Parents, did you know that it is okay to say yes to sugarless gum? If your child is over age four, sugarless gum can actually be good for the teeth. Chewing gum products for 20 minutes three times a day after meals increases saliva production. Saliva washes away plaque acid and coats the teeth in minerals like calcium and phosphate, which strengthen tooth enamel.
A list of sugarless gum brands
The American Dental Association gave its seal of acceptance after several studies showed the benefits. Wrigley sugar-free gums (Orbit, Extra and Eclipse) carry the ADA seal, based on research that focused solely on Wrigley brands. Other sugarless gum brands are fine as well, even if they do not carry the ADA seal yet. Double check that the gum is free of sugar. Shoppers can find the following gum brands in most drug and food stores:
- Glee Gum
- Ice Breakers Ice Cubes
- Mentos Pure Fresh
- 5 Gum
Gum brands use various sweeteners to maintain flavor and remain sugar-free. Xylitol is the best of these, with more teeth-healthy properties than others. Kids and adults can chew between 6-10g of xylitol per day in order to be effective against bacteria. Epic Gum, Spry Gum, and Miradent Gum are a few brands that have over 0.7 grams of xylitol per piece. These are not as commonly found by the cash register, but can be purchased at specialty stores and online.