Chew away! Mom’s, don’t be too quick to say no when your child picks up a pack of gum in the grocery check-out isle. Studies show that chewing gum that contains Xylitol has health benefits. It helps salivary glands produce saliva, and saliva has important nutrients such as calcium, phosphate, and fluoride. These nutrients help with re-mineralizing the teeth, which helps prevent cavities. In fact, when Xylitol gum is chewed consistently for months, it actually reduces the amount of plaque on the teeth.
Mother’s with children from birth to two years old are recommended to chew Xylitol gum 3-5 times daily to prevent the transmission of Streptococcus Mutans from mother to child! This is a fragile age when the bacteria that cause cavities colonize the mouth, and the use of Xylitol can prevent the colonization of the cavity-causing bacteria and help prevent future dental problems for the child.