Remember back to a time when you were sitting in a classroom, and the fateful moment occurred when your teacher turned around and saw that you were chewing – oh, the horror – gum. He or she probably made you spit the gum directly into his or her hand, surrender it into the garbage can, or maybe even swallow it.
Whatever kind of distraction chewing gum might have caused in an educational setting, many of us were also taught that gum could also be a nuisance to our teeth. Most chewing gum contains glucose, a sugar that feeds bacteria in the plaque on our teeth and eventually rots those areas, leading to cavities and other dental issues. Even “sugar-free” gums with artificial sweeteners can cause the same problems.
Thankfully, there’s an alternative.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in nature. Unlike glucose and other artificial sweeteners, xylitol has been shown to actually fight cavities! Where sugar feeds that bacteria that causes rotting, xylitol works in reverse – starving the bacteria and restoring your mouth to a normal pH balance too.
We checked out Xylitol.org to see what they had to say about using this alternative sweetener. Here are a few benefits they list:
- Delicious sweet taste… with no unpleasant aftertaste
- Reduces plaque formation
- Increases salivary flow to aid in the repair of damaged tooth enamel
- Provides one third fewer calories than sugar
So, can you really chew your way to a daily plaque-fighting routine? Yes! There are several brands that carry xylitol-based products like chewing gum, tablets, and even candy. Shop online for xylitol products, or check out the selection at your local supermarket or drugstore.. And talk to the staff at Dr. Gabhart’s to find out more about chewing away those cavities; we’d love to help you find what’s right for you!