If, like so many of us these days, your busy lifestyle means that your eating habits are changing from the traditional three meals a day to more snacking or grazing while you are on-the-go, then now would be a good time to include chewing sugar free gum in your oral hygiene routine.
The definitions for the word ‘grazing’ in the dictionary now include ‘eating frequently at irregular intervals’ – not quite the same as snacking, but probably more frequent. Either way, it comes down to grabbing something to eat on-the-go when and where we can. Breakfast at the desk, a couple of mid-morning biscuits, sandwiches and crisps for lunch and an afternoon treat to keep us going, with several cups of tea or coffee in between.
The fact is that this is not good news for our teeth which come under sustained attack from the plaque acids that form on teeth and can damage the enamel whilst all this snacking and grazing is going on. Every time we eat or drink the pH balance in the mouth changes, dropping into a danger zone where tooth demineralization can happen.
The simple and convenient step of chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after eating and drinking is a great addition to twice-a-day brushing because it helps neutralize those plaque acids, wash away food particles and remineralize tooth enamel.
There is plenty of scientific research to support the oral hygiene benefits of chewing sugar free gum, which are even more relevant now given on average we consume two or three snacks outside of meals every day.
The ‘science bit’ is simple enough: chewing increases the production of saliva which helps clean the mouth and neutralize plaque acids, so it’s a non-disruptive and simple oral care habit when brushing and flossing just isn’t possible or convenient.