CHEWING IS THE FIRST STEP in digestion! But chewing our food only enough to swallow it down doesn’t count. If you’re rushing proper chewing—especially if it’s due to dental distress—you’re robbing yourself of some important benefits!
Chewing our food does more than simply give us time to taste flavors. The more we chew our food, the more it’s broken down into elements we can absorb and use. When we swallow minimally chewed food, some of the nutrients and energy remains locked in—making it more difficult to enter our bodies.
When saliva mixes with the foods we eat, we begin to digest it before we even swallow it. This is because saliva contains digestive enzymes that begin breaking our food down right away. In addition, un-chewed pieces of food can cause digestive discomfort.
Often, especially when we’re wolfing down our food, we eat more than we should before our body is able to give us the “full” notification. Eating slower can help us control our portions and feel more satisfied.
If you’re not chewing your food properly, are your teeth to blame? Malocclusion (an uneven bite), tooth sensitivity, missing teeth, or poorly fitting dentures can all cause minimal chewing. You might swallow food down earlier because chewing is uncomfortable. You might even avoid certain healthy foods just because they require more chewing.
Breakdowns in our oral health start to affect our overall health. If your teeth aren’t doing their job helping you chew, digest, and absorb nutrition from your food, don’t ignore the problem. Talk with us about it. We can get your teeth back into shape so they can better do their job.