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To Chew Or Not To Chew?

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Some love it, some can’t stand it, some chew it because it’s fun, and there are even some who chew it consciously- but these are few and far in between. Let’s talk about chewing gum!

Protects teeth

Although chewing gum is a luxury item, sugar free chewing gum can play an important role in keeping teeth clean and healthy, and in maintaining oral hygiene. Among other beneficial properties, it pulls food and plaque off of tooth surfaces, freshens breath, stimulates the chewing muscles, helps you to concentrate, relieves stress, and can help you quit smoking and other harmful habits. If you chew sugar free gum after every meal, you will have taken an active step in preventing plaque from sticking to your teeth, as chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which helps the mouth to clean itself. The molecules that are in saliva negate the pH of acidic contents, which causes less tooth decay.

Say goodbye to bad breath

While you eat, and especially after it, bacteria enter your mouth and start to proliferate, which can make your breath smell bad (and of course certain foods can do this without the aid of bacteria), which is a normal phenomenon, but it can lead to problems. Chewing gum neutralizes odours with its minty or fruity (or cinnamon as it were) taste and smell, but more importantly neutralizes bacteria through increasing the production of saliva, as your spit will wash out the invading organisms.

I’d rather chew gum

A great way to quit a disastrous habit is to chew sugar free gum, which has many beneficial qualities and can be a great help in dieting as well. Chewing gum sends signals to the brain that you are chewing, thus the brain thinks that you are eating, and the feeling of hunger will go away- all without consuming any calories! Usually even sugar free gums are sweet, and this sweet sensation that is picked up from your taste buds will help you even in times when keeping your commitment may be difficult, and you are dying for a snack. Chewing gum and drinking plenty of (sugar free) fluids can be the two biggest aids in your road to losing weight.

Chewing- the sport of the teeth

Chewing is a very important physical activity. Using a muscle relieves stress; this is why stress balls work so well, because squashing the ball over and over again calms the nerves. It may be surprising, but the strongest muscle in your body is your masticatory muscle or “chewing muscle”, and using this masticatory muscle constantly will calm the body and mind. Hewing is a very complex activity, and requires the work of many muscles together, in which the tips of the bottom and top molars move away from each other, and they grind the food into a pulp. Chewing also has a beneficial effect on the development of your facial and jawbones, and plays an important part in maintaining their health. If you do not perform manual labour of some kind, your muscles will atrophy and your bones will undergo osteoporosis. If you do not chew then the same thing happens to the muscles in your face and mouth, not to mention your alveolus. Chewing is also very important in childhood and young adulthood, as it stimulates the proper growth of teeth and jawbones. This is why it is so important to feed your children raw fruits and vegetables. Chewing foods can also clean tooth surfaces, as the teeth scrape food detritus off of each other. Chewing is of course not enough to keep teeth clean, as most of the tooth surfaces are only accessible by a toothbrush or via dental floss. Chewing and a proper oral hygiene routine are the pillars of a healthy oral environment.

No sugar, in moderation

Chewing gum can only be useful if it is sugar free. Moderation is also very important, in this as in everything else, as all muscles need a break and need to relax from time to time to prevent over usage. It is recommended to chew gum for 15-20 minutes after a meal, and to do this no more than 4-5 times a day. Anything more can be a strain on your masticatory muscles.

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