While we all strive to maintain fresh breath every day, August 6 is actually National Fresh Breath Day! While no one knows who actually initiated this annual celebration of sweet smelling and tasting breath, why not enjoy today with some fun facts?

Ancient History and Fresh Breath

The concern about bad breath isn’t unique to modern man by any stretch of the imagination. While some think that Chinese and Indian medicines have been used to freshen breath since 2700 B. C., we know that Hippocrates, the “Father of Western Medicine” advised his patients to rinse their mouths with a mixture of alum, vinegar and salt to rid them of bad breath! Then, as history tells it the ancient Romans chewed on sprigs of parsley to cover the smell of wine (after their toga parties?)

We still use parsley to get rid of the smell of onion and garlic—ever notice that often your burgers with onions are actually served with fresh parsley on the plate?

Chewing Gum – not such a modern invention!

Sometime in the 100s A.D., the Aztecs and Mayans started to tap the sapodilla tree and to boil the sap into a gum. Known as “chicle”, it became the first chewing gum. Later, as history tells it, an American by the name of Thomas Adams, took the concept to create modern chewing gum.

During the late 1500’s Turkish rulers developed a liking for a mastic gum developed in Chios, a Greek city the Turks had conquered. Rumor has it that one particular fan, a Turkish sultan, gave it to the members of his harem as gifts to sweeten the ladies’ breath!

Tickle the Tongue with Taste

The quest for freshness has proven to be something of a social phenomenon as well. Back in the 1800s, no gentleman was without his little box of “Sen Sens ®”, which could be stored in the waistcoat pocket and taken out and consumed discretely after a hearty port. This might have been a precursor to the little bottle of Binaca ® that everyone carried in the 1970s, most famously in ads where a nervous young man would sprinkle a few drops on his tongue before his date opened the front door 😊

Whatever your fancy, why not start your quest for fresh breath today, National Fresh Breath Day? You could stock up on your favorite (sugar-free, of course) mints, remind yourself to make an appointment with your dentist or just commit to a daily habit of waking up, brushing your teeth and cleaning your tongue with your TUNG Brush and Gel. Then go have that burger with onions and top it off with chewing a sprig of parsley!