It’s something that a lot of our patients have been through. One second you’re chewing gum, and then all of a sudden, you forget to keep chewing and swallow the whole piece of gum! At this point, you remember that when you were a child, your mother told you that if you swallowed gum, it would move in and stay there for seven years. Of course, our dentists at ORIS Dental Clinics hate to ruin the fun, but the truth is that when you swallow gum, it goes into your stomach and goes through your digestive system just like any other food. So, you don’t have to worry if you swallow a piece of gum by accident.
Is Chewing Gum Good?
It’s important to know that gum has no nutritional value, so even though it’s not exactly dangerous to swallow, you should still try not to. If you chew gum a lot, especially if you have braces, you should switch to sugarless gum because gum with sugar can cause cavities. Sugarless gum still tastes good, but it has fewer of the things that cause cavities. In fact, many brands have an ingredient called xylitol, which is a natural sweetener that fights bacteria that cause cavities. People also know that xylitol makes you salivate more, which helps wash away plaque and acid.
Acid is what’s left over when the bacteria in your mouth break down sugar. This acid eats away at the outer layer of your teeth, called enamel. This leaves holes in your teeth, which we call cavities. If you don’t treat cavities right away, they can lead to other long-term mouth problems. Try to avoid exposing your teeth to too many harmful things!
Can You Use Gum instead of Brushing Your Teeth?
We really hope that none of our patients are under the impression that this is the case. Chewing gum is not a suitable replacement for cleaning and flossing your teeth, thus, you should avoid doing so. Even while chewing sugar-free gum causes salivation and may be beneficial after meals, the best method to ensure that your teeth remain healthy throughout your life is to brush for a total of four minutes twice daily and to floss at least once per day.
Is it Bad to Swallow Gum?
Even though people can’t eat gum, it doesn’t hurt the digestive system like seeds, nuts, and roughage does. But we warn that if you swallow a lot of sugar-free gum, the natural and artificial sweeteners in it can make you feel sick, have diarrhea, and get headaches.
Given that it seems safe to swallow gum, it’s hard to say where this myth came from, but parents have likely been trying to teach their kids not to swallow non-food items for generations. Furthermore, if you have any questions about chewing gums, ORIS Dental Clinics in Richmond Hill, Ontario, would be delighted to answer you. Just contact us today!