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Are you looking for a simple, easy way to give your smile an extra boost of protection against decay? Many people think of chewing gum as a candy that will damage your teeth. However, studies have found that chewing sugar-free gum for 20 minutes after meals can help prevent tooth decay. Chewing sugarless gum increases the saliva flow, which will wash away food and other debris, neutralize acids in the mouth, and provide disease-fighting substances throughout the mouth. Saliva also contains minerals that will strengthen the tooth enamel against decay.

Choose chewing gum that has the ADA seal of acceptance for further protection. The ADA seal shows that the sugar-free gum has met the ADA standards for safety and effectiveness. When gum (or another product) has the ADA seal, you can trust that it does what the packaging claims. Companies must verify all product information with ADA before earning the seal. You can be sure that gum with the ADA seal is indeed sugarless and that the sweeteners it uses do not cause decay. ADA chewing gum often uses one of the following sweeteners: aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol. Some gum companies add substances to their products that further help your teeth and smile.

Chewing sugarless gum should never replace brushing and flossing. The ADA and our dentist recommend brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing once a day. Feel free to contact North Fork Dental Care today to learn more and to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Thomason.