Chewing Gum for Weight Control
Written by Rebecca Faulkner, MS, R
Did you know that chewing a piece of sugar-free gum may improve your dental health?
Good dental health begins not only with what you eat, but with when you eat. When you eat, something happens in your mouth. Fermentable carbohydrates such as breads, cereals, fruits, crackers, and sugary foods break down in your mouth. When you do not clean your teeth after eating, plaque, the sticky film of bacteria, produces acids, which damages the hard surface of the tooth. After some time, the decaying process begins.
Foods that promote tooth decay are chewy, sticky foods, sugary snacks, carbonated sugary drinks, and other fermentable carbohydrates such as crackers, breads, muffins, potato chips, French fries, fruits, juices, and pretzels. On the flip side, foods that may protect your tooth enamel are cheeses, chicken, meats, nuts, and sugar-free gum. Cheese blunt the usual drop in pH after sugar consumption. Water or unsweetened tea are two great beverages that do not cause tooth decay.
Therefore, after eating and drinking try one of these suggestions: chew sugar-free gum to increase the flow of saliva, rinse with water for 30 seconds, or brush with fluoride toothpaste.
The American Dental Association has five (5) helpful tips that will help decrease your risk for tooth decay.
- Limit between meal snacking.
- Limit the amount of soft drinks or any other drink containing sugar.
- Avoid sucking on hard candies or mints.
- Brush your teeth after eating and drinking.
- Chew Sugar-free gum.
Remember; never put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with milk, formula, juice, or soda. Use water instead. Clean between you child’s teeth with dental floss. But most of all, remember to visit your dentist for your yearly check-ups and cleaning. In doing these things, you will reap the benefits of good dental habits. Finally focus on a healthy diet that includes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and lean meats.
Thank you for listening. Have a great day and God Bless.