It has long been considered a dental taboo to chew gum but recent studies have shown that sugarless gum may actually be helpful instead of harmful. In fact, these studies have determined that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after each meal can indeed help prevent tooth decay. The primary reason that the gum is useful in dental health is that it increases the flow of saliva. Having additional saliva in your mouth is beneficial in that it assists in washing away debris and food. Increased saliva also brings with it more calcium and phosphate, both of which helps strengthen tooth enamel.
Not all types of gum fall into the category of being dentally beneficial. You will want to look for gum packs that have the ADA Seal on the front, indicating that it is sugar free. These gums are instead sweetened with asparteme, sorbitol, or xylitol all of which are non-cavity causing sweeteners. Chewing gum does not replace your daily brushing (twice a day) and flossing. It serves as an additional and fun way to help reduce tooth decay!