Would you rather chew gum or floss your teeth? And no, it’s not a trick question.
Gum-chewers, keep on chewin‘
According to a study published by science journal PLOS ONE, scientists say the act of chewing gum — sugar-free gum, of course — removes so much bacteria from the mouth that it can actually be comparable to flossing your teeth.
During the experiment, five people were asked to chew two types of spearmint gum, separately, for a certain period of time, and then the researchers analysed each chewed piece. They found that each piece contained almost 10 million bacteria — close to the amount removed by flossing.
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Now, while the researchers didn’t say you should STOP flossing, their data shows that chewing gum can apparently help remove a whole lot of bacteria living in your mouth that could eventually cause health problems.
So if you’re a gum-chewer, chew on. But until further notice, you shouldn’t kick your flossing habit quite yet.