Digestion is the process of breaking the food you eat into small enough pieces to be used by your body. This process starts in your mouth.
First, knife-like teeth in the front of your mouth, called incisors, cut and slice a small piece from the food. The child in the photo is using her incisors to bite off a small piece from the apple.
Biting with your incisors is much like cutting paper into pieces by the sharp edges of scissors.
You also use the sharp pointed teeth on the side of the incisors. These teeth are called canines and are used when foods like meat need to be torn into pieces.Yep! Dogs (canines) also have teeth that are pointed because they too need to tear off pieces from some food, such as meat.
Once the food is inside the mouth, grinding teeth on each side of your mouth, called molars mash and crush the food.
During this smashing process saliva (spit) produced in the mouth is mixed with the food. When you swallow, your tongue automatically pushes the gooey mush toward your throat. In the process a ball of food called a bolus is formed. The bolus enters the alimentary canal, which is what the tube-like digestive system is called.
If you do not chew your food well, large chunks are swallowed and your stomach tries but it cannot squeeze hard enough to break the food apart. Unchewed food can pass through your digestive system basically unchanged. This means that your body was not able to absorb needed nutrients from the food. (Nutrients are materials that your body needs to grow, produce energy, and maintain good health.)
|Food and Nutrition for Every Kid|