Q. I have heard that chewing gum is now recommended by dentists. Is this true?
A. Some chewing gums are in fact beneficial to your dental health. When buying a gum there are things to look for and things to avoid. Avoid gums that have sugar in them – this is an unnecessary ingredient. Sweeteners are available now that taste just as good and last longer. When buying gum look for the American Dental Association seal of approval. It is usually on the front of the packaging in a small white square that will read “ADA.” These gums contain xylitol. This ingredient has been shown to be beneficial by not allowing plaque to adhere to the tooth’s surface. Gum can also stimulate saliva flow, which helps clean the oral cavity and act as a buffer against acidic food. If you can’t brush after a meal, chewing a piece of gum containing xylitol could be the next best thing.
Mark McOmie, D.M.D.
McOmie Family Dentistry
5999 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421