As organic fresh breath ambassadors, we’re always on the hunt for natural, healthy chewing gum substitutes. While some swear by bubble blowing and others find the sticky habit to be incredibly annoying, one thing we can all agree on is that fresh breath shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. The unfortunate truth, however, is that most commercial chewing gums are actually doing more damage than good.
On the bright side, there are plenty of safe, healthy chewing gum alternatives in all different shapes, forms and flavors. We’ll get to those in just a minute, but first let’s take a look at why seeking out a healthy chewing gum substitute is so important in the first place.
CHEWING GUM AND CHEMICALS
The following is just a few of the scary but common ingredients found in most gum brands:
Titanium Dioxide – A whitening agent linked to asthma, Crohn’s disease and cancer.
Gum Base – A nasty blend of resins and plasticizers that put the “chew” in chewing gum. Manufacturers are secretive about the exact ingredients that go into this base, which is just a little bit terrifying.
Butylated Hydroxytoluene – Or BHT, a toxic preservative used in embalming fluid. No joke.
Even the sugar-free brands often contain toxic artificial sweeteners like Aspartame. Aspartame is linked to a myriad of health concerns and is capable of triggering many serious diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, epilepsy and Parkinson’s.
CHEWING GUM AND TMJ
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a painful condition of the jaw that effects your ability to chew, yawn and speak. Chewing gum can trigger this disorder due to the overuse of jaw muscles, causing all kinds of uncomfortable side effects like headaches, toothaches and earaches.
CHEWING GUM AND YOUR GUTS
Chewing gum tricks your body into thinking it’s getting food. It starts producing all the enzymes and acids needed in the digestion process. But when the food never comes, your body gets a little annoyed. The natural processes meant to aid digestion begin to backfire, causing bloating, heartburn and flatulence. If you continue to confuse your body by chewing gum, overtime it will struggle to digest properly, even when you are eating real food. And when food isn’t digested properly all kinds of painful and embarrassing problems occur (yes, we are referring to diarrhea).
CHEWING GUM AND YOUR BREATH
Contrary to what you’ve been told by advertisers, gum doesn’t cure bad breath. It merely masks it temporarily. This means that after a short while, you’ll be reaching for another pack. This makes marketers happy, but it won’t make your kisses any sweeter. So let’s talk about what will!
HEALTHY CHEWING GUM ALTERNATIVES
Thankfully there are plenty of ways to freshen your breath safely and naturally. Take your pick of these super healthy, blissfully-natural substitutes for chewing gum and enjoy fresh breath with zero risk!
You either love licorice or you hate it. If you’re in the former category, lucky you. Licorice is a tasty treat that not only tastes great (to half the population) but also reduces instances of bad breath. Just chew a little of this all-natural quick fix, enjoy the flavor, and cover up bad breath.
Not just for decoration at fancy pants restaurants, Parsley is nature’s cure for halitosis. Chew a fresh sprig of parsley (the chlorophyll inside neutralizes the odor in your mouth), then go out and get kiss-y – if you choose.
Not to toot our own horn (TOOT!) but why chew gum when you can suck on (or chew) an organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan mint? Chock full of natural ingredients and void of any of the synthetics fund in chewing gum, VerMints are a great (and healthful) alternative.
Like we said, nature has you covered. Instead of getting jaw fatigue from all that chewing, swig back a cool glass of water and refresh your breath instantly! It’s free. It’s good for you. It’s fast. Need we say more?
Toss a piece of ginger in your next glass of water or in your tea. If you’re brave (and you like a whole lotta spice), chew on a fresh piece of ginger. Or, pop a Gingermint in your mouth and let the spice neutralize what you’ve got going on in there.
When you just need to chew, our good pals over at Glee Gum is the answer. Glee Gum is non-GMO, non-synthetic and 100% delicious.
And when all else fails and you're caught in a pinch (or more specifically, a first date at an Italian restaurant), we've put together a handy list of natural, on-the-spot, fresh breath hacks here. Fresh breath forever!