Last updated: January 10, 2022 at 10:10 am
Imagine a world without chewing. A place with silent chomping and no audible chewing sounds or noisy smacking or crunching. Sounds great right? How to chew more quietly is a problem many of us have faced at one time or another. It’s almost impossible to chew silently when enjoying a juicy steak or crispy potato chips, but there are ways we can make our mastication a little less noisy.
There are proven ways to stop it, and we are going to discuss them in this article. But before we delve into how to stop chewing loudly, let’s first consider what it actually does to us.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1 Why Do We Hate the Sound of Chewing?
- 2 What is Misophonia?
- 3 12 Ways to Chew More Quietly
- 3.1 1. Do a Test Run
- 3.2 2. Pick the Right Food
- 3.3 3. Sit Up Straight and Pay Attention
- 3.4 4. Slow Down and Take Smaller Bites
- 3.5 5. Focus on Chewing Texture Instead of Taste
- 3.6 6. Chew With the Front of Your Mouth
- 3.7 7. Eat Softer Foods
- 3.8 8. Vary Your Chewing Speed
- 3.9 9. Chew From Side to Side
- 3.10 10. Keep Your Jaw Loose
- 3.11 11. A Little Lubrication Can Go a Long Way
- 3.12 12. Minimise the Amount of Food You Put In Your Mouth at Once
- 4 Conclusion
Why Do We Hate the Sound of Chewing?
The sound of teeth chomping and jaws mashing against food grates on our last nerve. We can hear someone eating a meal from across the room, but it’s not until we’re face-to-face that the sound becomes unbearable. The cause of this fury that follows the sound of chewing stems from a condition known as misophonia.
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is not uncommon and is often caused by exposure to loud noises over time.
Misophonia is much rarer and far more specific. The exact causes are unknown, but sufferers have reported that their anger is triggered by very specific sounds, such as chewing, slurping or breathing. It’s not just sounds, either: the sight of other people eating food can trigger an angry response in some sufferers.
It is a surprisingly common affliction and one which has been given increasing coverage in recent years.
On the surface, misophonia might seem like a relatively simple condition. However, it can be very difficult to live with and is often misunderstood by those who do not experience it.
The strange thing is that while we all find certain sounds unpleasant (the screeching of chalk on a blackboard being the classic example), misophonia sufferers find what most of us would consider relatively innocuous noises unbearable.
While some people can manage their misophonia by simply avoiding trigger sounds or wearing earplugs, others may instead choose to undergo cognitive behavioural therapy to learn how to react less strongly when they hear a trigger sound. Unfortunately, this form of treatment requires a lot of time and dedication on the part of the individual for it to be successful.
What is Misophonia?
Misophonia is a psychological disorder characterized by a hatred of sound. The hatred is not limited to certain sounds; virtually all sounds can trigger misophonia. A slight sound can trigger an enormous feeling of rage, anxiety, or panic. An affected person will likely avoid public situations as much as possible because most people do not realize how much these noises affect their loved ones.
The most common triggers are:
Eating and drinking: From chewing to lip-smacking, slurping, and swallowing, there are plenty of things that can be done with one’s mouth that may trigger an episode in someone with misophonia.
Breathing: Some people have reported being triggered by hearing others breathe in such a manner that they perceive it as loud. The breathing itself is usually within normal ranges of volume.
Tapping/scratching: This encompasses several actions including tapping on objects, fingernails tapping on surfaces, and knuckles cracking.
Footsteps: This situation is similar to breathing in that some people report being triggered by the sound of footsteps because of their perceived volume instead of the actual volume itself.
In addition to the above-listed triggers, some reports have also stated that some sufferers have been triggered by visual stimuli as well. These include dirty dishes
12 Ways to Chew More Quietly
Chewing loudly, smacking your lips, and chomping on food is one of the most common dining etiquette violations. But we don’t all do it equally. The worst offenders tend to be men, especially when they’re eating something like steak or chewing gum.
