Sugary, sticky, and sweet candies can damage your teeth by increasing your risk of decay. Though gum can be considered a type of candy, chewing sugarless gum approved by the ADA can actually help protect teeth and prevent tooth decay. Here’s what our Flower Mound, TX pediatric dental team needs you to know about gum and your teeth.
How Gum Prevents Decay
Chewing gum helps increase the production of saliva. Chewing sugarless gum for twenty minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay because the saliva helps wash away food and other debris from the surface of your teeth. Increased salivary flow can also neutralize acids that bacteria produce inside your mouth. Over time, acid can break down tooth enamel, leading to decay. Saliva contains calcium and phosphate, which aid in strengthening tooth enamel.
The American Dental Association (ADA) Seal
The ADA Seal assures you that the gum is sugarless and has met the ADA’s criteria for safety and effectiveness. ADA-labeled products are tested to ensure they provide the benefits guaranteed by the seal. Companies must verify all relevant data with the ADA to become certified. If you are unable to brush for a short period of time, chewing gum with the ADA seal is a great option to help clean your teeth after a meal or snack.
Does chewing gum replace brushing?
No. Chewing gum for twenty minutes after a meal helps but is not a replacement for brushing and flossing. You should brush at least twice each day, for at least two full minutes. Chewing gum also does not eliminate your need for regular dental examinations. Our dentist recommends scheduling two visits each year, with additional visits necessary for high-risk patients with oral health conditions.
Chewing sugarless gum has noticeable benefits for your oral health, such as increasing the production of saliva. While this can help prevent the build up of decay-causing bacteria, chewing gum should not be used as a substitute for brushing or flossing. Our pediatric dentist in 75028 recommends that if you are chewing gum, be sure to choose an ADA approved brand of sugarless gum.
If you have concerns that your child may have possible tooth decay, schedule an examination with our pediatric dentist in Flower Mound, TX as soon as possible.