Some Interesting Facts About Chewing Gum
Every kid loves to chew gum and blow bubbles. The tasty, chewy treat is good for you and can help in strengthening the jaws and teeth. According to commercials, four out of five dentists recommend the chewing of certain types of the substance. But what do we really know about chewing gum? Here are five facts you might not have known.
The Fun Chewing Mistake
Chewing gum was invented by mistake. In 1871, inventor Thomas Adams was really looking to produce a rubber substitute – which came from trees – for toys and other products from a tree sap known as chicle. However, that plan didn’t pan out and he ended up using the Yucatan sap as its original purpose, for chewing. As an interesting side note, the individual who introduced chicle to Adams was ex-Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the same person who was responsible for the massacre at the Alamo during the Mexican War. You may recognize the name chicle in the name of the gum, Chiclets.
Chew, But Don’t Swallow
Swallowing chewing gum can be bad for your health. While most of the time it will just pass through your body, swallowing enough of the chewy substance can bunch up in your bowels and cause a blockage because your body can’t digest it. It is a rare occurrence, but why chance it?
Other Uses For Chewing Gum
Many people use chewing gum to lose weight or stop smoking. In fact, Nicorette gum, the chewing gum designed to curb nicotine cravings was originally created by the Swedish navy to stop sailors from smoking in the enclosed environments of submarines. They had tried other methods prior to Nicorette, but when those didn’t work, the nicotine-laced chewable was invented.
A Sticky Situation
Early chewing gum was a very sticky substance. If you were unfortunate enough to have a large bubble burst in your face you needed a toxic substance, such as turpentine, to have it removed. Bubblegum became a feature in the United States with the introduction of Blow Gum in 1924. The stickiness issue was finally resolved in the 1970s with the introduction of Bubble Yum. Children were once again safe to chew.
Curb Your Craving, Think Straight
The U.S. government has been supplying our troops with chewing gum since World War One because it is thought to improve concentration and reduce stress. In recent years, the government has experienced with adding caffeine into the gum to keep soldiers alert and adding an anti-bacterial agent into the gum to cut back on gum disease and other oral health problems. Chewing gum truly is one of the great dental supplies.