The Benefits of Chewing Sugar-Free Gum

sugar free gumThere has been some debate on whether sugar-free gum is good for your oral hygiene or if it’s detrimental to your oral health. It may come as a surprise to you to learn that the American Dental Association actually promotes chewing sugar-free gum. In fact, there are a number of reasons why chewing sugarless gum is beneficial:

  1. It’s good exercise. Chewing gum is a great way to exercise your neck and jaw. It’s also beneficial for preventing teeth grinding and reducing the craving for unhealthy sweets and beverages.
  2. It increases saliva production. When you chew sugarless gum, you’re boosting the flow of saliva in your mouth, which helps wash away digestive acids and food particles after you eat.
  3. It’s safe for your oral tissues. This can result in fewer cavities, better breath, and increased enamel production, less gingivitis, dry mouth and stained teeth.
  4. It relieves stress. Studies suggest that people who chew gum typically consumed less alcohol, were more alert, experienced lower levels of depression and work-related stress, and had lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
  5. It reduces tooth decay. Most sugarless gum is sweetened with xylitol, which is a healthy alternative to sugar. Xylitol prevents the growth of oral bacteria that causes cavities by inhibiting bacteria’s ability to stick to the tooth.
  6. It minimizes acid reflux and heartburn. Acid reflux is a condition where the stomach contents reflux into the mouth. This can cause tooth erosion which may lead to permanent and sometimes severe loss of tooth structure. If you suffer for acid reflux and heartburn, chewing gum after you eat may help limit acid in the esophagus. That’s because gum chewing increases saliva production and increases how much you swallow, which then clears the acid.

While it’s true that chewing sugarless gum has more health benefits than risks, it’s important to note that chewing gum should not be used as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing, which is imperative to your oral health. It’s also important to schedule regular dental exams.

Contact Dr. Stanley Hirst, DDS, and Bethany Jensen, DDS, at Broadway Family Dentistry today by calling 701-839-1299 to schedule a check-up.

Tips to Keep Smiling with Dentures

denturesLearn to live with dentures can be an adjustment. You may experience areas of soreness of discomfort, and you may find it difficult to talk or chew in the way you’re accustomed for the first little while. It’s also possible for you to have an increase in saliva flow during the first few weeks of wearing your dentures. Not only can these issues be a nuisance as you get used to your new chops, it can also make you self-conscious. Take heart: these inconveniences go away in time (typically after about 30 days), leaving you to enjoy your new smile relatively trouble-free.

Here’s how to wear your dentures with self-confidence:

  • Keep them clean. At bedtime, remove your dentures and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean them. Use the same brush to massage your gums gently, removing any lingering food particles. Place them in a contained filled with denture-friendly liquid and rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash before calling it a day.
  • Go easy on the denture adhesive. Good-fitting dentures require a small amount of denture adhesive to keep them securely in place. When your dentures get older and don’t seem to fit as well, it can be tempting to remedy this by using a larger amount of adhesive. The better idea is to visit your dentist as soon as possible to improve fit and comfort of your existing dentures or discuss the possibility of getting new ones.
  • Easy slowly. As you adjust to your new mouth, it’s best to start with soft, easy-to-chew foods, and cut your food into small bites. Don’t feel rushed during meals; the more deliberate you are while eating, the more successful you will be at learning how to eat with new dentures.
  • Stand tall. Wearing dentures is an excellent way to improve your facial appearance AND your confidence. Don’t be afraid to smile!

Are you wondering if dentures may be right for you? Contact Dr. Stanley Hirst, DDS, and Bethany Jensen, DDS, at Broadway Family Dentistry today by calling 701-839-1299 to schedule a check-up.