Everyone wants a reason to smile, and with that in mind, it is important we take good care of our smiles. Even small, seemingly harmless activities can affect our teeth, and knowledge on what to avoid is helpful in maintaining a healthy smile. One of the most frequently asked question is if chewing gum is good for your teeth.
At Reason 2 Smile, under Dr. Andrew Vernon DMD, our staff is professionally trained in giving you a reason to smile, and tips to keep it that way. With the debate still ongoing about if chewing gum is good for teeth, we give clients information about if they should continue chewing gum, what types are available, and smart options to give them the smile they dream of.
Types of Gum
The debate on if chewing gum is bad for your teeth often doesn’t dig below the surface, examining the types of gums that affect the teeth the most. Just like all teeth are not alike, this is the same for gum. When understanding if we should continue to chew gum we have to first understand types of gums.
Some of the most damaging types of gum are ones that require you to bite hard, or break gum down. Just like mints, ice, or other hard materials, chewing gum can be tough on your teeth. The most common types of gum to do this include ball gum, center-filled gum, and tab gum.
The harder you make your teeth work, the more chances there are to damage your smile. Not all gum is bad however, with many being recommend such as medicated gum, nicotine gum and sugarless gum.
The effect gum has on your teeth also has a lot to do with your teeth and gums genetically. If you genetically have more acidic saliva, then there is a chance your teeth are more prone to damage. It is always best to ask your dentist what your specific genetic make up is to know if gum chewing is for you and your smile.
Sugar is the Secret
The real culprit behind any dental issue is sugar, and this is true for chewing gum as well. When you chew gum, it is usually a process that leaves sugar and artificial colors on your teeth for extended amount of time. This allows plaque to build up in the hard to reach places between your teeth.
Sugar-free, or Xylitol gum, has actually been proven to help teeth in some cases. If the gum is not too stale or hard, both of which can damage teeth, the gum can actually be beneficial. Chewing gum can stimulate saliva flow, and with that help break down food and sugars in your teeth, if not too acidic. It is recommended that you do not chew the gum for more than 20 minutes to get best results.
Certain types of gum can also help fight bacteria, not just for the teeth but the whole mouth. Strep throat, sores, and other irritations prone to your mouth could be reduced by chewing gum that is medically approved to fight these illnesses.
While you may be prone to more genetic issues, and love chewing your flavored gum, giving it up isn’t the only option. With sugars being one of the bigger issues, one way to slow down effects of gum is to not chew for long periods of time, or brush right after.
The best way to take care of your smile is to work with your dentist, changes over time will be the best indicators if you should continue to chew gum.
Contact Us Today!
Don’t wait any longer to get the smile of your dreams, contact us today and start working with a team that makes you smile! You can visit our office is Salt Lake City, Utah or call us at (801) 618-3399.