Can Chewing Gum Prevent Cavities?
Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can in fact prevent tooth decay.
Chewing sugarless gum helps to increase saliva flow in order to wash away food and other debris, and neutralize acids produced by mouth bacteria. Increased saliva also carries more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel. Without adequate saliva flow, patients are at risk for problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other infections.
When looking for a chewing gum, make sure to choose one with the ADA Seal to ensure that it is sugarless. The ADA Seal recognizes chewing gum that has demonstrated scientifically that it can protect the teeth. Sugar-containing gum will provide plaque bacteria with a means to produce decay-causing acids.
Although chewing gum may be helpful, do not replace regular brushing and flossing! The ADA recommends brushing 2 times a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing (or using other inter-dental cleaners) once per day.
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