Just as long as there’s no sugar in it, chewing gum can be absolutely fantastic for oral health and hygiene. To such an extent that the vast majority of dentists and experts worldwide comprehensively recommend chewing sugar-free gum throughout the day.
Of course, this isn’t to say that even the best gum in the world can make up for a generally poor oral hygiene regime. Chew all you like, but you’ll still need to use a dentist recommended electric toothbrush, quality toothpaste, effective mouthwash and so on to keep things in check. Nevertheless, chewing between meals has been proven in countless studies to help reduce plaque build-up, eliminate bacteria and generally keep the mouth much cleaner and fresher.
So as something of a celebration of the oral health marvel that is chewing gum, we thought we’d share a few interesting facts and figures about this curious creation. Something we take entirely for granted these days, but is nonetheless one of the most universally popular products of its kind in the whole world.
Once again, the key to maximising the potential benefits of chewing gum lies in ensuring it’s sugar-free. Next time you reach for a pack and make with the chewing, consider the following and you may find yourself with a newfound appreciation for every stick of gum in your pocket:
- On a global basis, somewhere in the region of 100,000 tonnes of chewing gum and bubble gum are consumed every year. What’s more, this impressive figure is continually increasing as more people recognise the benefits of chewing sugar-free gum.
- If the Guinness Book of World Records is to be believed, the largest bubble-gum bubble furthermore blown came in at 23 inches across. If this doesn’t sound too impressive, just try eating it for yourself!
- Far from a new invention, history suggests that chewing gum in one form or another has been around since ancient Greek times. At which point it was used primarily for stress reduction and relaxation.
- If you’ve ever wondered why most bubble-gum tends to be pink, this is because the bubble-gum invented was launched exclusively in pink. The reason being that pink was the only colour the inventor had access to at the time.
- And just in case you wondered, the first commercial bubble-gum to be released anywhere in the world was called ‘Blibber-Blubber’.
- Chewing gum can also be great for exercising the jaw muscles. In fact, scientists have suggested that the amount of energy expended each day by Americans chewing gum would be enough to light a city of ten million inhabitants!
- If you ever find yourself with chewing gum or bubble-gum stuck in your hair, one of the best ways of getting rid of it is to smother it with peanut butter. How you then get rid of the peanut butter is entirely down to you!
- According to a recent survey, the average North American adult chews approximately 300 pieces of gum every year.
- Due to excessive clean-up costs, Singapore once considered outlawing chewing gum and bubble gum in a number of areas across the country. A pretty extreme idea, but at the same time, everyone knows just how disgusting irresponsibly discarded chewing gum can be.
- Bubble-gum experienced something of a peak in popularity around the 1940s. To such an extent that it found itself being included in the standard ration packs of US soldiers operating overseas.
- One of the most common myths about chewing gum is that if you accidentally swallow it, it will stick around in your digestive system for at least seven years. If not permanently. In reality, while it’s true to say that some of the fibres in chewing gum cannot be digested, it nonetheless gets passed through your system pretty efficiently and rapidly.
- Kids represent one of the biggest markets for chewing gum and bubble-gum on a global basis. To such an extent that in the United States alone, kids spend somewhere in the region of $500 million on chewing gum and bubble gum each year.
- Over in Africa, history has shown that certain tribes were once willing to accept copious amounts of bubble-gum as payment for a wife, in the absence of the usual sheep and oxen.
- According to many of the world’s most dedicated bubble-blowing fanatics, the perfect recipe for blowing the biggest bubbles possible is a combination of five pieces of bubble-gum and a teaspoon of peanut butter. Unfortunately, this probably isn’t going to work wonders for your oral health!
- Speaking of dedicated fanatics, the current world record in terms of chewing gum ‘consumption’ is held by one Richard Walker. A feat that makes your jaw ache at the thought of it, he chewed an impressive 135 sticks of gum over a period of 8 hours.
- Though certainly not an effective cure for depression, chewing gum apparently has the ability to prevent or reduce the likelihood of crying. All of which is attributed to the way in which it focuses concentration and reduces stress.
- Not only this, but there’s also a fair amount of evidence to suggest that chewing gum while peeling onions will help prevent crying. Little to no scientific evidence, but in terms of anecdotal evidence, it’s a preventative measure millions swear by.
- The oldest piece of chewing gum currently in existence in the world is thought to be approximately 9000 years old.
- While chewing gum sales remain consistently high throughout the year, there are always enormous spikes in sales worldwide between Halloween and Christmas.
- Last but not least, while chewing gum may be extremely popular worldwide among human beings, that’s where its appeal comes to an end. Human beings are the only organisms on earth who chew gum.