Can Chewing Gum Be as Effective as Flossing?

It is true that chewing gum can be beneficial for dental health, but can it really be as good as flossing? A new study conducted in Holland has suggested chewing gum could be as effective as flossing.

How Can This Be True?

According to this latest study, chewing gum for just ten minutes can help remove an amazing one hundred million bacteria from your mouth which would mean it is an extremely effective way to clean your mouth. This would be particularly good after eating out and when it isn’t always easy to brush. Incredibly, those one hundred million bacteria represent just one tenth of the total numbers of bacteria currently calling your mouth home sweet home.

Chewing for Any Longer than Ten Minutes Is Counter-Productive

While chewing sugar-free gum for ten minutes might be very beneficial, chewing it for any longer will apparently undo all these efforts as the bacteria removed by the chewing gum will then be re-deposited back into the mouth.

Which Type of Gum Is Best?

The benefits of chewing gum are already pretty well-known, provided you pick a sugar-free gum and ideally one containing xylitol as this helps fight bacteria which could otherwise cause infection.

Do Dentists Recommend Chewing Gum Instead of Flossing?

Unfortunately not! Here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center Brooklyn we know many patients find flossing awkward and cumbersome but it does have a very important function. Flossing helps to remove pieces of food and bacteria trapped in between your teeth which certainly couldn’t be fully removed with chewing gum. In addition, the physical act of flossing helps to stimulate the gum tissue so it remains healthy and strong. This is vital as strong gums are more able to fight infection. Chewing sugar-free gum might be great for those times when it is inconvenient to brush but it shouldn’t be a permanent substitute. Instead, think of it as a great way to freshen up your mouth until you can get to floss and brush properly.

What Is the Knack for Flossing Properly?

One of the main things that it is all too easy to get wrong when flossing is using too short a length of dental floss or using the wrong type. It is not worth economizing on a length of dental floss as it needs to be around eighteen inches long so you can use a fresh piece in between each tooth. Otherwise you will simply be transferring bacteria from one location to the next. There are also lots of different dental flosses to choose from, so if you can’t get on with one sort then try another brand. Dental flosses can be bought in various widths which is worth considering if your teeth are very tightly packed in. You may well need more than one type in your household.

Ask for a Demonstration

You’ll find plenty of written descriptions on how to floss more effectively, but the simplest way to learn is through a dental professional demonstrating the correct method. Ask us for help if you are unsure of how to floss as our dentists in Brooklyn, NYC can work with you to improve your flossing technique and hopefully your dental health.

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