Category Archives: Glee Gum Blog

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How Chewing Gum May Help People With Autism or Sensory Differences

With World Autism Awareness Day taking place on April 2, we wanted to talk about how chewing gum helps some people who have sensory differences, such as many of our friends with autism spectrum disorder.

While the full spectrum encompasses a wide and varying range of behaviors and conditions, many people who are autistic are over- or under-sensitive to sensory input, such as how things taste, smell, look, or feel.

Some people with autism find chewing to be soothing, because it provides a sensory input. According to the British National Autistic Society, “chewing and biting provide sensory input to the proprioceptive system, which regulates what different parts of the body are doing at different times.” However, this can be an issue when a child chews on or eats non-edible items.

Because chewing gum has been found to reduce anxiety, increase focus, reduce fidgeting, reduce biting and chewing behaviors, as well as other benefits, it is often used as a tool for kids with sensory conditions. Chewing gum can provide sensory input and offer an outlet for the desire to chew.

The great thing about sugar-free chewing gum is that you can chew as much as you want without worrying about tooth decay. Especially when you use gums with natural cavity-preventing sweeteners like xylitol. That’s what makes our Sugar-Free Glee Gum so sweet: not only is it all-natural, plastic-free, allergy- & keto-friendly, but it is also sweetened with xylitol for the added oral health benefits.

Do you find that chewing gum helps you in some way? Feel free to share your story with us by commenting on this blog post, or by emailing info@gleegum.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Young child in winter coat looking up outside and smiling a very wide, toothy smile.

Candies That Don’t Cause Cavities–Too Sweet to Be True?

Candy and cavities are often thought to go hand-in-hand, tooth-in-tooth. According to the CDC, tooth decay (also known as dental cavities) is the most common chronic disease in children and teens. With February being National Children’s Dental Health Month, we thought we’d help answer an important question: Are there any candies that don’t cause cavities?

Sugar, which is used in most candy, lowers the PH in your mouth to an acidic level, thus breaking down the enamel on your teeth. Bacteria consume the sugars left behind in the mouth and the acid that results wears away at children’s teeth. So, in some cases, candy and other sugary treats can be contributing culprits in children’s cavities.

With our children in mind, Glee Gum offers a line of sugar-free natural chewing gum and Glee Tarts, both sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol is a naturally-occurring sugar alcohol found in most plant material. Over 25 years of testing suggest that using xylitol reduces tooth decay rates. It works by keeping the PH of the saliva in your mouth alkaline, where it should be.

Glee’s xylitol-sweetened tarts and gum mean that your kids can enjoy candy without the cavities! With all of its dental benefits, xylitol gives your smile a boost, too.

Chewing xylitol gum or enjoying tasty Glee Tarts are components of a well-rounded, healthy dental routine for children. Kids should be encouraged to floss and brush their teeth regularly to promote healthy dental hygiene.

Glee Gum makes 5 delicious xylitol sweetened gum flavors, including kid-friendly, fruity flavors like Watermelon, Bubblegum, and Lemon-Lime. Your kids are sure to love Glee Tarts too! Every box includes fruity pineapple, passion fruit, Meyer Lemon, and cherry flavors, all sweetened with natural xylitol to promote dental health. So your kids can have sweet, tasty candy, not cavities!

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I Have PKU—What Gum Can I Chew?

If you are one of the thousands of people living with Phenylketonuria, known as “PKU” for short, there’s a chance you have a hard time finding gum to chew. PKU is a hereditary disease that affects the body’s ability to metabolize Phenylalanine (Phe), an amino acid that serves as the building block for proteins. People who have PKU must follow a strict diet, including cutting out artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Since most gum has aspartame, what gum can people with PKU chew?

Without the ability to metabolize Phe, it builds up in the body and, if untreated, can eventually lead to musty-smelling breath, urine, or body odor, seizures, tremors, stunted growth, irreversible brain damage, learning impairments, memory loss, behavioral problems, and more. A diagnosis of PKU is certainly life altering, and means there is a long road of strict diet and lifestyle management ahead. 

For someone with PKU, the best way to manage it, and prevent Phe from building up in their body, is to cut high-protein foods out of their diet. This strict diet should be followed for life, and research shows that those with PKU who do, can live relatively symptom-free. PKU diets are heavy on fruits and vegetables, low-protein grains, and healthy fats, like those found in avocados. Protein-rich foods like eggs, dairy, meat, fish, beans/legumes, and nuts must be avoided.

