Face it, the pandemic has taken its toll on everyone over the past year. Due to the challenges of working (and everything else) at home to limiting activities that previously helped you relieve tension, people everywhere are seeking new ways to enhance their daily wellness. But there’s one surprisingly effective tool you may not know about that could already be in your desk or your purse: chewing gum.
Did you know that natural chewing gum has been around for thousands of years? According to the Mars Wrigley historical archives, gum has actually been around in one form or another for millennia. People in ancient cultures chewed on various plant substances to enjoy their refreshing benefits. These include the gum-like resin of the mastic tree in Greece to the resin from sapodilla or spruce trees in the Americas. Pine-scented gum was the first commercially available chewing gum seen in early 1800s general stores in the U.S., and sweetened paraffin was used as gum during the Civil War.
Then in 1893, a young William Wrigley made chewing-gum history by introducing Spearmint and Juicy Fruit at the World’s Fair in Chicago. Gum was touted as helping to improve workers’ productivity in the 1940s, and was one of the most sought-after rations for soldiers during World War II. Mars Wrigley’s 130th anniversary this year is a testament to the popularity and staying power of chewing gum.
Flash forward to today, during a time when so many are struggling with staying focused and alert while working at home, gum has begun to serve another purpose outside of simply freshening breath. For World Oral Health Day this year, Mars Wrigley is helping to globally spotlight not only the mouth health benefits of chewing sugar-free gum like EXTRA® or ORBIT®, as supported by the FDI World Dental Federation, but also to drive awareness of additional wellness and self-care benefits that come with choosing to chew gum.
In honor of World Oral Health Day, here’s how chewing gum can become a vital part of your daily self-care routine:
- Oral health: For World Oral Health Day, it’s good to know that chewing sugar-free gum — particularly options such as EXTRA®, ORBIT® or 5 GUM™ — can benefit your overall oral health. Beyond freshening your breath and removing food particles from between your teeth, chewing sugar-free gum can also aid your mouth’s defenses against potentially harmful bacteria and reduce incidence of cavities.
- Focus and alertness: Chewing gum can boost your mood, enhancing your ability to stay focused and alert throughout your day — no matter how many Zoom meetings you have scheduled. Find flavors you like best, such as mint, that can leave you feeling refreshed and energized, increasing your mental attention. Chew a piece of gum, and you may soon discover that you are better able to conquer distractions and concentrate on the tasks at hand.
- Tension relief and overall wellness: Many people find the simple act of chewing gum to be calming. Chewing can also help to relieve the tension that can build up in your jaw area, where many feel the impact of the day’s stresses. Research conducted throughout the years has demonstrated that chewing gum helps release both mental and physical tension, making people feel more relaxed as they work, resulting in higher productivity.
When life’s challenges start to loom large, it’s nice to know that something as simply pleasurable as gum chewing can also be good for your well-being. So the next time you’re stopping at a store or ordering groceries online, be sure to include some of your favorite gum varieties in your shopping list as part of your overall wellness routine and enjoy a better moment and more smiles.