Thursday, September 30th is National Chewing Gum Day, and there is no better way to celebrate than popping a piece of gum! Chewing gum is a great way to keep your breath minty fresh, get rid of bad tastes, reduce hunger and cravings, and have some fun blowing bubbles. However, the amount of sugar packed in gum can be harmful to your body. So, schedule routine general dentistry cleanings throughout the year to ensure that you and your family’s teeth remain in great health!
Residents of Reston, VA, and the surrounding areas can find a variety of dental services to match their needs at Smile Reston Heights. Our professional teeth cleanings help prevent cavities from forming, plaque from building up, and other dental problems from progressing. We want to keep your smile in the best shape possible and will discuss the best practices of doing so with you. Book an appointment with us today!
Below, we explore the health benefits of and alternatives to chewing gum:
Benefits of Chewing Gum
- Lower plaque build-up: Gums with citric acid flavorings can lower plaque buildup in your mouth. However, gum with high sugar content can cancel out this benefit. Chewing sugar-free gum containing xylitol to reduce plaque buildup will impress your dental hygienist at your next general dental service visit!
- Protect your teeth from decay and erosion: Chewing stimulates saliva production, which carries away the bacteria and acid on your teeth.
- Reduce stress levels: Studies have shown that when chewing gum, participants reported lower stress levels.
- Improve your memory: The action of chewing gum increases blood flow to your brain, which can improve your memory.
- Increase alertness levels: The constant motion of chewing keeps your body attentive and your mind on task.
- Eliminate feelings of nausea: Producing more saliva can help ease your sense of nausea, an especially useful trick for combating motion sickness!
Healthy Chewing Gum Alternatives
Despite the benefits of chewing gum, many gum brands include high amounts of sugar, which can cancel out their benefits. To prevent this from happening, try a sugar-free alternative. Doing so provides:
- The same sugar-sweet taste: Sugar alternatives stimulate the sweetness of your tongue’s taste receptors, which results in the same sugar-sweet taste.
- No sugar side effects: Sugar alternatives do not contain fructose and do not cause any harmful effects on blood sugar or insulin levels.
- Fewer calories: Sugar substitutes have 40% fewer calories than sugar.
- Kills bacteria: The bacteria that cause dental nightmares, including tooth decay and gum disease, feed on glucose from your food, but they cannot feed on artificial sugars. So, consuming foods with these artificial sugars starves bacteria of glucose, causing them to die.
- Reduces tooth decay and cavities: Studies have proven that reducing the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth drastically diminishes tooth decay and the growth of cavities. Pro tip: according to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar-free gum directly after eating helps prevent tooth decay.
- Lessens the risk of gum disease: Gum disease is a frustrating condition that can undermine dental health over time, especially for patients who chew and smoke tobacco. Chewing gum is a great way to combat this harmful habit with a much lower chance of causing gum disease than chewing tobacco or smoking.
Professional General Dentistry Services Available in Reston, VA
Chewing gum is a fun and tasty way to keep your breath fresh and boost your dental health. Don’t sacrifice those benefits because of sugar content—switch to a sugar-free alternative and keep your mouth healthy and strong. The next time you visit the professionals at Smile Reston Heights in Reston, VA, for your routine dental cleaning, your healthy choices and hard work won’t go unnoticed! Call us today at (703) 345-1100 or book a general dentistry appointment online!