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Does Chewing Gum Ruin Your Teeth?

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a woman blows a bubble with a piece of chewing gum

Your dental health is essential to preserve, and developing a consistent dental exam schedule with your dental professional can help maintain your smile for years to come. Good dental health habits travel outside of the dentist’s office and can help you maintain the health of your teeth during daily life. 

Let’s explore whether chewing gum can ruin your teeth and the different effects it may have on your teeth.

How Chewing Gum Can Help

Chewing gum can be a touchy subject, and many wonder if it’s good for your teeth. Not all chewing gums are created equal, and it’s essential to consider what kind of gum you’re opting for. 

Chewing sugar-free gum can help protect your teeth from cavities. Sugar-free gum is much better for your teeth than sugar-sweetened gum as sugar adds harmful bacteria to your mouth, leading to damage.

Some sugar-free gums, such as those containing sugar alcohol called xylitol, are more effective than other sugar-free varieties in preventing tooth decay.

Chewing gum after a meal increases saliva flow and helps wash away harmful sugars and food debris that can help keep your teeth healthy and prevent bad breath.

Chewing Gum with Braces or Invisalign

When you have orthodontic work, such as braces or Invisalign, chewing gum might be something you’re uneasy about. The first step is consulting your dental professional to determine if chewing gum is safe for your particular situation.

Sugar-free gum is the only type of gum you should chew if you have braces, but it’s important to remember that gum can harm braces in some situations as it gets stuck in the brackets and wires. Your oral health is important, and taking a safe approach is always recommended!

Invisalign uses removable, clear aligners instead of wires and brackets to straighten teeth. Invisalign aligners should always be removed when eating or drinking, and chewing gum is no different. You should always remove your aligners before chewing gum, as gum can get stuck inside them.

Can Chewing Gum Ruin Teeth?

As with many things, moderation is important to consider. Chewing too much gum can cause issues such as jaw pain, headaches, and sometimes tooth decay with sugar-sweetened gum.

If you can’t get enough of chewing gum, the only gum you should opt for is sugar-free gum made with xylitol. The ingredients in this type of gum have been researched and established as safe for consumption. 

Sugar-free gum can promote saliva flow and wash away harmful food debris. Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes following eating or drinking can help protect enamel that has been exposed to citrus fruit, fruit juices, and fizzy drinks. Sugar-free gum can lower the amount of acid that attacks the teeth. 

Chewing gum can also be a great stress reliever for some people, but you just have to ensure it’s of the sugar-free variety!

Combining sugar-free gum with your dental health routine of brushing and flossing can offer some significant benefits to your smile. Your dental professional can help address any questions or concerns about what type of gum is best for your unique needs. 

a woman puts a piece of gum in her mouth

Preserving Your Smile

Chewing gum is a popular activity that’s prevalent throughout everyday life. Sugar-free chewing gum is an excellent option as it can provide benefits for those who don’t want to give up their gum-chewing habits.Book an appointment with your dental professional to learn more about the effects of chewing gum on your teeth.

Written by Dr. Michael Trac

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