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The coming of the holidays brings many opportunities for snacking throughout the day, and lots of sweet treats. But no one has “developing a cavity” on their holiday to-do list!

Not everyone has the opportunity to brush their teeth right after they snack. To solve this problem, chew sugar-free gum. Chewing sugarless gum helps prevent cavities by stimulating your salivary glands to produce more saliva. It is the saliva that fights cavities, not the gum itself.

Saliva defends your mouth against cavities. To understand how, we must first understand how cavities form in the first place.

Cavities are holes in the tooth enamel. Bacteria in your mouth eat away at tooth enamel, eventually causing a hole to form. The cavity can also form due to acid erosion from external acidic sources, such as lemon juice, soda, energy drinks, or sports drinks.

Saliva, however, helps to neutralize cavity-causing acids. It also washes away the food debris that bacteria feed on. This helps prevent cavities from forming.

Chewing sugarless gum prevents cavities by stimulating saliva flow. Of course, chewing other types of gum or candy also stimulates saliva flow. However, the sugars present in the gum provide food for the bacteria that produce acid. This negates the benefits of chewing gum in the first place. Stick to sugarless gum for a happy, healthy mouth this season!

Dr. Tran Dang and our team look forward to making your smile shine! For more information, call Forever Teeth in Decatur, Texas, at 940-626-4441.