Is Chewing Gum Better Than Flossing?

Many Americans already know the benefit of flossing your teeth, but one of the many overlooked facets of dental health is the benefits of chewing gum. Chewing gum is extremely efficient when it comes to removing bacteria from your mouth. So, is chewing gum actually better than flossing?

Surprisingly enough, it does seem that gum more efficient than flossing at some things. Based on a study that researchers performed at the University of Groningen in Netherlands, it appears that the chewing gum is quite efficient and filled with astonishing results for your oral hygiene. The study claims that in 10 minutes of chewing gum, you have the opportunity to remove close to 100 million bacteria from your mouth, an astonishing number, to say the least.

Based on the research, chewing gum is one of the most efficient and easy ways to remove bacteria from your mouth. However, as with most things, there is a catch. While chewing gum for short periods of time, chewing it for a prolonged period can actually be detrimental to your oral health. Bacteria that is removed from your mouth while chewing will be retained within the gum. In periods of prolonged chewing, the bacteria can actually re-release from the gum and back into your mouth. This “new” bacteria can be dangerous to your oral health.

Studies show that the perfect amount of time to chew gum is ten minutes. If you just chew for just 10 minutes, then you gain access to the full range of benefits. According to this study, such a simple activity will be more efficient than flossing when it comes to removing bacteria from the mouth. The ease of chewing gum is what makes these results so appealing. Most people already chew gum on a regular basis with the idea of fresh breath as the main benefit, even without knowing the hidden benefits.

Each chewing gum brand reacts differently in the mouth. Some are more abrasive on the teeth or retain bacteria at a higher rate or for a longer duration. Scientists are in the process of developing a “special chewing gum”, solely with oral hygiene benefits in mind.

Hard chewing gums tend to offer the most oral hygiene benefits. These types of gum are abrasive and help to remove plague and bacteria from the teeth better than other brands. “Trident Gum” was ranked as one of the most abrasive brands of chewing gum, which would make it ideal for removing bacteria.

The average American chews 300 sticks of gum each year. So, it’s likely that you are already receiving some of these “secret” benefits to chewing gum. Don’t forget to limit the amount of time you are chewing that specific stick to ten minutes or less. Keep an eye out for new developments in the chewing gym industry and remember, a stick of gum a day can keep the bacteria away!

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