“Chewing Gum” – chewing gum?

ADA seal

The holiday season may have left us with a few extra pounds and maybe the remnant of a craving for more sweets. Or,  in tune with our New Year’s resolutions, we vowed never to touch another cigarette. Or, we are looking to replace our children’s favorite peppermint flavored candy cane with something more wholesome. Whatever the reason we are trying to switch from one thing to another, sugarless gum is a great alternative for some of these less-than-wholesome cravings.

The ADA states that

The chewing of sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva, which washes away food and other debris, neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth and provides disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Increased saliva flow also carries with it more calcium and phosphate to help strengthen tooth enamel.

The ADA has issued a seal of approval for several brands. Just look for the little symbol on the gum package.

A stick of gum can occupy our mouth longer and more satisfactorily than any cookie, cigarette, or candy cane. It takes about 20 minutes of chewing to achieve its desired effect, and while no substitute for brushing and flossing, helps our mouth flora stay healthier. Even if you are not trying to escape some real or perceived vice, try some sugarless gum after your lunch break. It will help wash away the remnants of your lunch and soda. Add and extra bottle of water afterward, and not only will you have given your teeth a mid-day once over but replenished vital fluids for your body.

Chewing sugarless gum also helps relieve the feeling of a dry mouth, which can be indicative of a more serious underlying medical condition, or arise from the use certain of medications such as antihistamines or painkillers. Encouraging your mouth to produce an adequate amount of saliva will prevent you from getting a dry throat or agitated nasal passages.

So, go ahead, give it a try, for the fun of it, or more serious health concerns.

 

Happy New Year!

from Dr. Mead’s family dentist practice

Purcell, Oklahoma.

 

 

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