Attention all parents! Chewing gum is good for your child’s dental health…as long as the gum that they’re chewing is sugar free.
Sugar free means that the fermentable carbohydrate has been substituted with products like Aspartame, Sorbitol and Xylitol.
In a future blog, we will look at how ‘sweets’ lead to the formation of cavities. Briefly, when bacteria in the mouth have access to fermentable carbohydrate, then they will break it down into acids. These acids will then start a demineralization process on the enamel of the teeth. By removing the fermentable carbohydrate from the chewing gum, the bacteria have nothing to act on.
The key is to chew gum for 20 minutes following a meal. This is what happens:
- The act of chewing gets the masticatory muscles and salivary glands working which produces more saliva: the increased salivary flow serves to dilute and wash away any excess food or debris, thereby reducing plaque build-up.
- The increase in saliva contains minerals such as calcium, phosphate and hydroxylions which help to re-mineralize and strengthen enamel that has undergone a caries (demineralization) attack.
- In addition, the increase in saliva has a high bicarbonate concentration which tends to neutralize the acids that start the demineralization process.
- Chewing gum also contains anti-bacterial agents.
Please note: Though gum does help with your overall oral health, it doesn’t take the place of brushing and flossing; you can look at it as an adjunct.
Eat wisely — Chew wisely.
At this point, we remove it, as it has done its job…mission accomplished!
Get to know Dr. F. Keshavarz Dentistry and make your child’s dental visit a positive experience. Call us today at (905) 791-3867 or visit us at Bestgate Professional Center, 40 Finchgate Boulevard, Suite 121, Brampton, Ontario. New patients, walk-ins and Emergencies are welcome.