Can Chewing Gum Clean Teeth?
For a while now, folks have been touting chewing gum as a method for cleaning their teeth. On the surface, this may seem ludicrous, but with a little insight, it quickly becomes clear. Gum with sugar in it is still, and will probably always be, bad for your teeth. Even though the process of chewing on it can have beneficial side-effects for your mouth, these benefits get outweighed by the sugar. However, there are plenty of gums out there that are sugar-free; ask your dentist at your next Tulsa teeth cleaning which gums are best. These gums can give you a net gain for your oral hygiene when you chew them. Here’s how.
First off, the process of chewing flavored gum can release an incredible amount of saliva in your mouth. This saliva helps to breakdown and wash away food particles and helps to mitigate the harmful effects of bacterial waste. Not only that, but your saliva is a key component of remineralization, which is a process that repairs your teeth. If you’re brushing and flossing twice a day, as you should, then these benefits might be minimal, as there simply won’t be much to do in an already clean mouth. If you’re looking for something quick and socially acceptable to clean your mouth with shortly after a meal though, and brushing isn’t an option, then sugar-free chewing gum might be your next best bet.
Another component of chewing gum as an oral health aid is that when gum uses xylitol as a sweetener, there can be additional perks for your hygiene. Xylitol, when chewed, can impact the environment of your mouth in a way that stunts the growth of some bacteria. The xylitol impedes certain bacteria’s capacity to cling to your teeth and makes it very difficult for them to survive in your mouth. Fewer bacteria means less bacterial waste, which in turn means a lower chance of getting cavities. Ask your dentist for more tricks on stopping bacteria during your next Tulsa teeth cleaning.
Although clinical studies have shown the use of sugarless chewing gum to be beneficial for your teeth, this in no way means that it’s an acceptable replacement for your daily oral care, or your twice-yearly Tulsa teeth cleaning appointment. You still need to brush and floss every day, and to see your dentist for a cleaning twice a year. What it does mean is that something we tend to think of as candy can actually be a useful tool in our arsenal for combating oral health problems.
Chewing gum after a meal can help to reduce the impact of bacteria in your mouth, and it can facilitate rinsing away some of the leftover food particles clinging to your teeth and gums. This won’t get everything, and you’ll still need to brush, but it can be a useful measure for in-between brushes. After lunch-time is a prime example of when chewing gum can be a great tool for your oral hygiene. This can give your teeth a little attention during the day to reduce how much food debris lingers in your mouth between then and your bedtime teeth brushing.
Independent of whether you chew gum or not, it's essential that you brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and go in for a dental cleaning twice a year. If those cleanings aren’t already taken care of, schedule an appointment with Tulsa Modern Dental today.