Bad breath can be a big problem (especially if you're the one smelling it!) It can cause embarrassing moments and bad first impressions. That's why so many people chew gum. In fact, according the US Census Bureau, Americans eat about 1.8 pounds of gum per capita each year. That may not sound like a lot but think about the size and weight of one piece of gum.
Gum chewing studies have shown many bad effects, such as bloating and hormone and biomechanical imbalances, as well as the habit leading to bruxism and acid reflux ulcers. Many have educated themselves and moved on to mints, but is this any better? After all, most mints are made with artificial sweeteners, so they can claim to be fat free or calorie free. I understand the necessity for fresh breath in a pinch. Most people don't carry around their tooth brush or mouth wash for a quick refresh. That's why I've come up with several good options, in order from best to worst:
1. Peppermint Breath Drops or Peppermint Essential Oils – Many natural health food stores and anyone who carries essential oils would have these. One drop is pretty strong and enough to freshen your breath. Peppermint is also great for digestion.
2. Mouthwash or teeth brushing after meals – I know this isn't ideal but it is a good option if you have time.
3. Mints or candies that are sweetened with cane sugar instead of artificial sweeteners. There are even small ginger candies that are not only great breath fresheners but also help after meals with digestion.
4. Gums or mints sweetened with xylitol – This sweetener is a great calorie free option and many popular brands use this ingredient. Careful as some people have trouble digesting xylitol and can lead to stomach discomfort.
5. A piece of regular chewing gum sweetened with sugar. The caloric content many be a little higher, but you are only having a small bit. This is not ideal if you are trying to lose weight and plan on using this option on a daily basis.
And the last possible option is a small piece of artificially sweetened gum every now and then. The amount in one piece every once in a while is not enough to amount to any dangerous affects.
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