Breath Mints or Chewing Gum: Which Is Best?

March 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drnewman @ 8:09 am
Someone chewing gum

After a big meal it’s common to seek relief for less-than-fresh breath. Many people instinctively reach for a breath mint, assuming it’s a harmless solution. However, not all breath fresheners are created equal, especially when it comes to their impact on dental health. Let’s explore the nuances between breath mints and chewing gum, and determine which option is better for your teeth.

The Pitfalls of Sugar

One of the major concerns with traditional breath mints is their sugar content. Surprisingly, some mints contain as much sugar as candy, contributing to the formation of decay-causing plaque. This plaque buildup not only compromises oral health but also leads to more persistent bad breath over time. Therefore, it’s crucial to limit consumption of sugary mints, along with other sources of added sugars in your diet.

The Benefits of Sugar-Free Alternatives

Opting for sugar-free mints is a smarter choice for maintaining dental health. Without sugar, these mints don’t provide fuel for plaque buildup. Furthermore, sugar-free mints often contain xylitol, a natural sweetener that has been shown to reduce cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth. By choosing sugar-free options, you can enjoy fresher breath without compromising your dental hygiene.

Chewing Gum: A Dental Ally

For those who prefer chewing gum, sugar-free varieties offer additional benefits for oral health. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps rinse away food particles and neutralize acids that contribute to plaque formation. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes after meals can effectively clean teeth and reduce the risk of cavities. However, it’s important to note that chewing gum should complement, not replace, regular brushing and flossing habits.

In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between breath mints and chewing gum, prioritize options that are sugar-free. By making mindful choices for your dental health, you can enjoy fresh breath and a brighter smile for years to come.

About the Author

Dr. Ira Newman, a native New Yorker from Queens, earned his dental degree from Emory University School of Dentistry after studying at SUNY-Binghamton. Following his education, he completed a residency at NYU College of Dentistry/Bellevue Hospital Center. With a rich background in dentistry, Dr. Newman has served as a clinical instructor at NYU and is currently the chief of laser dentistry at Northwell Hospital/Manhasset. With two decades of private practice experience in Manhattan and Long Island, Dr. Newman is a recognized expert in modern dental technologies, appearing on major news outlets and contributing nationally through publications and lectures.

If you have any questions about how to keep your smile healthy, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (212) 924-6890.

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