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To Chew or Not to Chew? Essay

The school had never been so calm. Oh, and did I mention clean? Students focused, concentrated, and walked two determined steps toward their goal. In their mouths, a juicy, minty substance stimulated the brain, awakened every neuron, and sharpened the senses with clarity. Every moment was accounted for, but then reality hit me. Why was chewing gum not allowed in school? It is the very place for school, since chewing gum improves memory and promotes oral health.According to The New York Times, “Chewing gum of any kind increases saliva production, and therefore helps neutralize acid… it actually reverses some cavities.” (Emanuel) Therefore, chewing gum in school should not be discouraged. Fighting bad breath can boost students’ confidence at school. “Society is focused on how people look on the outside, how their teeth look… Increasing your overall hygiene will drastically improve your self-confidence… you’ll feel better about yourself in turn which will inadvertently increase your self-confidence,” states Yahoo Voices. Not only can chewing gum in school promote oral health, but it also improves memory.

According to the CNN health article, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine took about 100 eighth grade math students from Houston, Texas to experiment a gum-chewing theory. The students were divided into two groups. One group did not chew gum at all, and the other group chewed gum while doing homework and testing. “The results were surprising. The gum chewing students had a 3% increase in their standardized math test scores compared with those who did not chew gum. Also, the students who chewed gum had better final grades compared with the non-chompers.” (Gajilan) Chewing gum during a test stimulates the mind and causes a student to focus efficiently. Psychologically, teenagers have a rebellious state of mind when certain privileges are not given to them. When chewing gum is involved, “Teachers might stop lessons…” (Moss) therefore hindering the learning experience.

However, when students understand gum chewing is allowed in class along with rules implemented such as throwing it away when finished chewing, this privilege is wired in their minds, leading students to respect the rules of the classroom and school. With this respect instituted in students, schools maintain a clean, learning environment. According to Eman Khan, sophomore at Vandegrift High School, “Students are definitely allowed to chew gum whenever they want.” Many VHS students chew gum while doing group work or taking test, but the school is still clean regardless of how widespread gum chewing is among the students.

“As long as we dispose it properly,” Khan states, “we are allowed to chew gum freely. None of us want this privilege revoked.”Many credible sources prove chewing gum promotes oral health and improves memory. Students’ confidence can be boosted by the mere act of chewing gum, for it increases oral hygiene and excellent oral hygiene is the key component for a high self-esteem. In an experiment, it has been proven that students who chew gum have an increase in test scores. When provided the privilege of chewing gum along with a set of rules, students commit and maintain a respect for gum chewing. With all of this in mind, chewing gum should not be discouraged but gratefully encouraged instead.


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