Every parent wants to help his or her children keep their teeth and gums as healthy as possible. It’s why great parents teach their kids how long to brush their teeth, and how to properly floss between each tooth. They also take their kids for regular preventive dental checkups, and even attend cleanings, themselves, to set a good example. But according to a recent study, there is something else parents could be doing to help their kids keep their smiles in great shape, and it’s something most kids will even enjoy! It’s chewing sugar-free gum, as an extra step of preventive care!
Gum Can Be a Great Addition to a Dental Care Routine
Many dentists actually recommend encouraging children over seven-years-old to chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks, that is when allowed (check your kids’ school’s rules). That’s because gum helps increase saliva production, and saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against harmful plaque buildup. That means not only can a stick of sugar-free gum freshen breath between brushings, it can help keep the teeth free of bacteria and food that could lead to plaque buildup, as well.
In fact, chewing sugar-free gum has proven so effective as a preventive measure, that a study conducted by Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, which was recently published in the British Dental Journal, estimated that the British government could save over $8 million Euros, a year, in dental treatments, by simply having 12-year-olds chew gum after sugar-free gum after eating!
Combine Oral Care with Chewing Gum
As a parent it’s important to remember that the habits your kids develop, and the dental care they receive during childhood and adolescence can have a profound impact on their oral health later in life. So make sure you’re setting them up to enjoy years of healthy smiles, by ensuring they care for their teeth daily.
While, obviously, chewing gum is no substitute for regular brushing, flossing and preventive checkups and cleanings, it seems clear it can be a helpful addition to your kids’ routine, and, fortunately, it’s one that probably won’t take much convincing!