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New research has revealed that children chewing sugarfree gum could possibly save the NHS as much as £14million. This comes after 35% of 12-year-olds said they have been embarrassed to laugh or smile because they teeth were not in great condition, according to government figures.
The study suggests that if all 12-year-olds chewed a single piece of sugar-free gum per day the NHS would be saving millions of pounds which currently go on treating decay and removing rotten teeth – even more money could be saved on two or three pieces of gum, one after each meal. The gum is thought to combat decay because it encourages the release of saliva in the mouth, which protects the teeth from plaque.
The research was carried out by Plymouth University’s Peninsula Dental School along with gum manufacturers The Wrigley Company and Professor Liz Kay describes the results as ‘hugely exciting’ as it is a very easy way to help children improve their oral health and avoid dental treatment. A spokesman for Plymouth University added that the gum is rarely mentioned, despite the fact that the new study suggests it has potential health benefits, saying that this treatment should be seriously considered to tackle levels of tooth decay.
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