A recent article was published in The New York Times which tells the story of the letters the founder of WM. Wrigley Jr. Co. wrote to young children to entice them to chew gum. William Wrigley Jr., the founder of the Wrigley Company, wrote direct letters to every child he could find turning 2.. "In the early 1900s, he actually shipped free sticks of gum to every address in the U.S. phone book, and that is thought to be the first national direct marketing campaign." Wrigley often mailed sticks of Juicy Fruit, Wrigley's oldest product, glued to his letters. Juicy Fruit was created in 1893 a few months before Spearmint.
Wrigley writes that chewing gum is good exercise for children's teeth. The irony is that Wrigley chewing gum contained sugar which promoted dental cavities. There is no evidence to support that chewing gum in the 1920's or 1930's had any beneficial effect on children's teeth due to any ingredient in the gum. But maybe people knew that the extra saliva produced from chewing gum and the gum rubbing across the teeth had beneficial cleansing effects. The American Academy of Pediatrics now considers gum a choking hazard for children younger than age 5.
Interestingly, the recipient of the above letter, Henry Trombley, grew up to be a dental technician, making dental crowns and bridges.
Does swallowed gum stay in your stomach for seven years?
No, while the digestive system is unable to break down the synthetic gum base, the gum moves through the intestines and passed into the stool normally.