How to Chew Right, With Less Harm to Your Teeth

First, it is important to note that our teeth are subject to daily stresses such as chewing and teeth grinding, which wear away at our teeth and put a great deal of pressure on the tooth structure. These stresses put tremendous strain on our teeth, sometimes resulting in hairline stress fractures that eventually break teeth if left undetected.

Chewing is the process by which food is mashed and crushed by teeth. It is the first step of digestion and it increases the surface area of foods to allow more efficient break down by enzymes. During the mastication process, the food is positioned between the teeth for grinding by the cheek and tongue. As chewing continues, the food is made softer and warmer, and the enzymes in saliva begin to break down carbohydrates in the food. After chewing, the food (now called a bolus) is swallowed.

The mouth and teeth play an important role in the digestive process. Saliva contains enzymes that break down carbohydrates through proper chewing and teeth grind food for better digestion and absorption. Therefore, any problem with the oral cavity affects the digestive system and other organs as well as your smile.

Influence of Products You are Chewing to Your Teeth

“Try to avoid chewing hard nuts, hard candy, and unpopped kernels because they make your teeth particularly vulnerable to cracking since they tend to weaken enamel”, says Dr. Richard Lentini, an MDS member and a general dentist in North Andover. Chewing ice, unpopped corn kernels, extremely hard nuts, bones or other hard objects is not smart, since teeth do have a breaking strength.

Regular betel chewing causes the teeth and gums to be stained red. In the past people chewed betel, paan or beeda to make their teeth look red which was considered a symbol of beauty. Continual chewing will turn teeth a dark red, but does not harm the teeth. People chewing tobacco in paan are over five times more likely to be at risk of oral cancer.

Chewing gum stimulates salivary flow and neutralizes any acid in the mouth, thereby helping to prevent tooth decay. The bicarbonate in saliva neutralizes the harmful acid. Sugar-free chewing gum is tooth friendly.

Chewing even soft foods wears the surface of each filling and intensifies the wedging. Hard foods like Corn Nuts and ice wreak havoc on your teeth and should be completely avoided. Acids found in citrus products, coffee, cola products, and foods containing sugar cause the surface of the filling to become rusted and pitted, like a rusty old tin can.

Here is a list of things that could cause problems for your teeth or mouth. Chewing on ice. Holding things with your teeth such as screws, nails, hair accessories, keys, flashlights. Opening containers with your teeth (some people tried to open beer bottles with their teeth before twist caps came along). Chewing on pencils, pens, fingernails etc. Biting off string, plastic. Biting or tugging on licorice or other tough foods like toffee.

Chewing Foods as Part of a Meal Cause Less Harm to Your Teeth

Food or drink taken either too hot or too cold is very hurtful to the teeth. Great quantities of sugar, or other sweet-meats, are likewise hurtful. Nothing is more destructive to the teeth than cracking nuts, or chewing any kind of hard substances.

Picking the teeth with pins, needles, or any thing that may hurt the enamel with which they are covered, does great mischief, as the tooth is sure to be spoiled whenever the air gets into it. Breeding women are very subject to the tooth-ach, especially during the first three or four months of pregnancy.

The toothache often proceeds from scorbutic humours affecting the gums. In this case the teeth are sometimes wasted, and fall out without any considerable degree of pain. The more immediate cause of the toothache is a rotten or carious tooth.

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