Research indicates that we chew during the process of eating 1000 to 3000 times per day; therefore it is important to use the lip, tongue, and jaw muscles correctly.
Lip closure during chewing and swallowing strengthens and develops the lip muscles which in turn helps establish lip closure for all the mouth functions.
Lip closure prevents ‘smacking’ or noisy eating and keeps food from spilling out or corrects the messy eater.
Lip closure while chewing limits the side-to-side movement of the jaw which is beneficial for the temporomandibular joint.
Thorough chewing dissolves substances in the food to make them more accessible to the taste buds. Chewing a semi-hard to hard diet in a child helps to develop the mandible.
Proper chewing on both sides of the mouth helps to develop the two sides of the jaw evenly, promotes equal muscle development in the temporomandibular joints, helps distribute the force used by the chewing muscles evenly between both sides, helps produce a more uniform wear pattern on the teeth and contributes to facial symmetry.
Proper tongue sweeping while chewing cleans debrr to the swallow and prevents premature entry of food into the throat which prevents choking.
Thorough chewing increases saliva production which helps to digest bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup, thoroughly mixes the food with saliva which is rich in digestive enzymes that begin the process of starch and fat digestion. When food is chewed thoroughly the less work there is for the stomach and intestines reducing gas and bloating. The intestines will have an easier time pulling micronutrients out of thoroughly chewed food and providing the body with more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.
Proper swallowing of food eliminates the swallowing of air reducing gas and belching.
Chewing releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps us relax, go to sleep, focus or concentrate and elevates our mood.