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Chewing gum has been around since the dawn of civilization. In ancient times, people chewed tree sap. Today, we have plenty of flavors and colors, and unlike ancient times, we can blow bubbles. Clearly, chewing gun has come a long way from tree sap! For one thing, we can buy it in just about any store, and we don’t have to drill a hole in a tree.

Gum tastes good and is fun to chew. But did you know that sugarless gum can help prevent cavities and protect your teeth? While it is always a good idea to limit your sugar intake, sugarless gun can be a benefit.

The act of chewing produces saliva, and that extra saliva can wash away the leftover acids from food that interact with the bacteria in the plaque of your teeth. The interaction between the bacteria and those acids causes cavities. Increased saliva also carries more calcium and phosphate, which make your teeth stronger. Chewing sugarless gum for about 20 minutes after a meal can help prevent tooth decay. So, a stick of sugar-free gum is the better choice when your sweet tooth is talking to you.

Does that mean we can throw away the toothbrushes and the floss? Not at all! Sugarless gum helps keep our teeth healthy, but it does not replace brushing and flossing, healthy eating and of course, regular visits with your dentist for exams and cleanings.

If you have questions about chewing gum and dental health, the best place to start is by talking to Dr. Tim Woodruff at Woodruff Family Dental in Jonesboro, Arkansas. We can answer questions about chewing gum, and any other questions you have about keeping your teeth strong and healthy. In the meantime, enjoy a stick of sugarless gum, and give us a call at 870-972-8190.