While chewing gum containing sugar increases your risk of developing a cavity, sugar-free gum actually has the opposite effect. Chewing sugar-free gum helps protect your teeth and gums in between meals when you don’t have time to brush!
After eating, your teeth are more susceptible to damage caused by enamel-dissolving acids. Because the physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva (the mouth’s natural defense against acid), smacking on some sugar-free gum after grabbing a bite helps to protect your teeth by washing away acid and food particles.
Increased saliva production isn’t even the only benefit; gum that uses the natural sweetener xylitol tastes just like sugar gum, but with fewer calories and virtually none of the harmful effects. Studies have shown that xylitol, which doesn’t break down like regular sugar, is actually rather helpful in preventing tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of cavity-causing bacteria.
Marketing can be deceiving, and even products branded as being sugar-free can contain potentially harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Here are some options that carry the American Dental Association’s seal of approval:
- Mentos Pure White Guchewin
- Orbit White Sugarfree Gum
- Bazooka Sugar Free Bubble Gum
- ICE BREAKERS ICE CUBES Sugar Free Chewing Gum
- Mentos Gum Pure Fresh
- Orbit Sugarfree Gum
- quip Sugarfree Chewing Gum
- Trident Sugarfree Gum