You may have seen chewing gum commercials on TV proclaiming that sugarless gum can promote dental health, and discourage tooth decay. Certainly, having a beautiful set of choppers is an essential requirement for a model, but that’s not the real reason why so many take up a chewing gum habit.
As it turns out, there may be some benefits beyond dental health to consider, and those benefits can translate directly to the runway.
Toning Facial Muscles
As we age, it becomes harder to maintain the muscle tone and strength we enjoyed in our youth. Many people understand this, and begin taking exercise more seriously as they get older.
However, there is a muscle group that is often overlooked, even by the most dedicated fitness enthusiasts: the facial muscles.
Although many don’t realize it, one of the reasons behind sagging skin in the face is the loss of overall muscle tone. But don’t despair. There are a number of facial exercises you can do to help increase the muscle strength and definition in your face (strange as that may seem to say). One of the easiest ones? Chewing gum.
The act of chewing actually involves four facial muscles: the masseter, temporalis, lateral pterygoid, and medial pterygoid, all of which essentially surround your lower jaw and cheek areas. These areas also happen to be some of the first to begin showing a loss of tone, or a sagging effect as you get older.
Gum chewing provides an easy way to tone your face. It can be performed for an extended period of time and therefore provides your facial muscles with an excellent overall workout.
In addition, there are other exercises you can do to tone facial muscles. For instance, raising your eyebrows and holding them in a raised position for a count to five, opening your mouth wide, or jutting your lower jaw forward, although these are harder to do without drawing attention to yourself. Gum chewing, on the other hand, is automatic and barely noticeable.
Think Toning, Not Slimming
Toning your facial muscles will not necessarily have a slimming effect on your face. In fact, if you take up a particularly enthusiastic gum chewing habit, you may actually notice that your face seems to be widening ever so slightly. This can be great news if you have been lamenting the lack of a defined jawline, but definitely not good news if you’re hoping to get those hollowed out cheeks you see on the runway.
Any widening that occurs should be very slight and is due to your muscles holding their position as they are meant to, rather than being slack and hanging down. So what you perceive as a widening might actually be a restoration of a healthy jawline.
Facial slimming is usually the result of overall weight loss, and the application of a fair bit of creative makeup such as contouring. So if you are aiming for a toned and slender face, the answer is probably going to lie in a combination of diet and facial exercise.
A Few Important Tips
Gum chewing can be helpful, but keep these points in mind:
- Sugarless gum is the way to go. Chewing sugary gum can lead to tooth decay and other dental problems.
- However too much sugarless gum – particularly if it is sweetened with something like sorbitol or maltitol – can sometimes cause digestive distress. If you begin having stomach cramps or other issues, switch up your brand of gum.
- If you experience jaw pain, or have any episodes of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), you should definitely talk to your doctor and put your gum chewing on hold until the issue has been fully addressed.
Remember, gum chewing can have some beneficial effects, but it will not drastically change the shape of your face. However, it will help maintain healthy muscle tone which can give you a more youthful appearance.