NEPEAN, ONTARIO- Odds are you were chastised by your school teacher for smacking gum in the classroom a time or two. Despite years of negative association, chewing gum can provide a few awesome benefits for teeth. The team of professionals at dentistry practice Trillium Dental in Nepean explains how chewing your favorite gum can provide more oral health advantages than minty fresh breath.

Teachers may not approve of gum, but dentists sure do. Perhaps its biggest bonus, sugar-free gum (emphasis on sugar-free) increases saliva flow in the mouth. Studies show that in the first few minutes of chewing, the flow rate increases by 10 times! More spit may not seem like a huge benefit, but saliva is responsible for rinsing away dangerous bacteria, neutralizing lingering acids from food and drink and facilitating the remineralization process. Remineralization is vital to fortifying the tooth’s protective enamel layer and preventing decay.

Saliva production isn’t the only reason why dental professionals recommend chewing gum for 20 minutes after meals. The chewing action helps to loosen sticky plaque that can lead to cavities and staining, in addition to killing the germs that cause unpleasant breath. Gum can also stimulate blood flow in the gums, boosting periodontal health and reducing the chances of gingivitis.

There is one caveat, however. Sugary gums can still supply some dental health perks, but the sugar attack outweighs any benefits. Be sure to stick with sugar-free varieties. A common ingredient in sugar free gums is xylitol. This natural sweetener extracted from fibrous plants helps to keep a neutral pH level in the mouth and inhibits bacteria from sticking to teeth. The extent of xylitol’s impact on dental health is hotly debated, but it is certainly the smarter choice over normal sugar.

The dentists at Trillium Dental can answer any questions regarding what products are best for teeth and gums. As a trusted provider of general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry in the Ottawa and Kanata area, Trillium can remedy a variety of dental issues and provide proven solutions like Invisalign, dental implants and porcelain veneers. Schedule a consultation today to learn more.