How to Chew Gum

Three Parts:Picking your GumChewing your GumChewing Gum Sneakily

Whether you’re smacking it, chomping it, or popping it, chewing gum has a variety of benefits. It can improve your memory and increase alertness, so some students like to pop a piece before a study session or big exam.[1] For anyone trying to lose a couple pounds, gum can be useful as an appetite suppressant and sweet tooth fix.[2] With flavors ranging from minty spearmint to fruity watermelon, there’s a gum for everyone.[3]

Part 1
Picking your Gum

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    Choose your form of gum. Do you want a stick of gum, a tab of gum, or even a gumball? Different brands come in different shapes and sizes, and you can experiment to find out which one you prefer.[4] Brands like Extra and Wrigley market their gum in sticks, while Orbit, Trident, and Eclipse come in smaller tabs or mini-sticks. Double Bubble makes candy gum balls, and Big League Chew sells their gum shredded in a pouch.[5] There is a kind of chewing gum for everyone!
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    Find the perfect flavor. Does your breath need freshening? If so, you should look for a minty flavor that will leave your mouth feeling sparkling clean. Try something like spearmint or peppermint and you’ll feel like you just brushed. If you want something with more of a fruity kick, there are flavors like berry and watermelon that will do the trick. People looking to satisfy a sweet tooth should check out the Extra Dessert Delights- those flavors include treats like rainbow sherbet, mint chocolate chip, and strawberry shortcake![6]
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    Decide if you want regular or sugar-free gum. Regular gum contains sugar, which can lead to increased tooth decay.[7]Sugar-free gum uses chemical sweeteners, such as aspartame.[8]. There is a caloric difference of about 5 calories between the two types.[9]
    • If you're opting for sugar-free gum, look for gum with a seal from the American Dental Association. The ADA Seal on a package of gum means that gum has been proven to be healthy and safe.[10]

Part 2
Chewing your Gum

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    Place the gum in your mouth. This step may look different depending on the type of gum you’ve selected. If you have chosen a stick of gum, you might fold the piece in half as you pop it into your mouth. With smaller tabs, you might even place two in your mouth at once. If you’ve chosen a giant gumball, you may opt to bite off half.
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    Begin chewing your gum. You may need to chew a bit more vigorously to loosen up a new piece of gum. Use your big teeth in the back of your mouth, called your molars, to chew. Molars are the teeth associated with chewing because of their flatter surfaces.[11]
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    Move the gum from side to side. This will ensure that one side of your mouth doesn’t get tired from the repetitive chewing motion. Occasionally, draw the gum to the front of your mouth and exercise your biting teeth. This will give your molars a short break.
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    Have fun with your gum. If you are not in a formal setting, you can try blowing bubbles. Enjoy the flavor that you’ve chosen. As you chew, the flavoring agents in the gum will gradually dissolve and be swallowed, so eventually the gum loses its flavor completely.[12] bubble
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    Spit your gum out once it has lost its flavor. Urban legend suggests that swallowed gum remains in your stomach for years, but this isn’t factual. Gum is passed through your digestive tract into your stool. However, frequently swallowing your gum can lead to constipation and other minor stomach issues, so it isn’t recommended. [13] The easiest thing is to just spit it out once you are finished.
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    Wrap your gum in paper. Because the gum is still sticky, it can make a big mess if you don’t discard it properly. It’s a good idea to save your gum wrapper so that you can wrap your gum in it when you’ve finished. If you didn’t save the wrapper, just wrap it in a tissue or a scrap of paper.

Part 3
Chewing Gum Sneakily

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    Pretend to yawn. Place the unwrapped gum in your hand and casually bring your hand to your mouth, as if to cover your yawn. Pop the gum into your open mouth. This trick is useful if you're in a place where gum is prohibited, such as a classroom. You’re probably already yawning in school anyways, so this is an easy cover-up for sticking some chewing gum in your mouth.
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    Soften the gum with your saliva. Chewing gum is typically a little bit harder and tougher when you first put it in your mouth, but you will attract attention if you are vigorously chewing. Let the gum sit on your tongue while it naturally softens from your saliva. You can still enjoy the flavor of the gum by sucking on it.
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    Take very small, slow bites on the gum with your back molars. Make sure that your jaw is not tensing visibly as you do this. It is important to make tiny movements with your teeth with your mouth closed, so that the chewing is extremely discreet.
    • If you have trouble chewing inconspicuously, it can help to cup your face with your hand as you chew. It will appear like you are casually resting your face in your hand, while actually concealing a moving jaw.
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    Be quiet. This should be obvious, but many people chomp and pop their gum loudly without even realizing it. Not only will loud chewing be a dead giveaway if you are somewhere that gum is prohibited, it can also be extremely irritating to the people around you. Be mindful of the noise you make while chewing gum and practice chewing quietly with your mouth closed.


  • Chewing gum can be a choking hazard.[14] It is not recommended to chew it while participating in intense physical activity.
  • Gum is not biodegradable, and can be harmful to the environment if not disposed of properly.[15]

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Categories: Eating Techniques