Is Gum Good for Gums?
Bubblegum! Spearmint! Cinnamon! There are so many flavors of gum that there are almost too many to count. Chewing gum can be a perfect activity when you are feeling stressed, you need to focus, or if you have smelly breath. But is chewing gum good for children? Of course, there are common concerns about whether chewing gum is good for them because of choking hazards. You never want to give your baby or even toddler chewing gum. Typically, you don’t want to give your child anything that isn’t food until they understand how to properly chew and not swallow the gum in their mouth.
In this blog, we will be discussing the incredible benefits of chewing gum, specifically for your child’s teeth. By reading this blog, you can have a better understanding of how chewing gum can actually benefit your child’s pearly whites!
Is Gum Helpful?
Anyone who has attended a public or private school will know the image of pieces of dried gum on the bottom of the desks. Not only is the stickiness disgusting, but it can even be considered a form of vandalism. Because of this, many schools prohibit children from chewing gum in school, however, there are other educational facilities that actually encourage students to chew gum; they believe that gum helps children focus more on their school work and standardized tests.
Whether schools appreciate gum chewing or not, gum can have some benefits for children’s teeth. How? Well, when you chew gum, you are stimulating your tastebuds with the flavor of the gum. Due to your taste buds becoming activated and your active chewing, your saliva glands will respond and produce copious amounts of saliva. This is your body’s natural reaction to when you are chewing something. Saliva both naturally helps break down your food and help it move down your esophagus.
Gum Cleans Your Teeth?
Gum can be very beneficial to children especially if they have it every once in a while or after a sugary meal. Because your salivation glands are activated while chewing gum, you have more saliva in your mouth at one time. Saliva, though it has many benefits, is primarily beneficial because it can wash down your teeth after a meal. The more saliva in your mouth, the more likely that your food is washed off your teeth. Children naturally have high-sugar diets; juices, snacks, and even meals can be packed with sugars in order to appeal to kids’ appetites. This can be problematic, as your child is exposed to sugar-rich items and don’t know how to properly care for their teeth.
Gum can be a useful tool to help your body naturally clear off excess sugars on your child’s teeth. By allowing them to chew a small piece of gum, their saliva can work to break down the bits of food, sugar, and even chemicals on their teeth.
Because your children are naturally clearing off their teeth, gum can be used as a preventative tool for cavities and tooth decay. Because less sugar is allowed to stay on their teeth, they are at less risk for developing serious dental problems. Of course, gum does not ensure full protection from dental diseases. So your kids still have to brush their teeth!
Warnings of Sugary Gum
You should make sure that you monitor how much gum your child is chewing. Though there are benefits to chewing gum, there are drawbacks as well. Too much chewing can actually have poor effects on your child’s jaw muscles. For example, if your child chews too much gum, their jaw muscles could seize and ache.
Gum is by no means a preventative dental technique. Though gum can have benefits, it is no substitute to the traditional cleaning tools, such as your toothbrush and floss. If you are curious about your child’s current dental health, contact us today.