Chew On This
Proper nutrition is essential to those interested in establishing both dental health and general well being. Although treats like hard candies, unpopped popcorn kernels and ice may be tasty, chewing on the dense fare can increase the risk of cracking or chipping teeth.
Although teeth may look impermeable, the devices are constructed of an intricate and fragile network of enamel, dentin, cementum and pulp. Aggressively chomping on hard surfaces can increase the odds of tooth enamel breaking off and can result in the destruction both natural teeth and costly restoration work.
How About Chewing Gum?
Estimates suggest that Americans chew approximately 300 pieces of gum on an annual basis. The repetitive chewing motion of the process can aggravate TMJ. Additionally, sugar-laden gums can increase the odds of developing tooth decay and cavities. However, consumers with healthy jaws and whom wisely select the right sugar-free gum can actually lower the odds of developing dental problems.
Chewing gum increases saliva production and that liquid is the body's natural defense for washing away food debris and simple sugars left behind after eating. This benefit is only associated with chewing sugar-free gum and the American Dental Association recommends getting your chew on for 20 minutes after eating a meal to get the oral health benefits.
Consumers interested in learning more about how chewing can impact their dental health should consult their dentist for personalized advice. For those without a dental care practitioner on their team, 1-800-DENTIST can provide the name of a great local dentist that has been screened prior to being approved for group membership status.