One method used to maintain astronauts’ oral health isn’t exactly rocket science. It’s sugarless chewing gum-and it’s not only been linked to healthy teeth, it’s been found to have a number of other benefits as well.
Here’s a closer look:
Out Of This World
In 1964, NASA began giving astronauts sugarless chewing gum for their space missions. Since the astronauts were fed through a tube, their gums tended to swell because they were not actually chewing their food. Chewing gum helped keep their teeth and gums healthy and strong.
Healthy Smile, Healthy Body
Sugar-free gum has been shown to help reduce the incidence of tooth decay–a condition believed to affect half of all adults and to be the most common chronic childhood disease of childhood. It’s estimated that Americans spend $60 billion a year to treat tooth decay-and it is money well spent. Tooth decay can cause tooth loss, which can lead to malnutrition.
More Reason To Smile
The health benefits of gum don’t stop there. The makers of Trident sugarless gum, Cadbury Adams USA LLC also offer a product called Trident White. According to Cadbury Adams-the U.S. business unit of confectionery and beverage leader Cadbury Schweppes (NYSE: CSG)–the gum not only whitens teeth and helps prevent stains, it also provides additional oral health benefits. It features Recaldent, a remineralizing ingredient that helps strengthen teeth. The gum’s whitening agent is completely nonabrasive (unlike gums that use baking soda to whiten) and does not contribute to tooth sensitivity.
Chew To A New You
An added benefit of chewing gum: It’s low in calories. Sugar free gum usually has about five calories. That means it can be a smart way for dieters to help satisfy snack cravings. For instance, Trident Splash is a sugar-free gum that Cadbury Adams says was actually designed to be a great tasting snack alternative that’s good for your teeth. The gum is a unique combination of textures-a liquid center surrounded by soft, chewy gum and a sweet, crispy outer shell-and it comes in two surprising flavors: peppermint with vanilla and strawberry with lime.
Not Just Lip Service
According to the National Association of Chewing Gum Manufacturers, chewing gum:
• Relaxes and eases tension
• Helps concentration
• Helps people resist the urge to smoke
• Reduces ear discomfort when flying
• Cleans teeth after meals.