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Is Chewing Gum Good or Bad for Your Teeth?

Health TipsHygiene

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Girl blowing a bubble with chewing gum

Chewing gum could in fact be good for your teeth. The right kind that is…. 

Nowadays, many dentists will recommend chewing gum during the day in order to reduce the bacteria in your mouth that contributes to causing cavities. Many studies have shown that chewing gum is extremely effective at trapping and removing harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Chewing sugar-free gum also stimulates the saliva production in your mouth which helps rinse away bacteria, clear away food, and helps strengthen the enamel in your teeth. 

2 girls taking a selfie blowing bubble gum

Chewing sugar-free gum could help protect your teeth as well as remove bad breath. The sugar-free aspect of the gum could help protect your teeth from cavities. Normal sugared chewing gum is not the same and does not have the same benefits. When you chew sugar-sweetened gum, you are in a sense, bathing your teeth and gums in sugar for the entire time that you are chewing that piece of gum. Sugar-free gum is a lot better for your teeth than regular, sugar-sweetened gum. 

However, some studies have shown that while sugar-free confections, such as sugar-free chewing gum, have many properties that can help reduce the risk of tooth decay by reducing the amount of bacteria bacteria in the mouth, they also contain acidic additives that can actually erode tooth enamel. 

Is Sugar-free Gum Bad for Your Teeth?

Chewing sugar-free gum can help prevent tooth decay. This is an excellent oral care tip for teens who often chew gum or need that extra boost with their oral care. Just be sure that it is sugar-free gum. Choosing a chewing gum that has sugar, however minute the amount, can have the opposite effect and can contribute to the build-up of plaque on the teeth. If you are unsure about which types of gum is best for your oral health, no matter what brand of flavour the chewing gum may be, just look out for the sugar-free sign on the packet of chewing gum. 

KEEP IN MIND: Although chewing gum may help your oral health, it is not a substitute for your regular oral care routine of brushing twice a day and flossing at least daily. 

What Type of Chewing Gum is Good For Your Teeth 

We have talked about how sugar-free gum is pretty much your only option when it comes to the type of gum that will be less harmful for your teeth. However, let’s get into the specifics. 

If you look at the ingredients at the back of your chewing gum packet, choose a chewing gum that contains the ingredient xylitol. 

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that has shown to reduce the amount of cavity-causing bacteria in plaque. It also helps to neutralise acids in the mouth caused by bacteria, keeping the tooth enamel strong, a major benefit in fighting against tooth decay. A lot of common chewing gums brands that you see around your local supermarkets will contain this ingredient in their chewing gum. 

Girl chewing bubble gum.

Chewing Gum to Try and Avoid 

It would be best if you could avoid fruit-flavoured chewing gums, even if the gum is sugar-free. This is because these fruit flavours are usually higher in the acidic ingredients that could cause harm to the teeth even though it is sugar-free. 

A rule of thumb on sugar-free gum and maybe everything else in life is moderation. Gum chewing is likely not to be a problem for your oral health if it is done in moderation. 

Is it Bad to Chew Gum Everyday?

Yes, it is not recommended to chew gum everyday. 

Everything in moderation. Extreme amounts of sugar-free gum can be detrimental to your oral health. The increased amount of artificial sweeteners that are found in gum can have harmful effects to your overall health such as bloating, chronic diarrhoea and cramping.

Book an appointment with the Hygienist

To make sure you’re cleaning your teeth and gums as thoroughly as you should be, book an appointment with our dental hygienist today. We will perform a thorough deep clean, as well as giving you tips and advice on your dental care routine.

Find out more about our dental hygiene services.

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