Chewing gum has been a pastime for kids of all ages since the late 19th century, but did you know that chewing sugar-free gum can boost dental health by increasing saliva flow and reducing harmful bacteria in the mouth? That's why Helotes Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics is proud to celebrate National Chewing Gum Day on September 30th. Join our Helotes pediatric dentists in embracing this fun holiday as a way to benefit our teeth and overall health!
What is Xylitol?
A critical ingredient in sugar-free gum is xylitol. This naturally occurring sugar alternative can be found in many toothpastes, chewing gums, and candies recommended by our Helotes pediatric dentists for their ability to help prevent cavities. But what exactly is xylitol? Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that has fewer calories than sugar and doesn't raise blood sugar levels.
Wait! Chewing Gum Can Do What?
What sets xylitol apart from other sugar alternatives is its oral health benefits. Xylitol has been shown to fight cavities, which is why our Helotes pediatric dentists encourage patients to chew sugar-free gum to promote oral hygiene. This sweetener actively fights tooth decay by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that cause plaque. Additionally, xylitol stimulates saliva production, which aids in the natural cleaning and remineralization of teeth. With the help of xylitol, sugar-free gum can be a tasty and effective way to keep your teen’s teeth healthy and free of cavities.
Is Sugar-Free Gum Safe?
Xylitol is considered safe for both children and adults when consumed in the amounts typically found in oral health products and food. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a sugar substitute and additive. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has expressed support for the use of xylitol and other sugar alcohols as non-cariogenic sugar substitutes.
However, it is essential to note that consuming large amounts of xylitol, typically exceeding 30 to 40 grams, may lead to gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea and gas. Nevertheless, the tolerance level for xylitol varies among individuals, so it is advisable to start with a smaller dosage to assess personal tolerance.
Our Helotes Pediatric Dentists Can Protect Your Teen’s Smile
Aside from sugar-free chewing gum, another way to ensure that your teen’s smile stays strong is by scheduling dental appointments at least twice a year. If you’re the parent of a teenager, you might struggle with finding healthcare providers who understand how to care for their rapidly growing bodies. Our Helotes pediatric dentists understand that creating a healthy, beautiful smile for your teenager is vital, and they are here to help! From preventative care, early detection and treatment of cavities, patient education, and orthodontics– you can ensure your teen is getting the best oral healthcare possible for a healthy, straighter smile.
Make a difference in the future of your kid’s smile today; schedule an appointment with our Helotes pediatric dentists at Helotes Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics for top-notch dental care today! Call (210) 871-8313 or conveniently fill out our contact form to schedule a teen’s dental appointment today.