I almost ask this as a rhetorical question because I know it's terrible, it's sweet, artificial and it is ohh so cooling.
But that's the problem it freshens your breath more than anything else short term. It is far too inconvenient for me to have to carry around a toothbrush at every dining occasion.
If it weren't so societally entrenched than maybe this wouldn't be a problem but bad breath is just a turn off for everyone so there isn't much reason for me to not chew gum.
Has anyone found a gum replacement? I would love to give up this sugary breath-saviour!
I'd be more concerned about artificial sweeteners keeping your desire for sugar going, and not getting satisfied because it's an artificial sweetener or, if naturally sweetened, swallowing just the small amount but having that taste triggered for a longer period. Some people react more than others to artificial sweeteners, so do some N=1 experimentation to see how it works for you, if you really want to keep the gum going. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-b-dopart-ms-rd/artificial-sweetener_b_613684.html
That being said, no, I don't think it's really that awful of a cheat once in a while. I agree with the mint/parsley leaf suggestions. If you don't want to chew the leaves, get some of the culinary-grade essential oils (basil is nice, too!) and put a few drops to taste in a little cup of water and swish well before swallowing.
Mint leaves seem to be the natural and logical alternative if you want to get all primal about it. Haven't tried this personally as I'm still waiting for my mint plant to grow some decent sized leaves (have a tendency to pre-maturely pick them because I love using mint in my cooking - salads especially!) You could pop a few in a zip lock bag & carry with you and just chew like a horse... and ta-da! no more mr sardine breath.
In addition to the mint leaves, parsley leaves are also a great alternative. As was mentioned above, a mint leave stuck in the teeth isn't the conversation starter you typically want to use.
A drop of essential oil of oregano, or oil of peppermint. Or chew slowly on a whole clove; I love this but it has the same residue problem as a peppermint leaf. (I cheat too, with Extra gum, though I've cut way back.)
I've been a frequent sugarless gum chewer. One of my few vices I'd say. I've thrown back 1-2 packs in a day. Chew it consistently for a day or two and you will feel it with a little bloating and gas. I never noticed it a ton before but since getting my digestion to nearly perfect over the last year, I can notice the sugar alcohol side effects if I get enough of it.
I'd say a few pieces after a meal or to clear out bad breath from a meal is fine. Chewing it mindlessly or to curb hunger is where it can be trouble.
I do Glee Gum, which is made with sugar, but it's small chicklets so it's not a big deal. Better than the mix of aspertame, artificial flavor/color and other toxic crap that's in the conventional stuff. There is a xylitol version I think.
are you sure you're not just paranoid? just b/c yr body doesn't smell like an effing glade plug-in with a candycane on top doesn't mean it's BAD. If you actually have Bad Breath (not just garlic/onion which isn't really "bad", and can't be fixed with gum anyway) you have a Problem.
fennel seeds are a nice, portable, unleafy, mouth freshener. for those inclined to freshen.
imo gum, like smoking, is best left to teenagers.
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