Is chewing gum bad for your teeth? Should I let my child chew gum?
To get right to the point, chewing gum is ok! In fact, there are studies that indicate chewing gum stimulates salivary flow and inhibits the bacteria that cause tooth decay. This is especially useful when chewed right after a meal. Of course, brushing right after would be the best, but we do not always have a toothbrush and paste at the local steak house.
The only case where I would suggest no gum are young children that might choke on the wad of gum. I would also suggest a teenager who has bad TMJ problems to lay off the constant chewing of gum so as not to aggravate the problem.
Of course, I would advise sugarless gum, that's a no brainer. In fact, gum with the artificial sweetener Xylitol* has been shown to be particularly beneficial. Trident with Recaldent (casein phosphopeptide), which is a milk based protein, seems to help in the remineralization process to prevent decay.
So, yes, enjoy that (sugarless) gum!
*Here is a link to the AAPD Statement on Xylitol Gum
**Oh, do not give Xylitol to dogs, it can make them very sick.