Whether to stop smoking, freshen breath, avoid earaches, cope with stress, or just bide the time, humans often need something in their mouths between meals. Ancient Greeks used to chew resin from the mastic tree, the Mayans sucked on the sap of the sapodilla tree, and North American Indians passed along their habit of chewing spruce sap to early European settlers. Since 1888, when Tutti-Frutti became the first gum sold in vending machines in a New York City subway station, chewing gum, mints, lozenges, and other mouth pleasers have flooded American culture. Some are healthier than others, however. Take a look at a few of our favorites.

Six healthy oral pleasers


Key ingredients

Why we love it

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Dental Pics

Tea tree oil

Good for cleaning teeth or just chewing, these pics keep breath fresh until your next garlic fix. The tea tree flavor combines well with menthol, cinnamon, peppermint, spearmint, and fennel.

Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil Lozenges with Honey

Tea tree oil, organic sucanat, honey

These mellow, tea tree–flavored lozenges soothe a sore throat. Peppermint oil and menthol crystals are a fresh addition to an otherwise sweet sucanat- and honey-infused treat.

Eco-Dent Between! Dental Gum, Natural Cinnamon Flavor

Baking soda, antioxidants, slippery elm, stevia powder

Two pieces of this chewable supplement of sorts have 25 percent daily value of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. Sweetened with xylitol and stevia and enhanced with breath-freshening baking soda. Added slippery elm helps soothe the throat.

Historical Remedies Pick-Up Drops, Energy Lozenges

Aconite, lemon oil

Homeopathic aconite is purported to elevate immunity in those who feel tired, run-down, or jet-lagged. Other homeopathic lozenges by Historical Remedies help with stress, wellness, mood, sleep, or body repair.

Peelu Dental Chewing Gum, Sugar-Free Peppermint Flavor

Peelu extract, sorbitol, peppermint oil

Derived from peelu tree branches, peelu fibers contain natural teeth whiteners, tannic acid, vitamin C, and sulfur. Cinnamon and spearmint flavors are also sweetened with sorbitol, a sugar alternative that doesn’t lead to tooth decay.

XyliChew Sugar-Free Chewing Gum, Licorice Flavor

Xylitol,licorice extract

Sweetened with birch tree–sourced xylitol (a sweetener proven to reduce dental cavities), this gum packs a long-lasting flavor punch with no aftertaste.