A new study, published in the British Dental Journal, has revealed that up to £8.2 million of costs to the NHS –could be saved if twelve year olds across the UK were to increase their chewing of sugar free gum as part of a good oral health routine to help prevent tooth decay.
With the NHS facing a huge funding gap, new solutions – such as sugar free chewing gum – need to be considered to help tackle the preventable problem of tooth decay. While brushing for two minutes, twice a day is still the best way to keep teeth clean and healthy. Independent clinical research has shown that chewing sugar free gum for 20 minutes after eating or drinking helps neutralise plaque acid and can promote the remineralisation of tooth enamel. This research, conducted by the York Health Economics Consortium and Peninsula Dental School, Plymouth University, with support from The Wrigley Company Ltd, is the first of its kind in the UK. Study co-author Professor Liz Kay of Peninsula Dental School highlights, “Whilst these figures are significant, they refer only to cost reductions for treating 12 year olds in the UK – if this model was to be applied to the whole population then there is a real potential to create substantial NHS savings.”
So although this doesn’t suggest we can ignore the importance of good tooth brushing and sensible diet encouraging your child to chew sugar free gum after meals can help prevent tooth decay.