Is chewing gum bad for children's teeth?

Can children have chewing gum?

Dentists are often asked about the risks involved in their children chewing gum, however it is not as simple as being good or bad (for example, in some instances gum can sometimes provide positive results for your teeth).

As long as you choose sugar free options, chewing gum can actually have some benefits to your oral hygiene. Chewing causes your mouth to produce saliva, which is a natural defence in removing acid that builds up in your mouth during the day after breaking down food. Furthermore, the minerals created can also help the tooth’s enamelHard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth. strengthen, which will support the tooth.

However, there are some potential issues that could arise from children having gum. Some chewing gum has a high amount of sugar which can spread decayThe lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure. in your teeth and contribute to gum disease. There are also certain additives in gums, and excessive use could result in problems for those with TMJ disorder, which is a jaw joint condition.

If you have an braces, then gum should be avoided due to its potential to get stuck on the wires and cause damage.

Finally, if your child is chewing then they need to make sure they take care, as gum can be a choking hazard. It is important to explain to younger children, that gum is for chewing but not swallowing.

If you have any questions regarding chewing gum’s potential effects or the best type of gum to use, please reach out to your dentist and they’ll be happy to advise.

Please note that this article is for patient information purposes only. The information provided is based on guidance available at the time of writing, which may subsequently change. Please consult your own dentist with any individual queries.

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