Everyone has bad breath from time to time. Some people get it after eating a fragrant meal, while others might have it due to their morning coffee. Whatever the cause, though, many treat the issue with something like a breath mint. However, the truth is that chewing gum is the better option when it comes to your teeth. To prove it, your local DeSoto dentist is here with the evidence. Read on, then, to learn why sugar-free gum is more helpful to your smile (and breath) than a mint.
Breath Mints Have Sneaky Sugar
You might pop a mint to “freshen up” your breath, but the product won’t do your teeth any favors. Many brands, you see, are as sugary as your typical candy.
Chances are you already know sugar is bad for oral health. The ingredient feeds harmful oral bacteria, which then produce tooth-eroding acids. Left unchecked, this erosion can cause severe tooth decay and cavities.
Given such effects, you should really limit your intake of mints.
Chewing Gum is Better for Teeth
So long as you get a sugar-free type, chewing gum is better for your teeth than a mint. In particular, it offers the following benefits:
Increased Saliva Flow
Unlike most mints, chewing gum makes your mouth produce more saliva. This liquid is perfect for your smile, as it rinses out plaque-causing acids. Plus, saliva replaces the minerals in your enamel and thus strengthens your teeth.
To maximize saliva’s effect, try chewing some sugar-free gum for at least twenty minutes after meals.
Reduced Plaque Levels
Some brands of sugar-free gum contain xylitol, a natural sweetener found in various fruit, veggies, and mushrooms. While as sweet as any candy, however, this stuff actually protects your teeth.
Research shows xylitol prevents plaque from sticking to your enamel. As such, it can reduce and even reverse tooth decay by increasing the re-mineralization of your pearly whites.
Gum Can’t Replace Oral Care
While gum can have positive effects, its benefits fall short of standard dental care. Therefore, you should still remember the essentials of good oral hygiene:
- Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss once daily with traditional floss or a flossing tool.
- Rinse once daily with fluoridated mouthwash.
In the choice between breath mints and chewing gum, the latter wins out. Even so, remember to follow the tips above alongside your gum-chewing!
About the Practice
Amaze Dental is based in De Soto, Texas. As led by Drs. Najjar and Le, our practice strives for the highest level of dental care possible. To that end, we perform custom treatments that span preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, not to mention emergency smile procedures. Our office is also a certified provider of periodontal therapy and Invisalign clear aligners. For more information or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (972)-230-1100.