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Chewing and biting - a lost art?

In the western industrialized world, food is becoming softer and softer, chewing food is becoming the exception and processed foods are being consumed on a daily basis.
Yet the chewing function is not only important for crushing food, but on the one hand chewing has a regulative (calming) effect on our nervous system. On the other hand, chewing is an important building block of jaw development.
With the bite rings on children can train chewing and thus also chew solid food more easily and at the same time give the nervous system a calming input.

Chewing and biting - a lost art?

In a world where everything is boiled, cooked, made into porridge, chewing is probably indeed a skill that is being pushed more and more into the background. Many children refuse to chew a carrot. Is it because it's too strenuous?  The assumption is obvious when, from the time children are ready to eat, only porridge is given, bread is offered without a crust and vegetables are steamed. Of course, children should be introduced to hard foods slowly and with caution. The handling of different food consistencies is without doubt essential for a healthy lifestyle.

Why is chewing so important?

To be able to chew a piece of bread or raw vegetables requires a number of skills. The jaw has to be opened wide enough, it has to be decided whether it is still soft enough to be bitten off with the incisors or whether it is better to use the molars to bite it off. The tongue must be able to lateralize to hold the food on the molars to grind it, at the same time the tongue must also move the food pulp from one side to the other. The tongue is then brought into a bowl shape to receive the food pulp, the tip of the tongue is brought to the papilla incisiva (the tongue resting position), and the food pulp is brought toward the esophagus by a "mermaid" movement of the tongue.  For all this to happen, integration of the oral reflexes is necessary, which cannot fully happen with foods that melt easily or do not even need to be moved in the mouth.

Why are bite rings important for children?

The growth of the jaw bones is greatest in the first 5-6 years, so it is important to offer the child a range of opportunities to use the jaw bones. Because in the human body development proceeds according to the principle: "Use it or lose it!" - means: use it or lose it. So if structures are not used, then growth and development does not proceed ideally. Chewing and biting are the tasks of the jaw structures. If a child cannot perform these skills adequately, for example because not enough chewable food is offered, the growth of the jaw bones may also be restricted. Bite rings are great for supporting the child's oral exploration phase as best as possible, but they can also be helpful for offering new (harder) consistencies of food, as the bite ring provides training for the chewing muscles. 

My child chokes on hard foods, what can I do?

The gag reflex is a so-called protective reflex that ensures at the beginning of life that only those things (i.e. milk) are ingested that can also be ingested. With the start of complementary feeding and oral exploration, the gag reflex shifts further and further back toward the throat. To support the backward shift of the gag reflex, it can be useful to offer different textures, as well as the opportunity to explore the oral structures. Different bite rings with different surfaces and different degrees of hardness can be very helpful!