sunflowers110178's picture
sunflowers110178

Eating with mouth open

I was curious if anyone has any ideas on how to get my eight year old daughter to chew with her mouth shut, I have tried being nice, a little firm, very firm, explaining to her that people don't want to see what is in her mouth while it is being chewed. I have also tried the mirror. I am very aware of chewing with my mouth closed to set a good example, but it has been months, we let it slide for a little while, due to her not having her front teeth, but they are both there now and she continues to chew with mouth open.  Thanks



junieg's picture
junieg

Maybe you will just have to take her plate away when she does it and explain why you did this. She will try a bit harder if she is hungry.

tamz's picture
tamz

All my boys started out "smacking" or eating with their mouths open ... It drives me CRAZY! The thing that worked most quickly is something like what junie said but a little different. I would ask my boy (who is now 8) to chew with his mouth shut. When he would do it again, I would ask him to leave the table. I made him wait until we were done and then he sat alone to finish his plate. I felt so bad cuz I love dinner time together, but I explained that it was not fair for us to have to see his food. It did not take too long to train him this way. If your tough enough, you might try it... it was really hard for me.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Treat it like anything else. Use time out after giving 2-3 warnings or take away dessert. I think, overall, if you ignore the behavior, it'll eventually stop. Sometimes the more you make a fuss, the more the kids will do it. My son used to put his foot on the table while we were eating, and the more we told him not to, the more he did it. Eventually, after ignoring this, my son realized he wasn't getting the attention anymore and he stopped.

mommy4's picture
mommy4

my step son is a mouth breather, he is 11 and i have always been on him about eating with his mouth closed. i just dont think he can do it, i am wondering if it is a medical problem.

AsktheDentist4Free.com's picture
AsktheDentist4F...

The mother that replied to your post stating that her son had a mouth breathing problem and she didn't think that it was possible to breath with his mouth closed could be correct. The two main medical reasons for mouth breathing are 1. Chronic Allergies, or 2. Enlarged Adenoids which partially block the breathing airway. If adenoids are too large then the child will keep their mouth open to make sure they get enough air to breathe. In severe cases breathing through the nose can make the child feel as though they're suffocating. I am sure you would already know if your child had chronic allergies with chronic nasal congestions so I will assume that this is not the reason for the mouth breathing. To rule out adenoid blockage have the child examined by an ENT (Ear Nose Throat Physician).

Chelsie's picture
Chelsie

Constant reminding her. At least that how I had to do it with my son, who is 12 now. Everyday every meal constant reminding. I did recognize that he would still eat with his mouth open at school but so were most the other kids. It is persistance that makes a habit every day.
Remind her over and over that she is a young lady. And Ladies must eat their food with their mouth closed.Is there someone that you know who is an adult that chews there food with there mouth open? It would be a good idea to share a meal with that person, making sure no background noise is on like t.v. or whatever. Observe and afterwards point out later to your daughter the repulsiveness , having no etiquett and perhaps she will be able to view what others may think of her. Point out to her to listen to "that person eating with their mouth open" when she is not eating. And constantly remind her.

drdredre's picture
drdredre

Chewing with the mouth open has health reasons behind it. The epiglottis, which is the flap which protects the passageway down to the bronchioles and to the lungs; opens when we breathe in -- to allow oxygen down to the lungs. The reason we chew with our mouth closed is for good respiratory health. When the epiglottis is raised while we're eating (to allow oxygen in) we can get food particles down to our lungs. Food particles grow bacteria, bacteria can lead to an inflammation, weaken immunity, and can lead to pneumonia (and ultimately death) in extreme cases.

Also, the constant raise of the epiglottal flap allows stomach acid to splash out of the stomach and burn the throat. Acid reflux, itchy throat, and flatulence can be caused by chewing with the mouth open.

I've been searching for this answer for a year, to help my 14 year old brother in law to stop chewing with his mouth wide open.

Ask your pediatrician. :)