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You may not know, but you have an unexpected ally in your battle against plaque and tooth decay: chewing gum. That’s right! Chewing gum for 20 minutes after you eat has been proven to help reduce your risk of getting cavities. The key is a very simple substance your body has for protecting your mouth and teeth: saliva. Chewing gum increases saliva production, and therefore helps protect your teeth.

By chewing sugarless gum, your mouth will create extra saliva. Saliva is what actively fights cavities, not the gum itself. Saliva not only washes away food particles and bacteria that cause plaque buildup, but it can also neutralize the acids that cause tooth decay. Saliva also provides nutrients that fortify tooth enamel and disease-fighting substances throughout your mouth.

Chewing sugar-sweetened gum can also promote saliva of course, but the sugars in the gum feed the bacteria the saliva is trying to fight, negating the benefits of chewing gum. Be sure to look for gum with the ADA Seal of Approval to make sure you are getting a product that does what it says it will do–help protect your smile!

Never let chewing gum act as a substitute for consistent brushing and flossing! Brush for 2 minutes, twice a day, and floss once a day for 2-3 minutes. Also, make sure to eat well-balanced meals and drink plenty of water! These practices work together to help prevent cavities.

For more information on other simple practices you can integrate to avoid cavities, call Transcend Dental at 484.369.8625. If you would like an oral exam from Dr. Jared Ayes, please book an appointment to come see us at our dentist office in Royersford, Pennsylvania. We are here to help you get the healthy smile you want!