Wednesday, November 9, 2016

You Need a Piece of Gum...Now!

Dentists, orthodontists and pediatricians everywhere are going to cringe when they hear this, but the truth cannot be denied…

chewing gum is good for you!

Ready for Zero posted a blog highlighting five ways in which chewing gum can be beneficial to you, and I just had to share. While it is understood that gum has sugar and that can give you cavities (which is not good for you), there are actually...

7 Reasons You Should Be Chewing Gum

#1:  Chewing gum is good exercise!

Ever wondered if chewing gum is good exercise? I mean, how many calories does it really burn?  Well, wonder no more, the answer is 11 calories/hour. Now that may not seem like a lot, but consider this: If you chew gum 1 hour a day every day of the week, you’ll have spent 4015 calories in the whole year! That comes out to about 1.15 lbs worth of calories at 3500 calories per lb. Okay, so maybe that’s still not much… but it’s certainly something.

#2:  Chewing gum makes you smarter!
No, really, it does! In a study done at Baylor College of Medicine, researchers took 108 8th grade math students, divided them into two groups, and followed them for 14 weeks. One group chewed sugarless gum while doing homework and taking tests, the other did not. Well guess what, the gum chewers had a whopping 3% increase in their standardized tests. Now, that may not seem like much, but if chewing gum gives you a free extra boost in your ability to concentrate, then count us in!

#3:  Chewing gum helps you eat healthier!
Turns out that chewing gum helps you curb your craving for high-calorie and sweet foods. Yep, there’s another study that backs that statement. Participants of this study who chewed gum three times hourly after lunch had fewer cravings for bad snacks. Move over Jenny Craig, it’s time for the new Dentyne Ice diet.

#4:  Chewing gum cleans your teeth!

Who needs tooth brush and tooth paste when you’ve got chewing gum? These days, many chewing gums contain xylitol, a chemical known to stimulate saliva flow and clean the surface of your teeth. So says a study funded by Wrigley, a gum company that has xylitol in its gum… hmmm. They swear it’s not biased! In any case, your mouth sure does feel cleaner, doesn’t it? If you need to floss, however, you’re on your own.

#5:  Chewing gum helps you make friends!

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get on someone’s good side, offer them some gum! It makes you appear thoughtful, generous and friendly. It can also be a great conversation starter or ice-breaker, especially if you offer some interesting flavors like green apple mint, or watermelon kiwi.

But wait, there’s more!
Speech language pathologists suggest two additional reasons chewing gum is good for you.

#6:  Chewing gum strengthens your muscles!

Muscles of the jaw are strengthened when you chew gum and that can be helpful when overcoming weakness, especially when it comes time to eat. Strong jaw muscles can enable a person to safely prepare and swallow advanced textures in their diet (meats, crunchy vegetables, fresh fruits, etc). Also, chewing gum can increase a person’s endurance for chewing food during a meal, making it less likely to experience fatigue while dining.

Additionally, tongue muscles are exercised when gum is transferred from one side of the mouth to the other. What’s more, lip muscles are strengthened as they challenged to maintain good lip seal while chewing and blowing bubbles can exercise muscles of the lips, tongue and cheeks.   

#7:  Chewing gum alleviates dry mouth!
People undergoing radiation treatments to the head or neck and those who are not able to eat or drink by mouth (NPO) often suffer from chronic dry mouth (xerostomia).  It can be miserably uncomfortable.  The process of chewing increases the production of saliva which can minimize the discomfort of an extremely dry mouth.  Add in the xylitol (mentioned above) and the juicy goodness of the gum itself, and voila, relief!

Considering all of the evidence, it is clear to see that chewing gum is good for you.  To enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer, it is recommended you spend 10-15 minutes chewing sugarless gum.
 Please share this information with someone you know.
If you have any questions about dry mouth, oral weakness, diet textures, chewing or swallowing, contact Spontaneous Speech at 361-271-1700. We are always happy to talk with you!

Flattery is like chewing gum. Enjoy it, but don’t swallow it.
Hank Ketchum

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