Can Chewing Sugar Free Gum Prevent Tooth Decay?

May 27, 2020

Actually, yes. According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after you eat or drink can if fact minimize tooth decay.

How it Works
Chewing can increase saliva in the mouth. Saliva is known to neutralize acid and can also wash away debris in the mouth. So with more saliva, you can help neutralize acids left behind on your teeth from foods and drinks. Yes, chewing regular gum may also increase salivary flow, but keep in mind the sugar contained is used by plaque bacteria to produce acidic by-product. That’s one reason why you may want to opt for sugar free gum.

And if you choose a sugar free gum that is sweetened with xylitol, you may also be strengthening tooth enamel by supplying mineral to your tooth. And stronger enamel means less risk of tooth decay and cavities.

If you’re not sure what gum is sugar free, look for the ADA seal to be sure. All gums with this seal are sweetened without sugar and meet certain criteria for safety. Click here to see what the ADA seal looks like and to learn more.

In short, chewing sugar free gum can be good for your teeth, but should never be a substitute for teeth brushing and flossing. So yes, sugar free gum can be a good addition to your already established oral hygiene routine, and although it may not directly prevent cavities, chewing a piece of sugar free gum after meals and snacks can help remove food particles and neutralize harmful acids in your mouth.