What brand of chewing gum is best for one's teeth?
October 23, 2013 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I want to start chewing gum. Help me pick a brand.

When I'm reading, I find I'm always distractedly doing something I shouldn't - picking my toes or at my beard, munching on candy, etc.

I recall descriptions of research in which they've found that doing these fidgety things helps some people concentrate. Since, as the Umpalumpas say, it brightens your smile, I'd like to try chewing gum instead of these other less intentional fidgets.

Please help me pick a brand that isn't detrimental to my oral hygiene.

posted by colin_l to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Look for a gum with xylitol as the primary sweetener. My dentist's office sells Spry, but I find it doesn't last very long. Here is a list from a quick google search; there might be other brands out there that are good.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 7:22 AM on October 23, 2013

Best answer: My aunt who is a dental hygienist also recommends gum with xylitol.
posted by kimdog at 7:26 AM on October 23, 2013

Best answer: My dentist is big on xylitol as well
posted by TedW at 7:31 AM on October 23, 2013

Best answer: My son's dentist also recommends xylitol gum, specifically that I give him a piece to chew on the way to school since we have a lot of trouble getting him to brush twice a day. We use Glee or regular Trident sugarfree, largely because they're easy to find in regular stores.
posted by anastasiav at 7:32 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

I buy pellet-style Trident in the 80-count resealable bag, which is more cost-effective and has less packaging waste than the individual packs at the checkout line. (Sugarfree, contains xylitol.) I don't really like stick gum because it tends to get soft and mushy and stick to the wrapper, and if a stick falls out in my bag it gets all grimy and sticky and gross. So pellets it is, for convenience's sake.

Be mindful of your gum-chewing, though, so you don't start loudly chomping or smacking or get a jaw-ache.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:35 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I found xylitol bloating, so beware.
posted by Dragonness at 7:53 AM on October 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Xylitol can be very toxic for dogs in pretty small doses. If you have a dog that is prone to eat things that he or she shouldn't eat, be very careful with your pack of gum.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:56 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Xylitol gives me the runs, so I second Dragonness's beware.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 7:57 AM on October 23, 2013

Clove gum is great. Hard to find, though.

Xylitol is very dangerous for dogs, just so you know. Do not let any dogs enjoy the tooth whitening properties of Xylitol.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:01 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: We have a gum and candy drawer in our office that I keep regularly stocked with about 17000 different brands/flavors of gum to cater to the various whims of our employees. I have sampled many different brands and varieties of gum in the past few months.

Trident in stick form has the longest-lasting flavor of any of the ones I've tried. Orbit probably comes in second. Extra is the worst.
posted by phunniemee at 8:07 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Peppersmith has literally had the nod from my dentist, plus it's pretty natural - I love it.
posted by greenish at 8:32 AM on October 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Good ol' Trident is sugar-free with xylitol, and you can get it everywhere.
posted by gnutron at 8:33 AM on October 23, 2013

Clove gum is great. Hard to find, though.

Clove gum is sugar-based, and therefore not the best for your teeth.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:54 AM on October 23, 2013

Careful with the pellet gum. The hard coating chipped one of my teeth. (That may be partially because I left my container in the car so it was extra cold, but I haven't touched it to this day on principle.) So, I'd recommend stick gum if I were you, sugarfree with Xylitol of course. I've been chewing Extra lately, in part because of the soft texture, but if you prefer a little firmer, good ol' Trident is fine.
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:10 AM on October 23, 2013

Best answer: This article from the New York Times recommends "gums with significant amounts of xylitol [such as] Xylichew, Xyloburst and Hershey’s Ice Breakers Ice Cube gum." I love Xylichew but at the moment it can be hard to find; don't give up, though, as they have a new US distributor and it should be available soon, if it isn't already. The lemon Ice Breakers are tasty; some people in the recent FPP about gummi bears said it gave them stomach problems, but I haven't had any issues with it.

It seems I keep up on gum news. I don't know how this happened.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:34 AM on October 23, 2013 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've been an every-waking-hour gum chewer for more than two decades. I've bounced between Orbit and Trident the last few years (sticks, not the pellets). Trident Minty Sweet Twist is my current go-to (or Orbit Sweetmint in a pinch). My dentists are always pleasantly surprised when my frequently delayed visits require little to no scraping. I credit the gum.
posted by the christopher hundreds at 12:16 PM on October 23, 2013

Response by poster: Many thanks, all.
posted by colin_l at 12:24 PM on October 23, 2013

FYI - sugar isn't bad for your teeth. Bacteria that feed on sugars are bad for your teeth. Clove oil is antibacterial (also antifungal and antiplasmodial, yum.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 1:02 PM on October 28, 2013

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