Gum – To Chew or Not To Chew
So you’re finally done with your Invisalign aligners and you don’t need to steer clear of snacking or chewing gum any longer. No more carefully planning your eating schedule around aligner cleanings. If you’re hankering for some tasty chewing gum, this one is for you!
Can Chewing Gum Be Good For You?
There are two factors which will help to determine whether or not chewing gum is good for your personal oral health.
- Your Mouth. If you have bridges and crowns or any other type of permanent orthodontics in your mouth, it may be a good idea to skip the gum. Constant chewing can be hard on these fixtures and loosen them, creating tiny spaces for decay to build up.
- Your Gum. There are hundreds of types of gum out there, but only some of them are good for you. With the influx of high sugar food products, and the effect of those products on your teeth, it’s no surprise that you should be reading the labels. And while sugars like fructose and sucrose can damage your teeth, there is one type of sweetener that may actually benefit them: xylitol.
How Can Xylitol Benefit Me?
Don’t let all those letters fool you. Xylitol is a natural sugar found in many plant-based foods like mushrooms, berries, and even oats! Not only does it make chewing gum and breath mints taste delicious, scientists have discovered some incredible health benefits:
- Reduces dry mouth by increasing natural saliva production. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria, our saliva helps keep the surfaces of our mouths slick so that nothing can stick and cause troubles.
- Reduces bacteria that causes tooth decay.
- Remineralizes enamel. Some bacterias in our mouths will break down our enamel. Combine that with the acids in soft drinks and our teeth will start to get “soft spots”. Those are areas where tooth enamel is demineralized and thus susceptible to permanent damage. Xylitol has actually shown to reverse these effects.
Xylitol chewing gum is beneficial whether or not you’ve had orthodontic treatment. It’s a fun and delicious way to help improve your oral health! Remember to consult your orthodontist if you have permanent fixtures in your mouth that could be disrupted by gum chewing. If you absolutely can’t chew gum, or just plain old don’t like it, there are always xylitol mints to keep your breath fresh and your teeth strong. And, as always, we are here for you if you have any questions. Happy chewing, Calgary!
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