Chewing gum is the world’s most common habit.
Did you know?
>> More than 100,000 tons of chewing gum is consumed every year
>> Every year over 374 trillion sticks of chewing gum are made
>> In the next 5 years, over 1 million metric tons of chewing gum will be produced
>> The world’s chewing gum industry is estimated to be worth approximately US $19 billion
>> If each piece of gum is chewed for 30 minutes, that is 187 billion hours of gum-chewing per year.
Today, nearly 35% of chewing gum is still manufactured by Wrigley Company. Since its inception in the late 19th century, the basic process of manufacturing chewing gum is pretty much the same.
Chewing gum comes in all shapes, flavors and sizes.
There’s fruity and minty… big sticks and little… sugar filled and sugar-free. How do you choose?
But chew on this… sugar-free gum is actually good for your dental health.
Many people think that chewing sugar-free gum simply makes their breath minty fresh, however, it can actually improve oral health by providing several benefits:
Sugar-free chewing gum can prevent cavities. The American Dental Association (ADA) reports that studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can prevent tooth decay because it increases saliva flow – your body’s own natural defense against tooth decay.
Sugar-free gum that contains xylitol has also been shown to reduce the level of decay-causing bacteria living in your mouth.
Sugar-free gum strengthens enamel. We all know that toothpaste and mouthwash that contain flouride strengthen teeth. But did you know that sugarless gum does almost the same thing? Sugar- free gum sweetened with xylitol reduces the acids left behind after consuming food and drink.
Sugar-free gum reduces sensitivity. Thinking about in-office teeth whitening? A study by the British Dental Journal, shows that people who chewed sugarless gum after having teeth whitening experienced significantly less tooth sensitivity compared to participants who did not chew gum.
What should you look for in a sugar-less gum?
Make sure the sugar-less gum you choose carries the ADA seal on the package. That means the associated companies are required to verify the claims made on their packaging (like remineralization of teeth and the reduction of plaque and gingivitis).
But don’t think that an effective sugar-free gum can replace your oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing for two minutes/twice a day is still your best defense against cavities and gum disease.
What’s your favorite sugar-less gum? Tell us your brand and flavor in the comments below.
Dr. Potts is a gentle, caring dentist uses the most advanced materials and procedures available. He practices comfortable, health-centered dentistry, with a strong emphasis on getting to know each patient. In addition technical proficiency, Dr. Potts is a careful listener. He makes sure to understand what you want and will explain beforehand what treatment is best for your individual needs, along with all options available to you.