If you enjoy chewing gum, you’re in luck—sugar-free gum can actually improve your oral health! Chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps create more of a buffer between your tooth enamel and the bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
This increased saliva production can even help neutralize acids that can attack tooth enamel, leading to a reduced risk for cavities . However, it’s important to not just pick up any kind of chewing gum. Here’s what you should look for when you’re considering which type of gum is best for your smile!
Go for Sugarless Gum
It’s essential that you choose sugarless gum. Chewing gum with sugar will do the opposite of helping your smile and lead to an increased risk of cavities. Always check the label of your gum to ensure it says “sugarless” or “sugar-free”. This way, you can reap the benefits of chewing gum but without the harmful effects of sugar!
Look for Gum with Xylitol
Xylitol is a sugar-free, natural sweetening agent used to flavor chewing gum and even mints and candies. Research has shown that chewing sugar-free gum flavored with xylitol can help reduce your risk of cavities and even play a role in reversing existing cavities .
Why is this?
Xylitol has been shown to reduce the growth of the bacteria that cause cavities, and when used over time, can further reduce the growth of this bacteria in your oral cavity so your chances of getting cavities are even lower . It’s best to look for xylitol as the first or second ingredient for the best effect!
Check for the ADA Seal of Acceptance
When looking for gum, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance on the packaging. This seal means that the product has been evaluated by the ADA for safety and effectiveness, giving you the assurance that this product is healthy for your smile .
Chewing gum companies must provide results from studies to prove that the gum is safe to be chewed and beneficial for your smile. Plus, buying a gum with the ADA seal means you’re purchasing a gum that doesn’t have sugar and has non-cavity causing sweeteners such as xylitol, so you’re one step closer to meeting the criteria for healthy gum with this label!
Consider Chewing Gum for Cavity Protection
The right kind of gum could actually help reduce your risk of cavities. Ask your dentist about chewing gum for your smile and if it would benefit you. While chewing gum should never replace brushing and flossing or dental visits in your oral care, it can be a great supplemental practice to your routine!