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Chewing Gum for Your Oral Hygiene

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chewing certain types of gum can actually help protect the teeth.

Did you know that chewing gum can actually be healthy for your teeth? It's true: the American Dental Association has even added its seal to the labels of certain gums because they have been proven to reduce plaque and fend off decay after a meal.

Humans have been chewing gum for thousands of years. The Ancient Greeks chewed on sap from the mastic tree, and Native Americans from New England down the Mayan Empire also chewed on tree sap, eventually introducing chewing gum to the European settlers they met. Most of us think of chewing gum as a type of candy, and as such, something that is terrible for our teeth. While chewing regular gum can coat the teeth with sugar, sugar-free gum is actually an excellent way to clean the teeth after a meal, if a traditional tooth brushing is just not an option.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) , chewing certain gums can actually help protect the teeth. Chewing increases saliva flow, which can help wash away and neutralize the acids produced by the bacteria in plaque. These acids can cause the enamel of the tooth to break down, paving the way for decay, cavities, and tooth loss. Chewing sugar-free gum for about 20 minutes after a meal can actually help prevent tooth decay. In fact, so many studies have proven the benefits of chewing gum after a meal that the ADA has actually added its label to the packaging of certain types of gum.

While chewing gum is a great option for diners on-the-go, it is certainly not a substitute for a good, thorough brushing and flossing. To achieve the maximum benefit from chewing sugarless gum, you should still follow a healthy oral hygiene routine.

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