Does Chewing Gum Replace Brushing Your Teeth?

 In Patient Education

If you’ve heard the rumours that chewing gum is as effective as brushing your teeth, you’re not completely wrong.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sugarless gum containing xylitol helps prevent tooth decay, especially after eating. More than just freshening your breath, chewing gum can also help improve your oral health.  These are just a few benefits of sugarless gum.

Benefits of chewing sugarless gum:

Studies from the  University of Groningen in the Netherlands have found that:

  • Chewing gum prevents cavities. Chewing gum increases your salivary flow which helps wash away or neutralize harmful acids in your mouth.
  • A single piece of gum can trap up to 100 million bacteria which is about 10 per cent of the bacteria in your mouth. This means there is less bacteria in your mouth and ultimately less plaque.
  • Chewing gum reduces tooth sensitivity. It can also reduce tooth sensitivity caused by whitening treatments.
  • Chewing gum strengthens tooth enamel.

Does chewing gum replace brushing/flossing?

Not at all. Chewing gum is great if you can’t brush immediately following eating or drinking, but it should never be used as a replacement. You should keep up with a good oral health regime – brushing and flossing twice daily and regular dental checkups.

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