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 Dental Wellness: Frequently Asked Questions #4: I can't chew well, will this cause me problems? 
 
Jacob Trager DDS ©
Chewing is one of the most underestimated and least understood of all body functions.

I believe that conscious chewing is one of the major keys to dental health and wellness. The concept that form follows function is proven by the results that may be obtained by proper and conscious chewing.

Most of us have a favorite or convenient side on which we chew. This can overwork this side and underwork the opposite side, resulting in jaw, muscle and tooth imbalance. This imbalance is a major factor in dental disease.

Conscious chewing involves focusing while we eat. We can then accomplish the skill of alternative chewing. This involves 6-10 times on one side (It is wise to alter the beginning chewing from one side to the other), then switching to the opposite side for an additional 6-10 times. The object is to get the food as liquid as possible in order to aid the digestive process, an extract the maximum nourishment possible.

It will take patience and practice to develop this constructive habit. (21 days is normal to establish this new chewing pattern). If you have dental prostheses, bilateral chewing is also recommended. This is where you divide smaller portions on both sides of the mouth and chew equally on both sides at the same time.

The results of these chewing patterns will be a new balanced strength, even felt in the gums and bones surrounding the teeth.

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