It also means no additives like yeast, wheatgerm & gelatin, or artificial sweeteners like aspartame, because they all contain high levels of Phe. Aspartame especially poses a problem for people with PKU because it is found in many foods today that are thought to be healthy and labeled “sugar-free,” “diet,” “light,” “reduced-calorie,” etc. But the consumption of aspartame by someone with PKU will most likely NOT be healthy, and to have the same effect on them as eating beef or peanut butter.

That doesn’t mean that someone with PKU will be devoid of occasional gum-chewing. There are other sweeteners that contain no protein, like xylitol, a naturally-occurring carbohydrate found in the fibrous parts of plants, which can be consumed without worry of a Phe build up.

Xylitol also has the added benefit of having tooth-decay prevention properties and having a low glycemic index, making it ideal for diabetics and those following a ketogenic diet, too! And lucky for those with PKU, Glee Gum offers a line of natural plant-based chewing gums.

The products in Glee’s line of gum are sweetened with either cane sugar or xylitol harvested from birch and beech trees, allergy-friendly, junk-free, and safe for those with food allergies or diet restrictions. It’s just another way that Glee helps you Change What You Chew. Click here to shop Glee now.

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Bubble Babble! Fun Facts for National Bubblegum Day

Animation by Riley Thompson for Glee Gum.

February 7 is National Bubblegum Day, and we want to help you celebrate with some fun facts about bubblegum! While you may think you know all there is to know about bubblegum, chew on these little tidbits–they may surprise you! Here are some fun facts about bubblegum in honor of National Bubblegum Day.

Q: How did bubblegum get its iconic pink color?

A: In the early 1900s, The Fleer Corporation created the first bubblegum to hit the market. At the time, chewing gums were an unappealing grey. The company added food coloring to the gum in the only color available.

Q: What is the world record for the most bubblegum bubbles blown at the same time?

A: In 2014 at the opening of the Cal Ripkin World Series, 721 people made the world record for blowing the most bubblegum bubbles at the same time. On July 11, 2018, that record was broken at the Arm & Hammer Park in Trenton, New Jersey, where 881 people gathered to help Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals raise awareness for a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Q: What really happens if you swallow bubblegum?

A: Contrary to rumors of intestines sticking together or that swallowed gum stays in your body for seven years, gum will only stay in your system for a few days. Most gum base is made out of a synthetic, proprietary formula–totally not digestible. Glee Gum is made with an all-natural chicle gum base, but we still don’t recommend you swallow it. Gum base isn’t meant to be digested!

Q: What is the biggest bubblegum bubble ever blown?

A: In Alabama on April 24, 2004, Chad Fell blew a bubble a whopping 20 inches in size–that’s bigger than a regulation size basketball!

Q: Is it illegal to chew bubblegum anywhere?

A: Yes! In January of 1992, chewing gum was banned in Signapore to help uphold the country’s reputation for being pristine, and to help alleviate major issues with chewing gum being stuck on the door sensors and cracks on trains, which caused many issues in functioning and service. In March of 2004, however, they lifted the ban so that gums with a medical or therapeutic benefit were allowed–i.e. sugar-free gums for dental care or nicotine gums for smoking cessation.

Q: What’s the most amount of bubblegum bubbles blown in a minute?

A: How many bubblegum bubbles can you blow in a minute? If you can blow more than 15, you will beat Michael Amato of New Jersey, who set the current world record in 2014.

Q: Is it true that in 2012, London spent three months cleaning gum off its streets to prepare for the Olympic games?

A: Yes! And they spent between 1-2 pounds per piece to clean up over 300,000 pieces! But that’s nothing–on average, it can cost the city of London up to 10 million pounds to clean chewing gum off the streets each year!

Q: What is the weirdest bubblegum bubble that’s been blown?

A: In 2000, Joyce Samuels of KY set the world record for blowing the largest bubblegum bubble… with her nose! That’s right, Joyce blew a whopping 11 inch bubble using only the power of her nose. She said she started doing this to amuse her kids and ended up amusing the world.

For more Gleeful tidbits about gum, check out our fun facts page! While you’re at it, find out more about what makes bubblegum so special.

Join the celebration for National Bubblegum Day by chewing on some Glee Gum. We have both all-natural, xylitol-sweetened Sugar-Free Bubblegum and cane-sugar sweetened Classic Bubblegum flavors. Both are designed to give you the nostalgic bubblegum taste and be good for the planet, too!

Happy National Bubblegum Day!

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What Makes Bubblegum So Special?

These days, when you want gum to chew on, you don’t have to go far to find dozens of brand of bubblegum on supermarket shelves and online retailers.

