It’s November! This is the month in which diets are kicked to the curb, families gather and eat without the pressure of gift-giving, and all things pumpkin make their way into our homes. And everything is orange and gold and (hopefully) all cooled off from our long summer.
What a wonderful and joyous holiday! And it is completely centered around, well, food.
A holiday that is centered around the act of eating is one that makes a dentist’s radar perk up. Lots of eating involves lots of chewing. And lots of chewing, if done incorrectly, is something that we at Montgomery Dentistry feel is worth addressing.
Other than gobbling down our favorite treats as quickly as possible, what is the true purpose of chewing? It might be more involved and complicated than you realize. Chewing is actually the first step in the digestive process. The grinding of food accomplished by your teeth along with the mixing of corrosive saliva secreted in your mouth prepares your food for its journey through your digestive track. If food is not chewed long enough, or properly, that important first step in the digestive process is cut short. Swallowing large chunks of improperly chewed food can cause digestive issues such as gas and bloating and can prevent proper absorption of important vitamins and minerals.
So how can you know if you are chewing properly, or long enough? A good rule of thumb is this: chew your food until it has become completely liquefied and has lost all of its texture. This is more than likely much longer than most Americans typically chew! It is so easy, and seems so much more fun, to gobble down food as quickly as possible. But it is actually doing nothing but a disservice to your body!
An added benefit of properly chewing your food is that with the added time it takes to thoroughly chew each bite, you are literally slowing down. The feeling of being “full” will catch up with you much more quickly if you take your time eating, rather than realizing after you’ve eaten way too much that you are actually stuffed. Because we eat too fast, we often eat too much!
The benefits far outweigh the cost of proper chewing.
Here at Montgomery Dentistry, we recommend that you take a moment at your next meal to assess and evaluate what your own chewing habits are. Do you take huge bites and swallow too quickly? Or are you eating slowly and thoroughly? If you have any questions, or are interested in scheduling a check-up, please call us! We would love to hear from you. 🙂
And Happy Thanksgiving!
Photo Credit: here