Tearing and slurping are all a sign that you’re not enjoying the food in front of you. To help curb your loud eating habits, here are a few tricks to try at the table:
1. Do a Test Run
Before heading out for your next outdoor meal, chew on some bread or crackers in front of a mirror. Make note of what you see. How is your mouth positioned? Are you chewing loudly? If so, practice altering your technique to chew more quietly before you go out to eat again.
2. Pick the Right Food
One of the most important things you can do to reduce the amount of noise you make when eating is to eat quieter foods. If you have ever noticed that you chew and swallow more quietly when you aren’t hungry, it’s for this reason.
The quietest foods are soft and moist, such as applesauce or yogurt. Harder foods like bread or dried beans make more noise. Also, some foods are more likely to produce loud, explosive sounds in your mouth: raw carrots or celery, hard candies or gum, ice cubes, nuts, and crunchy peanut butter.
3. Sit Up Straight and Pay Attention
Slouching can make it easier for food to slip down more easily than it should — and can result in louder chewing noises as well. When you sit up straight and pay attention to how much food is still in your mouth versus how much has already been chewed and swallowed, you’ll find yourself chewing less noisily.
4. Slow Down and Take Smaller Bites
You should chew each bite of food thoroughly before taking another bite. Taking large bites will cause your mouth to make a lot of noise while you are eating. It is best to take small bites so that you can enjoy the taste of the food more thoroughly and completely.
5. Focus on Chewing Texture Instead of Taste
It is easy to become so involved with the taste of what you are eating that you forget about how loud it is. If you find yourself eating a lot faster than normal, then slow down and focus on how much noise you are making. It may seem like it is quieter than it is if you focus on texture instead of taste.
6. Chew With the Front of Your Mouth
Chewing in the front of your mouth helps you chew softer than chewing in the back of your mouth. When you chew with the back of your mouth, you’re chewing harder.
7. Eat Softer Foods
Sauces, nuts, and even ice cream have a much softer texture than say a steak or hard cheese. Selecting softer foods will make for an easier eating experience without the unwanted side effects of chewing too loudly.
8. Vary Your Chewing Speed
Another strategy for eating silently involves varying the speed of how fast and hard you are chewing things up. Try starting slow and steady, then speeding up gradually and slowing down once again before finishing off with whatever part is left. This will help avoid some of the sound-generating crunching noise that can be heard by everyone around you if there is anything that needs to be chewed up quickly.
9. Chew From Side to Side
When eating food, try to chew from left to right rather than up and down as this will give your jaw a rest from time to time thus reducing the amount of time spent chewing each mouthful.
10. Keep Your Jaw Loose
A lot of people let their mouths hang open when they eat, which is noisy for those around them! To avoid this, keep your lips closed around whatever is in your mouth, but try to relax your jaw as much as possible. Open your mouth only wide enough for what’s inside to fit comfortably. This will help reduce the amount of noise from moving jaw parts.
11. A Little Lubrication Can Go a Long Way
A dab of butter on your food or drink can make them easier to swallow, which will result in less chewing and less noise. Keep a few napkins handy so that any excess grease is caught before you swallow it.
12. Minimise the Amount of Food You Put In Your Mouth at Once
If you want to chew more quietly, one of the best ways is to make sure you are chewing each bite less vigorously. That’s because it isn’t just how fast you chew that makes noise, but also how much force you use. a smaller bite means less chewing and therefore less production of saliva and less overall noise.
Most people chew loudly. They chomp up, they smack their lips, and it all makes for a very annoying dinner experience.
It may be almost impossible to always keep chewing quietly when you’re alone, but you can learn to do it with some practice. When others are in the room, chew more quietly by paying attention to your chewing and chewing more slowly.
This will ensure a quieter experience for everyone. Another way to manoeuvre through this problem is to use the methods discussed above. This will allow you to masticate your food properly while minimizing the noise it makes. Try it out sometime and see how much quieter it is!