Even though we didn’t get to see our usual parade of spring training teams this year in Florida, that doesn’t mean we have to stop chewing gum, does it? We could watch old games on MLB Network. With baseball comes lots of gum chomping. Hubba Bubba. Big League Chew. Bazooka. Tasty bubble gums one and all, but also loaded with sugar.
At Implant Dentistry of Florida, we’d recommend maybe switching over to a sugarless variety. Not for the witless reasons of the TV commercials where singles pop a piece of Trident and instantly find love, but for the health of your teeth — sugarless gum turns out to have other characteristics that make it a strong ally in the fight for better oral health.
Here are some reasons Dr. Brown and our team love sugarless gum.
It prevents cavities
The American Dental Association reports various studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal can prevent tooth decay. It does this by boosting the flow of saliva in your mouth, which washes away food and neutralizes acids. The saliva also contains additional calcium and phosphate to support strengthening of enamel. That Big League Chew you’ve been munching on also increases saliva, you say. Ah, but the sugar is used by plaque bacteria to produce acidic by-products, and they are the basis of how decay starts.
We all know we should use toothpaste and mouthwash with fluoride to strengthen the teeth. Sugarless gum has a similar effect. When you chew sugarless gum sweetened with xylitol, the acids left behind on your teeth from foods and drinks are reduced, say the ADA. The gum also prevents enamel erosion by supplying minerals to your teeth.
Sugar-free gum has another crazy benefit — it can reduce tooth sensitivity caused by in-office teeth whitening treatments. According to a study published in the British Dental Journal, patients who chewed sugarless gum after having their teeth whitened had significantly less tooth sensitivity compared to study participants who did not chew gum. The mechanism was thought to be the increase in saliva flow that creates this effect.
By the time you read this blog, hopefully baseball will be back, but if not, sit back on your couch and watch the Tigers vs. Cardinals in the 1968 World Series. But don’t go spitting everywhere in sight, and don’t chew sugary bubble gum. Go sugarless; your teeth with thank you. And that makes Dr. Brown happy. Maybe not as happy as the Grapefruit League games, but…
Is it time for your next exam and cleaning with the team at Implant Dentistry of Florida? Call us at (321) 372-7700 to make your appointment.