The pandemic is slowing down, hence there are more opportunities for families to eat out during the summer vacation. How should one maintain a good habit of cleaning your teeth after meals? The 4th is Valentine's Day in Taiwan. Many couples choose to eat out to share a romantic Valentine's Day meal together, but they are inevitably worried about the bad taste in their mouths after the meal. At the beginning of the year, the Extra® Oral Healthcare Program conducted an oral health questionnaire survey on young people aged 18 to 30 in Taiwan, showing that 64% of the young people surveyed suffered from bad breath. Of those people surveyed, 45% (44.8%) believe that bad breath has affected their intimate relationships and/or interactions with their partners.
After an in-depth investigation, it was found that when young people faced the problem of bad breath, they would improve their bad breath by increasing the frequency of brushing their teeth (56.2%), using fluoride-containing mouthwash (49.0%), and chewing sugar-free chewing gum (44.0%). However, nearly 70% (68.7%) of people would give the highest priority to using sugar-free chewing gum to solve the problem of bad breath after eating or eating heavy-tasting food.
Dentist Wen-Jie Guo, executive director of the Oral Health Committee of Taiwan Dental Association and director of SUPREME DENTAL CENT, reminded us that the causes of bad breath are complex. The first step is to seek out a professional diagnosis from a dentist to determine whether it is being caused by an oral disease.
Fluoride mouthwash or chewing sugar-free gum improves bad breath. However, if you are away from home or in a hurry to brush your teeth, you can chew sugar-free chewing gum after meals to help temporarily alleviate the problem of bad breath. In addition, according to empirical medical literature, if you can continue to chew sugar-free chewing gum for 20 minutes after eating, it can neutralize the pH value within the mouth and reduce the incidence of tooth decay by 28%.
Dentist Wen-Jie Guo observed that no matter if it is influenced by lifestyle or being unaware of the importance of oral health, oral cleaning after meals is often ignored by the public. Young students and busy office workers who value their appearance are often found in outpatient clinics with oral health problems such as dental cavities.
Therefore, dentist Wen-Jie Guo specifically reminded the public to regard oral health as part of one’s personal appearance on the eve of Valentine's Day. The most fundamental and most important thing in oral health care is correct oral hygiene, because the food residue in the mouth after eating will lead to a rapid drop in the pH value of the oral cavity.
If an oral cavity is in an acidic state for a long period of time, it can easily cause tooth erosion and breed plaque. It can lead to serious decalcification of teeth and tooth decay and other problems, thus affecting overall oral health. Dentist Wen-Jie Guo emphasized that people should brush their teeth at least twice a day, especially before going to bed, and they should also brush their teeth for at least 2 minutes after each meal using a toothpaste with a concentration of 1,000 ppm or more of fluoride ions.
However, if it is inconvenient to brush your teeth after eating, it is recommended to stimulate the secretion of saliva by chewing sugar-free chewing gum. Saliva contains calcium ions and phosphorus ions, which can help to neutralize acidity in the mouth, reduce the occurrence of dental caries, and relieve bad mouth odor after eating.
For three consecutive years, the latest evidence-based medical literature research from King's College London has confirmed the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum:
- Chewing sugar-free gum can effectively reduce the incidence of tooth decay by 28% (2020)
- Chewing sugar-free gum can effectively control the number of carcinogenic bacteria (2021)
- Chewing sugar-free gum can effectively reduce plaque count (2022)
According to evidence-based medical literature published in the March 2022 issue of "Frontiers in Oral Health," chewing sugar-free gum reduces the amount of plaque in the mouth. Also published by King's College London, UK, is evidence-based medical literature published in the British Biomedical Center Oral Health Journal (BMC Oral Health) in April 2021, showing that chewing sugar-free gum can effectively control the number of cariogenic bacteria (mutant Streptococcus) in the mouths of adults and children.
Also, the Journal of Clinical and Translational Research in the Journal of Dental Research (JDR Clin Trans Res.) published in 2020, published evidence that chewing sugar-free chewing gum is effective in reducing the incidence of tooth decay. Their research looked at more than 360 related articles of literature published from 1946-2018. A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, examining and comparing sugar-free gum chewing and non-sugar-free gum chewing in adults and children, found that sugar-free gum chewing was effective in reducing the incidence of tooth decay by 28%. Moreover, it can be used as an adjunct to oral preventive care.
According to the empirical medical literature published by King's College London for three consecutive years, chewing sugar-free chewing gum can reduce the number of dental plaque and cariogenic bacteria, and effectively reduce the incidence of tooth decay by 28%, thus confirming the benefits of chewing sugar-free chewing gum.
During holidays pertaining to intimate partners, maintaining fresh breath can prevent intimate relationships from hitting a landmine. So, if you can maintain good oral hygiene habits, it can also help with interpersonal relationships. Dentist Wen-Jie Guo reminded the public to implement the "Four Rules of Loving Teeth" in their daily lives, maintain correct oral health habits, and remember the four-character formula of "examination, brushing, flossing, and chewing", including 1. Regular oral "examination"; 2. Use fluoride toothpaste to "brush" your teeth in the morning and evening; 3. Use dental floss (stick) every day; 4. Chew sugar-free gum or use fluoride-containing mouthwash after eating and drinking. Through proper methods of persistently cleaning and maintaining dental health, you can have a healthy life with quality and good interpersonal relationships.