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Can sugarless gum cause cavities?
Q: Does chewing gum, even if it's sugarless, increase the chance that my child will have cavities? What about chewing caramels and other hard candies? What is a good alternative to substitute for their cravings? I'd like to give them something that's not bad for their teeth when we have to be quiet in church or the library. Please give me some suggestions.
Destiny Mt. Holly
A: I get asked this question almost every day. The truth is, chewing some types of gum can actually be good for teeth. Gum that contains xylitol and/or Recaldent™ can help inhibit cavities from forming. It works in two ways: The sweeteners xylitol and sorbitol decrease decay. And the increase in saliva production associated with chewing the gum helps reduce the amount of cavities formed.