugar is used by plaque bacteria to produce acids.

Is Sugar-Free Gum Safe to Give My Children?

Please do not give gum to young children. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers gum a choking hazard for children under the age of 5.  

How Can I Choose Gum That’s Good for My Teeth?

When selecting gum, always look for gum with the ADA Seal. The ADA Seal is only given to sugar-free gums that meet the ADA’s requirements for safety and effectiveness.

Can I Chew Gum Instead of Brushing and Flossing?

Sorry—chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. Think of it as something extra you can do to experience even better results from your current oral hygiene routine. We still recommend that you brush at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, floss once a day, and visit our office every six months for your regular dental checkup.

Speaking of dental checkups, are you due for one? If so, we encourage you to set up an appointment online with Grandview Dental. You can also call us at 614.486.7378.  We’re pleased to offer evening appointments for your convenience.