Maintaining a clean mouth needs to be done daily, fortunately, there are many things you can do to keep your pearly whites healthy. While many people equate chewing gum with maintaining fresh breath and a clean mouth, that may not be the case. 

No matter how much you chew it, chewing gum doesn’t clean your teeth all that well. Let’s look at the oral cavity and how gum works to understand what’s going on.

When a portion of food is swallowed, whether a piece of candy or a peanut, it passes through the mouth, down into the esophagus, and the stomach. Here it is partially digested by hydrochloric acid secreted by special cells lining the stomach. The resulting partially digested food moves into the small intestine, where 90% of its calories are absorbed. Then, food passes into the large intestine, where the remaining 10% of what you eat is broken down further. Because the digestion of many foods occurs mainly in the small intestine, it doesn’t take a lot of chewing to break down food.

But when food goes directly from your mouth to your stomach, it has to pass through your teeth. Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, occurs when the bacteria in your mouth cause sugar to build up and decay your teeth. Interestingly, tooth decay is caused more by bacteria than by acid. Without enough sugars to feed the bacteria, the bacteria can’t survive, and decay can’t happen.

Chewing gum, therefore, has to be used as a way to get bacteria into the places it likes to hang out (your mouth). While it’s certainly possible to eat a lot of sugar and still not have any decay, likely, using lots of sugar probably won’t prevent dental caries. The best way to prevent tooth decay is to brush your teeth regularly, floss at least once daily, and drink fluoridated water.

It may freshen your breath and keep your mouth busy, but chewing gum shouldn’t be used as a way to prevent tooth decay. The best way to keep your teeth healthy is by brushing and flossing regularly and visiting a dentist for a cleaning every six months.

If you can’t brush and floss regularly, consider using a fluoride mouthwash during the day, and at night brush your teeth before bed with baking soda. Baking soda is an excellent way to combat bad breath. It’s also an effective way to clean your teeth. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, so it acts as a soft toothbrush. It also has an acidic pH similar to toothpaste and will effectively clean your teeth.

If you are looking for professional cleaning services in Ione, California, Dr. Eaton offers a fantastic dental cleaning package that will help you improve your dental health.