Getting to Know Your Teeth: The History of Chewing Gum

kids-chewing-gumWhen you go to reach into your bag for a stick of gum the next time, you may be interested to know about the history of this delectable treat. Not only is chewing sugar-free gum a great way to freshen up your breath— can you say “  garlic burger?!”   yikes!–but sugar-free gum is also a great way to protect your teeth from developing cavities. Invented as a way to clean teeth and freshen breath, chewing gum has come a long way, but the concept is still the same. Read on to learn more.

Where Did It All Start?

When it comes down to the history of most things, it’s safe to say that a lot of it stems from ancient Greece. As such, the invention of chewing gum can be related back to ancient Greece in which women would use it to clean their teeth and freshen their breath. However, at the time, chewing gum was made from resin found in the bark of the mastic tree.

How It Get So Popular?

Once Native American Indians taught colonists how to use resin from spruce trees as chewing gum, the news spread like wildfire and caught on amongst many different civilizations. Modern day chewing gum is derived from Central America and a type of latex found on the sapodilla tree called “  Chicle.”   However, because farmers were unable to keep up with the production of tree sap to sustain the demand for chicle, an artificial type of gum was made and that is what we currently use.

How You Should Use It

Chewing gum after meals can help protect you against cavities. However, it should not be used in place of brushing and flossing your teeth multiple times a day. By encouraging the production of saliva, chewing gum works to rid your teeth of harmful germs and bacteria.

When getting gum at the checkout line at the grocery store, make sure you are choosing the sugar-free option. If you would like to learn more about your dental health and tips, contact Dr. Nik Zalavadia today!

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply