Why does my dentist recommend chewing gum after eating?

Saliva [also known as “spit”] is amazing. Yes, I’m a dentist so I’m weird and say things like that but it really IS amazing. It contains a whole host of stuff that will maintain your mouth at its resting pH [acidity]. When we eat, our mouths inevitably end up being acidic and that’s when your teeth can start to demineralise or decay. Your saliva will lower your mouth pH to normal levels [make less acidic] as long as there’s nothing wrong with your saliva flow – more about that later.

 

So…eat drink chew…by chewing some SUGAR FREE chewing gum (such as Extra) for a few minutes after eating even just a snack or a fruit juice, will stimulate your saliva and the idea is to return your mouth to its resting pH level as soon as possible.

 

I say sugar free chewing gum as the sugary ones won’t help, they’ll just lengthen the time your mouth is acidic and help cause even more dental decay, which is not what we want at all.

 
Here’s a sciencey graph to explain:

Graph

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Copied from https://www.wrigleyextra.com.au/benefits-of-chewing/)

 

So, to prevent decay: snack as little as possible in between meals and if you have to have a snack, chew some gum for a few minutes afterwards. (Don’t forget to brush twice daily and floss or use piksters daily.)

 

See also: Stephan’s curve

 

 

Here at Dentistry on King, Buderim we can talk to you about decay prevention.

Call us on 5445 3110 for an appointment or click here.