sugar free gum: a good thing

Great news for gum chewers: a recent study from the journal PLOS One found that chewing a single piece of gum for just ten minutes can trap up to 100 million bacteria in your mouth –– making the whole process nearly as effective as flossing.

Researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands had volunteers chew gum for varying amounts of time. They found the optimal time for trapping bacteria was less than a minute.

So chew away. And keep these two important details in mind: make sure the gum is sugar free and and spit it out in ten minutes or less. Oh –– and don’t give up the brush OR the floss. For more details, see the complete study here.