Is Chewing Gum Good for You? A Dental Equipment Company Weighs In

Despite the seemingly never-ending list of foods that cause cavities, there are a few examples of foods that do benefit your teeth: cheese, nuts, and leafy greens among them. What about chewing gum? Some would argue it’s not exactly a food, but the question of whether it’s good for you us something I’ve wondered. It turns out, as one dental equipment company writes, that gum can be good for your teeth; but there’s a catch.

When Chewing Gum is Good for You

The answer to the question of whether chewing gum is good for you depends on the ingredients.

What goes into chewing gum has changed drastically over the years. Originally, gum was derived mainly from chiclet, a sap-like substance harvested from the Mayan Riviera region of Mexico. In the 20th century, companies started adding sugar to make the product more appealing (and addictive) and many switched from natural chiclet to artificial, rubber-like substances.

If you’ve ever been to the dentist, you’re well aware of the dangers sugar poses to your teeth. The starchy residue it leaves on your teeth is what fuels the growth of plaque-causing bacteria that leads to tooth decay. But there are sweeteners that don’t have this effect, like Xylitol.

Xylitol is a naturally-occurring compound that has actually been shown to prevent tooth decay. How? As this dental equipment company writes, Xylitol fights bacteria by “disrupting their energy production processes, leading to futile energy cycle and cell death.”

In other words, gum sweetened with Xylitol can kill off plaque-causing bacteria.

Of course, chewing gum is no substitute for regular brushing and flossing. However, it can be used as a way of preventing bacteria at times when you can’t step out to brush your teeth, like the short window of time between meetings at the office.

My next question was going to be whether the action of chewing gum is good for your jaw which seems to be debateable. I was not able to find any scientific answers on this question – just a ridiculous Reddit thread and a topic on Quora.

Still, it’s interesting to know that what was once considered a bad habit can actually be good for your teeth, in some circumstances.

Another interesting note I came across while looking into this topic is the fact that chewing gum sales have been in steep decline for some time now. Twenty years from now, kids might not even know what gum is.

Moving to Guelph From Out-of-Province? Know Which Services OHIP Does and Does Not Cover

Most Canadians are proud of their universal healthcare system, but there are limitations as to which services the government provides coverage for in each province. Many people in Ontario are surprised to learn what services OHIP does and does not cover. Know which services OHIP doesn’t cover before you book an appointment for counselling, physiotherapy, or osteopathy in Guelph.

Services OHIP Covers

The following services are covered by OHIP in almost all circumstances:

  • Prescription drugs inside a hospital
  • Hospital visits and stays (including meals and accommodation)
  • Medical or surgical abortions
  • Podiatry
  • Travel costs for Northern Ontario residents who must travel for speciality care

Services OHIP Does not Cover

OHIP does not provide coverage for the following, but many private insurers do:

  • Prescription drugs outside of a hospital
    OHIP does cover drugs administered inside of a hospital. However, prescription drugs to be taken at home are only covered for Ontarians over the age of 65. Children and youth under 25 can get limited coverage after they have exhausted any private insurance coverage.
  • Anti-smoking/Smoking cessation treatment
    Patches, pills, nicotine gum, and other medications designed to help people stop smoking must be paid for out-of-pocket. In rare cases, private insurance may cover these treatments.
  • Alternative medicine
    Traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, acupuncture, Reiki, and other unscientific methods are not covered by OHIP.
  • Cosmetic Surgery
    Elective surgical procedures that are cosmetic do not fall under OHIP coverage. This category includes cryotherapy for warts and circumcision.
  • Mental Health Treatment
    OHIP only covers treatment by a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or physician. Services of therapists, counsellors, and social workers are not covered.
  • Chiropractic Care
    OHIP covers spinal care when it is performed by a doctor, but not the services of a chiropractor.
  • Osteopathic Care
    Although you can access osteopathy in Guelph, osteopathic treatment is rarely covered by OHIP.

Services OHIP Covers Only Partially

Certain services receive partial coverage from OHIP under certain circumstances:

  • Physiotherapy
    Physiotherapy is covered for people under the age of 20 and over the age of 65, but young and middle-age adults usually pay for physio out-of-pocket.
  • Dental Care

Unless you are on social assistance, OHIP does not cover dental care. However, dental surgery performed in a hospital is covered.

  • Eye care
    OHIP covers one eye exam per year for people under 19 and over 65. For people between the age of 20 and 64, eye care is only covered if the individual has one of the following medical conditions: diabetes, glaucoma, cataract, retinal disease, amblyopia, visual field defects, corneal disease, strabismus, recurrent uveitis, or optic pathway disease.
  • Ambulance services

Ambulance services are covered if the individual is an Ontario resident with a valid health card who needs transportation from a hospital in Ontario to another hospital, and a physician deems the ambulance service necessary.

Obesity: Most Common Health Issue Worldwide

Obesity is one of the top leading conditions worldwide. With approximately 2.8 million people dying each year because of being overweight or obese. It is considered as epidemic extents globally to the high-income countries but also covered the low and middle-income countries.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), “The Obesity and Overweight mean as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fats that presents a risk to health. A simple population measure of obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in meters). Having a BMI of 30 or more is usually considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight.”

The factors that often contribute to obesity are the following:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Hormonal problems (for example, caused by hypothyroidism)
  • Problems with the metabolism, e.g. weight cycling (the so-called yo-yo effect)
  • Eating disorders (for example, binge eating disorder)
  • Consuming huge amount of alcoholic drinks
  • Psychological problems, like depression
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping problems
  • Lack of exercise
  • Genetics

In order to prevent and reduce being overweight or obese, supportive environments and communities have a huge role in people choices. Having healthier choices of food and regular physical activities are funded to be more accessible and affordable.

To achieve and have a positive result, people must:

  • increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, remember healthy and nutritious choices are available and reasonably priced to all consumers
  • stay away from eating fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods
  • consume and limit the right calories per day
  • small frequent feeding
  • do not skip meals
  • plan your meal ahead
  • no stress eating
  • drink more water daily
  • have adequate sleep
  • engage with regular or physical exercises (for example, walking, running, etc.)
  • have a workout buddy or group of people that can boost you up
  • a regular checkup from your doctor

To be able to fulfill the desire to lessen the weight, people need to be responsible and have the determination to have a healthier lifestyle. Changing is not instant. It takes time to achieve the desired weight goal. The importance is that have the willingness to change for your own benefit. It is not the norm that pushing people to become slim or be like a model but the fact that you can be healthy to avoid the diseases that can progress for being obese and to leave long is enough reason to lose weight. Also to be a better version of you.