Can You Protect Your Teeth by Chewing Gum?

Close-up portrait of the teenager girl (age of 13) with freckles and iPod headphone makes bubble of chewing gum on the beach

After recent studies, it has been discovered that chewing gum on a daily basis can do much more than freshen breath; it can actually prevent tooth decay, too! Experts say that just 20 minutes of chewing a day can reduce plaque build-up, help to remove stains, and even break down foods that have settled in to the gaps between teeth. But is chewing gum a viable replacement for brushing your teeth twice a day?

Close-up portrait of the teenager girl (age of 13) with freckles and iPod headphone makes bubble of chewing gum on the beach

Tooth hygiene over the years

People have invented ways to keep their teeth clean for centuries; from using the spines of a hedgehog to pick away at food, all the way to horse hairs for flossing! Fortunately, times have changed and we now replicate many of these techniques; albeit in a healthier fashion. Chewing gum has been around for a few decades now, and where dentists advised against its use in the past (due to its high sugar composition), many now endorse its use!

Sugar free gum is available from most grocery stores, and this is the type of gum that was recently proven to help with the health of your teeth. It’s never a good idea to over-do it as far as chewing gum is concerned; it tricks your body into thinking that food is on its way, and your metabolism can suffer as a result – but there’s nothing to say that 15 to 20 minutes of chewing after a meal won’t improve the health of your teeth.

How chewing gum helps

As you eat and drink, your teeth are exposed to a variety of ingredients and chemicals. If allowed to settle around your gum line, these chemicals can begin to eat into your teeth. As a result your enamel can wear away and without this shield, your teeth will be open to the elements! That’s where chewing gum comes in handy.

Imagine you have a carpet that just seems to attract loose pieces of cotton, pieces of debris and more. A quick vacuum will help (or a brush in terms of your teeth), but the debris will still gather. Many people then turn to lint rollers – and these are great at sticking to the debris, and pulling them away. That’s exactly what chewing gum does – it sticks to any dirt and debris, lifts them away, and leaves a much cleaner surface.

The result

What this means is that brushing should be considered the main activity for keeping teeth clean, followed by flossing to loosen food particles, and then chewing gum for 15 to 20 minutes a day to help to lift these particles away. The result? A much fresher mouth with minimal bacteria – and a healthier set of teeth in general.

At Canyon Gate Dentistry in Orem Utah, we understand just how important it is to look after your teeth. Techniques like chewing sugar-free gum won’t fix your teeth entirely, but they can certainly help with promoting a healthier mouth!