When you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, chewing gum is a good alternative, but most gums in the market contain sugar, which produces the acidity that contributes to the growth of bacteria. This results in plaque production that leads to conditions such as cavities.
The act of chewing gum increases saliva production up to 10-times its normal flow. This is what kind of gum is safest for good oral health.
The American Dental Association has only approved sugarless gum as safe for good oral health. It can not only freshen your breath and mouth when you can't brush after a meal, but sugarless gum usually contains sweeteners, such as aspartame, sorbitol or mannitol which don't cause cavities.
How Long Should You Chew Gum For?
It is recommended to chew gum soon after finishing a meal for about 20-minutes. This increases the production of saliva and helps to cancel out the acid in your mouth. Plaque will begin forming again 30-minutes after brushing your teeth.
Chewing Gum Can Reduce Bacteria
Sugarless gum sweetened with Xylitol can reduce the production of one type of bacteria that causes cavities. Xylitol prevents bacteria from adhering to your teeth.
Knowing which kind of gum is safest for oral health is important but remember that this practice is only meant to be a temporary solution and should not replace brushing and flossing. When you get back home or have access to a toothbrush, make sure you follow the guidelines for brushing your teeth.
It is a good idea to carry a pack of sugarless gum with Xylitol in your bag, but you can also include a toothbrush, so you are never a step away from cleaning your teeth properly. You don't even need toothpaste to get a good cleaning and the gum will freshen your breath.