(HealthDay News) -- Chewing gum has been around since ancient times. Originally made from natural products, today's gums are combinations of synthetic materials.
Some chewing gums may help protect your teeth, the American Dental Association says. The organization says it grants its Seal of Acceptance to companies that provide scientific proof that their products are safe and effective in protecting teeth.
The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva, which can neutralize and wash away harmful acids that are produced when food is chewed and broken down.
The ADA recommends brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and using dental floss once daily.
And while chewing gum should not replace brushing and flossing, the ADA cites clinical research showing that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal may also help prevent tooth decay.