Are Chewing Gums Safe for Kids?

Are Chewing Gums Safe for Kids

The issue of whether young children should be permitted to chew gum is quite problematic for parents. The general assumption is that kids cannot chew gum until they reach an understanding of its hazards, which is typically when they are about five years old. Furthermore, it’s advisable to begin with half a stick so as to minimise the chance of swallowing it.

This, however, does not mean that all gums are harmful to children. In order to ensure their pleasure without compromising safety, one only has to be cautious in selecting the finest chewing gum for children.

Also Read: Common Dental Problems in Children

Advantages of Chewing Gum for Children

  • It is a fact that sugar-free chewing gums are good for us since they cause a rise in saliva levels, neutralise acids within our mouths and eliminate particles of food stuck between the teeth. While doing all this they actually help in reducing dental decay and improve oral hygiene in general. On the other hand, this is not true for sugary chewing gums as they can cause tooth decay.
  • There are also some gums that contain xylitol which is healthy and prevents tooth decay at the same time.
  • It has been statistically proven that gum chewing on a daily basis improves memory, and helps to focus more effectively.
  • Additionally, it can prevent one from feeling sick when travelling long distances.

Though it is good for the kids’ dental health; it would be wise if children consumed not more than two pieces each day.

Problems With Chewing Gum for Children

  • In cases where children indulge in excessive gum chewing, it can cause strain to the jaw and prevent proper tooth alignment.
  • It can cause several dental and health problems, such as abdominal pain, ulcers, digestive tract issues and temporomandibular joint disorders.
  • Children under the age of three years might choke when they chew gum. Headaches, diarrhoea and nausea may be caused by sugarless gum sweeteners in case they are swallowed.

Hence, it is very crucial to always choose an appropriate gum for chewing and keep track of how often it is used.

Also Read: What Is Dental Care

Types of Gum Suitable for Kids

All chewing gums are not the same, so parents need to be careful in choosing those that are gentle on their teeth and do not cause any adverse side effects. They should ensure that their kid only has healthy chewing gum and gum that is good for your teeth.

  1. Sugar-Free Gum
  2. Chewing gums without sugar are considered safe for children and recommended brands are Trident, Spry, Epic Dental or Orbit Kids. These chewing gums have sweetening agents such as xylitol that are safe for children and also prevent teeth from decaying. They are specially made for children and help maintain oral hygiene.

  3. Natural and Organic Gums
  4. There are also natural and organic chewing gums if you do not like man-made flavourings. They are produced from natural gum without including any chemicals, artificial colours or sweeteners. Instead, they are flavoured with natural fruit extracts and are both healthier and environment-friendly.

  5. Fruit-Flavoured Gum
  6. Various fruit-flavoured gums are available in a range of sugar-free options that are tasty and safe for children. Just be careful to choose sugar-free chewing gums with natural flavours.

  7. Dental Chewing Gums
  8. Dental chewing gums are made specifically to assist in the maintenance of dental and oral healthcare. They commonly have ingredients like calcium and xylitol that help reduce plaque deposition while making our teeth strong by resisting erosion as well. However, with moderation, they become useful, especially among older children who aim at improving oral hygiene.

Also Read: What Happens If Kids Don’t Brush Their Teeth?

Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Chewing Gum for Kids

  • A toddler shouldn’t be allowed to chew gum until they’re at least five years old as by then they learn to chew gum properly without swallowing it.
  • By the age of five years, kids begin to get permanent teeth and it is a good time to encourage them to consume sugar-free gum.
  • If your kid swallows gum, it usually isn’t dangerous unless they swallow a significant amount. But keep a lookout for symptoms like constipation or stomach pain as that could be a symptom of an obstruction in the intestines. Consult a paediatrician immediately if you observe these symptoms.
  • There is no specific amount of correct time to chew gum but it is believed that it’s best to chew it at least 20 minutes after eating to stimulate saliva production.
  • You can get xylitol sugar-free gum in many different forms and it is safe for children. It stimulates the production of saliva and reduces tooth decay. Chewing gum with xylitol must be kept out of the reach of pets as it is very poisonous to dogs.
  • Chewing gum needs to be consumed in moderation because too much can bring about temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems like pain associated with chewing and sometimes even headaches, although such cases are rare.
  • Most bubble gums are sweetened with sugar.
  • Tooth enamel is eroded by this acid produced by bacteria that are activated in teeth by these gums when sweetened with sugar.
  • Therefore, warn your child about the consequences of eating sugary gum so that they think of getting a xylitol-flavoured one.
  • Advise them to either brush their teeth or use water to rinse their mouth to lessen the impact of chewing gum.

Many children find bubble gum too hard to resist. In addition, parents need to know what type of gum is chewed by their children, how often and for how long it stays in their mouths. It is essential to strike a balance and make informed choices concerning what you let them consume. Some advantages associated with sugar-free chewing gums. At the same time, consider your child’s age and favourite type of gum as well as how many times they should chew it so that it doesn’t become detrimental to them. Chewing gum moderately contributes positively towards oral hygiene. Should you have any doubts regarding your child’s teeth, please talk with experienced health providers or stay informed with the latest updates. Parents who would like more details about which kind of chewing gum is safe and effective should go online to the EuroSchool website.

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