Chewing Gum and Drinking Coffee: Bad Habits with Healthy Side Effects

Hello again, people of Houston. Welcome back to Antoine Dental Center’s blog. This is only one of the many ways we help you stay healthy and feeling great. Information is the most powerful weapon in the fight against tooth decay, gum disease, and any other threat to your oral health. Truthful, practical, and detailed information from the experts at Antoine Dental Care will help you keep your teeth in your head longer, for a more fulfilling life. Having your natural teeth will not only allow you the freedom to eat the healthy foods of your choice, but they will be a source of pride worth smiling about for years to come.

But sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to protect your oral health. Certainly, you know to brush your teeth and floss two times a day or more, and you likely avoid tooth damagers like sugary sodas and hard candy. At times it seems you can’t have any fun or enjoy your favorite foods without sacrificing your oral health. The truth is, however, as long as you exercise some moderation and keep up with healthy oral hygiene habits, few things are going to irrevocably damage your smile.

In fact, some food items that are considered bad for your teeth, or your health in general, can even provide some healthy benefits, if used wisely.

Drinking Coffee Can Stain Your Teeth …

It’s no secret that coffee is one of the most powerful tooth stainers there is. It is high in acid, which softens the enamel and makes it more receptive to staining. Also, coffee contains some very dark pigments that get caught in the enamel. After repeatedly drinking coffee the pigment will build up on your teeth, causing yellow stains to darken your smile a few shades. And don’t think that mixing your coffee with milk or creamer will lessen the effect; that’s just a myth.

But It Can Also Prevent Tooth Decay.

Despite the negative effects coffee has on the color of your teeth, a recent study has shown that it may help prevent tooth decay. Scientist found that roasted coffee beans have a deterrent effect on dental caries, the bacteria that cause tooth decay.

This is good news for coffee drinkers, but only if you take your coffee black with no sugar. The various additives most people put in their coffee, from flavored creamer and syrups, to steamed milk and whipped cream, and cinnamon and good old fashioned sugar, all have some serious negative effects on your oral health. These completely negate any health benefits drinking coffee may provide. So, if you want your morning cup of joe to help you fight cavities, you better learn to like it bold and bitter.

Chewing Sugarless Gum Causes Jaw Pain and Headaches…

Chewing gum has been around for thousands of years, and any gum you chew that contains sugar is bad for your teeth, no question. The only plus side is that it usually doesn’t take long to chew the sugar out of the gum, but by that time the damage is done, unless you immediately brush your teeth and drink a large glass of water.

But even sugarless gum can cause some oral health problems, especially when done for long periods of time on a regular basis. The repeated chewing motion can wear out your jaw muscles. They are just like any other muscle in that constant use will cause strain and fatigue. This can lead to soreness in the jaw, the neck, and even cause headaches.

But It Can Also Keep Your Teeth Clean After a Meal

It is unwise to brush your teeth immediately after eating. The acids in the food you just ate may have weakened your tooth enamel, so brushing right away can cause some serious damage to your teeth. But that doesn’t mean you have to just let the sugar and acid take its toll on your teeth.

Chewing sugarless gum for about twenty minutes after eating a meal will kick you saliva production into overdrive. The gum will pull food debris off of your teeth while the saliva washes away sugar and neutralizes acid. Chewing gum along with drinking water will clean your mouth of all the threat to your oral health, so you don’t have to wait to brush to take care of your teeth.

Don’t Put Off Visits to Antoine Dental Center

The best way to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy is to come into our office in Houston for regular cleanings and examinations.

So, contact us today to make an appointment.