What is sugar free chewing gum?
Sugar free chewing gum does not contain sugar. The flavor is derived from added sweeteners that do not cause tooth decay. The chewing gum releases its flavors over a period of time, just like ordinary gum.
Why is chewing sugar free chewing gum good for my teeth and gums?
Chewing sugar-free gum helps protect your teeth and gums in between meals when it may not be possible to brush with a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. After you eat, your teeth are at risk of acid attack. The acid is produced by plaque bacteria, and the sugars in our food and drink, and it slowly dissolves away the enamel and dentine of the tooth, causing a hole in your tooth or cavity. You can reduce this acid attack by chewing sugar free gum, as it helps the mouth to produce more saliva the mouth’s natural defense against acid that can affect your teeth.
Can sugar free gum help to protect against dental erosion?
Dental erosion, also known as tooth erosion, is the chemical loss of mineralized tooth substance caused by exposure to acids not derived from oral bacteria and is caused by the acids in the things we eat and drink. Citrus fruit, fruit juices and fizzy drinks all contain acids. These acids start to eat into the enamel covering your teeth, and remove some of the minerals making up the enamel. Chewing gum helps make saliva that can help reduce this type of acid attack on your teeth. It takes the saliva about an hour to replace the minerals that the enamel has lost. Chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking can increase the flow of saliva, and help replace the minerals more quickly.
Can chewing sugar free gum help with dry mouth and bad breath?
Dry mouth and bad breath are often caused by a reduced saliva flow. When you chew gum your mouth will make saliva and the symptoms of dry mouth and bad breath may be reduced.
When should I chew sugar-free gum?
It is best to chew gum after you eat. Chewing gum for up to 20 minutes will increase your flow of saliva, speeding up the time that it takes for saliva to cancel out the acid. Plaque starts to form within 30 minutes of cleaning your teeth. Dentists recommend chewing sugar free gum after eating and drinking when you are unable to brush.
Is sugar free gum safe to use for children?
We do not recommend that children under the age of seven chew gum. But this is something for parents to decide for their children.
Can I chew sugar-free gum if I have dentures or braces?
People with certain types of dentures may find that sugar free gum can stick to the teeth and palate of the denture. Chewing sugar free gum is not recommended if you have a braces.
Do I still need to brush my teeth if I’ve used chewing gum?
Yes. You will need to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and clean in between your teeth with interdental brushes or floss at least once a day to keep your teeth and gums in good oral health.
What happens if I swallow the gum?
There is no evidence that swallowing gum is harmful to your health. If you swallow gum it will pass through your system like any other food, although it may take a little longer.
Can sugar free gum whiten my teeth?
Some sugar free chewing gums claim they can whiten your teeth. Although these products cannot lighten the natural colour of your teeth, they may help to lessen staining which could build-up on your teeth due to smoking, or drinking red wine or coffee.