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Many people like to chew gum to refresh their breath or keep their mouth moist. Chewing gum can have some benefits to your oral health so long as you keep a few things in mind.

You absolutely need to avoid brands of chewing gum that use sweeteners. Residual sugar in the mouth can promote bacterial growth, plaque and eventually lead to tooth decay. You should also avoid chewing gum if you have braces, as the sticky gum can cause damage to wire and spacers or even break brackets loose from your teeth.

Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal actually encourages saliva production. This is a good thing as saliva can help wash away some of the acids left by certain foods. It can also help wash away food particles that harbor bacteria. Sugarless gum can also sometimes capture small food particles in the contours and gaps between your teeth.

After you are done chewing gum, try to make an effort to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth.

If you have questions about chewing sugarless gum please feel free to call us at 757.222.3737 or ask us at your next dental cleaning appointment.