While most people look at all chewing gum as the same, there are actually a few types. Besides conventional and natural gums, you can also differentiate between regular chewing gums and bubblegums.

But aren’t chewing gum and bubblegum the same? Traditional chewing gum came first, getting its firm chew from chicle and other tree resins. Bubblegum is a subset of chewing gum made specially for its magnificent bubble.

Chewing gum and bubblegum share a core set of ingredients called “gum base,” to which sweeteners, colors, flavors, etc. are added. For instance, Glee Gum uses chicle, a tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforest of Central America. Most conventional gum brands use a synthetic gum base, made from artificial products like plastics.

Though many different civilizations and cultures utilized chewing gum in one form or another throughout the centuries, the product really picked up commercially in the USA during the 19th century.

With a series of small chicle-based chewing gum companies on the market, Frank Fleer of Fleer Chewing Gum Co. wanted a different kind of gum product. He searched for a way to reduce the toughness and stickiness of chewing gum so that bubbles could be blown with it—something that would set his gum apart from all others, he believed.

After many failed attempts, it was the company’s accountant, Walter Diemer, who ultimately concocted the recipe for what is now known as bubblegum in the 1920s. It was stretchier than traditional chewing gum and much less sticky, making it perfect for bubble-blowing. Bubblegum got its universally-recognized color when the company used the only available food coloring in the factory to make his first batch—a lovely shade of pink.

Aside from its delightful color, bubblegum is known for its characteristically fruity, uniquely bubblegum-y flavor. Most companies now use artificial flavorings to create that classic taste.

Not Glee! We use a combination of cherry, strawberry, lemon, and vanilla to achieve the delicious, nostalgic flavor that bubblegum is known for. Glee Gum’s Classic Bubblegum and Sugar-Free Bubblegum may not blow the biggest bubbles on the market, due to their all-natural gum bases. But you can chew happily knowing that Glee Gum makes gum the way we all used to, when chewing gum was clean and natural, free of artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, and sweeteners.

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Fighting Children’s Tooth Decay with Glee Gum and Natural Tooth Health

Despite the advances of fluoride, tooth decay is a disease that affects 60-90% of children.

Glee Gum works to attack this issue with sugarless gum made from natural ingredients like xylitol and chicle gum base. In addition to gum, we recognize it’s important to protect children’s teeth with oral care products that are made with natural ingredients. That’s why we recommend Natural Tooth Health products. 

Natural Tooth Health leads the industry in safe and effective oral care products with their line of all-natural toothpaste, tooth powder and mouth rinse. All the products are fluoride-free and Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified, which means they are free from ingredients of concern. Visit them at www.naturaltoothhealth.com.

All Glee Gum customers can save 25% off their first order of Natural Tooth Health products by using the following coupon code:

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Glee Gum and Natural Tooth Health products work together to prevent and stop tooth decay.

What causes tooth decay and cavities?

Cavities are caused by the activity of bad bacteria that live in biofilm and plaque on your teeth. They consume sugar from your diet and decompose it into lactic acid. This acid⁠—plus any acidic foods that are consumed, like soft drinks, fruit juices, coffee and processed foods⁠—increase the acid attack on your tooth enamel, forming soft spots and eventually holes in your enamel. These soft spots and holes are cavities.

How can you prevent cavities?

To help prevent cavities between breakfast and bedtime, chew sugarless gum with xylitol between meals, such as Glee Gum. The chewing action and presence of xylitol in Glee Gum stimulates saliva. Saliva is the body’s natural mechanism to remineralize tooth enamel to offset the demineralizing action of acid. 

Xylitol has a second benefit. Because bad bacteria in the mouth cannot metabolize xylitol, acidity is neutralized and the population of bad bacteria is decreased when chewing xylitol-sweetened gum.

The second way to prevent cavities is to use oral care products from Natural Tooth Health at least twice a day. Using their research-backed toothpaste or tooth powder will eliminate the biofilm and plaque from your tooth enamel. Your teeth and mouth will feel smooth and clean, just like after a visit to your dental hygienist.

In cases of children who have extreme cavities, or are a mouth breather, which reduces mouth saliva, one should use a mouth rinse containing xylitol or erythritol (another sugar alcohol shown to reduce cavities) before bedtime. Be sure to swish with the mouth rinse for at least 60 seconds. Your whole mouth will be bathed in a solution that will decrease bad bacteria and help remineralize enamel.

Glee Gum and Natural Tooth Health offer products that will reduce tooth decay in children, as well as adults. Try them today.