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Chewing sugar-free gum can benefit your oral health in a few ways.

If you like to chew on gum, you will be pleased to know that the habit could be benefiting your oral health — just be sure to choose one that does not contain sugar. Chewing gum has actually been around for thousands of years, with the first ones being made from the sap of certain trees.

Today, most chewing gums are made from synthetic rubbers and often contain naturally occurring sweeteners like xylitol. Read on to find out how chewing on some sugar-free gum between meals could be good for your smile…

1. It keeps your breath fresh

One of the benefits of chewing on sugar-free gum between meals is that it can help to keep bad breath at bay, especially if you have eaten something with a strong smell. Garlic and onions, for example, can leave a bad taste in your mouth and contribute to bad breath — if you enjoy these foods from time to time, simply chew on some minty gum to freshen up your mouth afterwards.

It is important to understand, however, that persistent bad breath could be a sign of an underlying health issue. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, chewing gum is not a cure — it is important that you see your dentist so that they can identify the cause of the issue and help to resolve it as soon as possible.

2. Gum increases saliva flow

Chewing on gum helps to prevent the mouth from drying out because it promotes the production and flow of saliva in the mouth. Without enough saliva flow, you might experience problems and discomfort when eating, swallowing and talking but by chewing on gum regularly, your jaw muscles will push on your salivary glands, causing them to release saliva into the mouth. Saliva also helps to keep the mouth clean by washing away food particles and bacteria that may get stuck throughout the day.

3. It may prevent tooth decay

Some studies suggest that those who regularly chew on sugar-free gum that contains xylitol may have fewer oral bacteria in their mouths. Xylitol is a sweetener that helps to neutralise harmful acids in the mouth, which keeps the enamel strong and reduces the risk of tooth decay.

While it may be possible to minimise your risk of cavities by chewing gum immediately after eating, it is important to remember that chewing gum is no substitute for your normal oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing. These habits remain extremely important when it comes to getting rid of food particles and bacteria and removing plaque from the surface of your teeth.

4. Choose the right type

When choosing gum, always make sure that you select one that does not contain sugar. You might also check for ingredients that help to keep plaque at bay and fight tooth decay — xylitol, for example, helps to reduce cavity-causing bacteria; while a substance known as CPP-ACP or Recaldent help to remineralise the teeth. If you’re not sure which ingredients to look out for, chat to your dentist for more advice and information.

How can we help?

At Oracare, we care about you oral and overall health. We provide a comprehensive range of dentistry services, as well as all the advice and information that you need to maintain the condition of your smile. If you have a question regarding the health of your teeth and gums, or your lifestyle habits and their impact on your smile, we encourage you to come in and see us so that we can get to know you and discuss your particular concerns in detail.

To see the full range of services that we offer at Oracare in Cleveland, please have a look here.

For more information about our services or to arrange a consultation with us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on (07) 3286 6914 or get in touch with us here.