A trip to get my teeth cleaned the other day left me questioning my entire existence. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but Dr. Dentist definitely left me astonished. She admitted chewing Mentos gum has a similar effect to brushing teeth when it comes to fighting cavities. Actually, not just Mentos – anything with xylitol as the main (or one of the first) ingredients does the trick.
Xylitol, found in corncobs and trees, is a naturally occurring carbohydrate that substitutes sugar in many foods. Its physical characteristics are identical to traditional sugar, which is why it is used so often. Well, that and because it is an excellent plaque preventer and cavity fighter – plus, it’s naturally produced in our bodies. Yay for familiar compounds!
If you’re interested in the chemical way this sweetener attacks tooth decay read on. If not, keep scrolling for a short list of my favorite xylitol-filled gums to munch on in between flossings.
Consuming xylitol increases saliva production. Even better, xylitol energizes the bacteria in your mouth and allows them to multiply and naturally attack the tooth enamel with their acids. “Because bacteria in the mouth aren’t able to digest xylitol, this sweetener inhibits the growth of these microorganisms and reduces the production of destructive acids.” Talk about superfood, amiright?
My Fab Five:
1. Pür Gum
Pür is vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut and peanut free. This is perfect for when I’m around my mom because she’s allergic to everything.
Made in the USA! Three cheers for supporting the national economy!
3. Glee Gum
Glee comes in 9 (yes 9!) flavors, 3 of which contain xylitol as its only sweetener.
Spry actually has a whole line dedicated to dental care. I love that their gum works hand in hand with their toothpaste and mouthwash!
5. Simply Gum (Kourtney Kardashian’s favorite).
Vouched for by Kourtney, my favorite Kardashian…need I say more?
Side note: don’t forget to look out for the ADA seal when picking your chewing gums! The Seal is your assurance that the Sugar-free Chewing Gum has met the ADA criteria for safety and efficacy. Happy chewing!