Posted on: 1 March 2016
If you're looking for tips on how to improve the condition of your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks. Adding this kind of gum to your oral health routine may help protect your teeth from decay; using a gum that contains xylitol may give your teeth an additional level of protection.
How Chewing Gum Helps Keep Teeth Healthy
Chewing a piece of sugar-free gum after a meal or a snack has a couple of benefits for your teeth and overall oral health. For example, gum may help combat some of the nasty stuff that goes on in your mouth, especially after you eat, helping deal with the following problems:
- Chewing a piece of gum after you've eaten gives your teeth an extra cleaning, as it helps dislodge pieces of food that are stuck between your teeth.
- Chewing makes the mouth produce more saliva. This fluid helps flush food particles out of the mouth and also helps your mouth deal with acids and bacteria that might otherwise attack your teeth.
Warning: The benefits of chewing gum for your teeth are based on using sugar-free products. Regular chewing gums aren't good for your teeth due to their sugar content and may cause more harm than good.
The Extra Benefits of Xylitol Gums
Some sugar-free gums contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that is found in many plants. As well as giving gum a sweet taste without using sugar, xylitol also has some health benefits that you can harness to keep your teeth in a good condition.
According to body+soul magazine, the advantage of xylitol is the fact that it has five carbon atoms rather than the six found in some other artificial sweeteners. The bacteria can absorb the xylitol because of its smaller five atom composition; however, bacteria can't use xylitol as an energy source in the way it uses other sugars. This means that bacteria can't use xylitol to help it reproduce and attack your teeth.
Once the bacteria finds that it can't use the xylitol as an energy source, it tries to get rid of it. This process uses up the bacteria's energy and effectively prevents the bacteria from sticking to your teeth by killing it. If you can remove bacteria from your teeth, you reduce the chances of getting tooth decay. According to body+soul, xylitol can reduce cavities by up to 70%, making it an option worth considering if you are about to start using sugar-free gum as a dental health aid.Share