Practice your Cheek Puff
– You have earnt the Bronze Quit Reward
– There are new ToolBox items to learn.
Congratulations you receive the Bronze Quit Reward
What is better?
We recommend you try to eat slower and be more mindful of food, your teeth and mouth.
Benefits of slow eating include:
- No accidental bites on your cheeks
- Better digestion
- Better hydration
- Easier weight loss & maintenance
- Less stressful
- Reduced bloating
You will gain more satisfaction from your food and mealtimes will not be over so soon, which often makes you want to eat more.
Why does it matter?
What bite-size pieces do you cut your food into when it’s on your plate?
We suggest cutting up your food into even smaller pieces.
Smaller pieces benefit you by:
- Less food in the mouth to chew – again, avoiding that accidential chomp
- Allowing you to chew slower and being mindful about your food
- More bites mean it takes longer to eat your meal – allowing your hunger hormones to catch up
So overall, we can easily say you will enjoy your food more and be more in control of your chomps.
Be extra careful
Some foods are hard and sharp, some are soft – be careful when eating those hard/sharp foods as they can cut your cheeks.
Some examples of hars or sharp foods are:
- Potato or taco chips
- Chicken or animal bone
- Crispy pizza crust
- Pork/bacon cracking
- Boiled lollies
There are many other sharp foods and you really need to treat them with care when consuming them.
The P3 techniques can be used separately or combined, depending on your situation. Experiment with these and find what works best for you.
Protect with QuitGuard
The QuitGuard is a barrier between teeth and your inner cheek lining.
- Use at times when you’re likely to nibble.
- Always have it handy, carry it with you and use it when you have the biting urge.
- Remember QuitGuard can’t protect you in its case – so get it out.
+ Puff your Cheeks Out
Here’s the P2 Puff technique:
- Close your mouth
- Slightly puff your cheeks out – creating a small air gap between your inner cheeks and teeth
- This gap stops any rubbing or abrasion, allowing your cheeks to heal
- Breathe normally through your nose, but with slightly inflated cheeks
- Experiment in the mirror to determine the minimum amount of air gap needed to look normal and natural
The Cheek Puff allows your mouth skin to heal quickly, by preventing irritations or unwanted rubbing from your teeth.
+ Park your Tongue
Here’s the P3 Park technique:
- Flatten your tongue up against the roof of your mouth
- Apply a little pressure at the back of your tongue
- Continue to breathe normally
- You may notice a calming sensation in your tongue as it no longer has to do any ‘work’
- Your tongue should not touch your front teeth and barely touch your lower teeth
- Avoid having a floppy or loose tongue; always keep it parked on the roof of your mouth
This technique is especially useful when you’re unable to wear your QuitGuard.
+ Fresh Mouth
Start nurturing your inner mouth skin, as it begins to heal and regenerate. The broken skin and lesions in your mouth will repair faster with the right care.
We suggest gentle teeth brushing and swilling water in your mouth after meals and particularly after coffee.
This is an excellent way to aid oral hygiene and keep your mouth fresh.
+ Positive Distraction
The power of distraction is always there for us. We merely need to tune into something else when we feel like a bite or nibble.
Alter your state by changing what you’re doing; take a walk, read a book, chat to a friend. Anything to take your mind off the urge to bite.
+ Motivational app
The Quitzilla app is a useful tool to support your Quit Path. The app allows you to add motivational reasons for quitting and tracks your progress minute, hourly and daily.
It’s a fun app and the notifications help you “check-in” on your progress throughout the day.
Your Tongue Position - Park it!
Cheek biting is often seen as a problem with “teeth versus cheek”. Whilst this is mostly true, we believe there is another antagonist in the script; your tongue.
The tongue plays a major role in the cycle of biting. It’s a roving scout, seeking out loose, broken or smooth skin. Assessing your favourite biting spots and whether they need attention from your teeth.
Start taking particular notice of your tongue and you may find it circulating your mouth; checking the status and condition of your inner cheeks.
Correct your tongue position
Your tongue should sit gently on the roof of your mouth. The soft pallet of your mouth is perfectly shaped to accommodate your tongue. It sucks the pallet, providing support for your teeth and gums.
By making a conscious effort, you can re-train your tongue to “park” against the roof of your mouth. You may need to apply a small amount of pressure toward the back of the tongue to hold it in place.
Once the tongue is in its correct place you can relax and continue to breathe normally. Anytime you become aware it has moved, simply stop and gently return to its parking spot.
In addition you may have developed poor tongue position when swallowing. Your tongue should touch the pallet of your mouth, barely touching your upper teeth and not touching the lower teeth.
Work to improve your closed mouth posture, paying attention to the tongue and its relationship with your cheeks.
Tongue placement or the P3 Tongue Park method is a key aspect of this course. Combined with the QuitGuard and other tools available you’ll be fully supported to quit biting forever.
When your tongue is parked in its correct spot and not able to move around, you’ll have a greater chance of success in quitting.
Why Did I Start Biting?
When you reflect on when and why you started biting, you might hope to discover why you’re still continuing with the habit. In reality, the reason you start and the reasons you continue aren’t always the same.
Research shows people start because of a stress or pressure they’re experiencing at the time. This is often in childhood; it doesn’t have to be a major event, it can be as simple as starting preschool or not feeling accepted in a friend group.
This event or circumstance triggers anxiety or nervousness, which requires some form of self-soothing. Many coping mechanisms can arise, including cheek biting.
Parents often notice the behaviour early on and put pressure on you to stop. You may have even heard the comment ‘you’ll chew a hole in your face’. These negative associations merely increase the problem, introducing a guilt cycle which may have encouraged you to bite more. As a child you don’t understand why you’re biting and usually the root cause isn’t addressed at the time.
You’ll have your own story. It may be interesting to reflect on when and why you started. However don’t dwell on this; it’s what happens now that matters and not the past.
It’s likely you’ve continued biting for one reason; you became hooked on the behaviour and then it became a habit.
However just as easily as you started the behaviour, you can also eliminate it. All you need are the appropriate tools and support to stop this habit. We all have different motivations to quit and you’ve outlined these reasons in your personal Quit Plan.
We all want to improve our quality of life and quitting this life-long habit will do just that. Plus there are many other benefits to staying quit; so open your mind up to these and prepare to be surprised.
Stay focused on every good reason not to bite. This becomes your ammunition to stay on track and ride out those distracting thoughts that can pop out of nowhere.
Whether or not you remember why you started to bite, as long as you remember why you need to quit and why you’ll strive to stay bite-free; you’ll keep strong and never bite again.
People who quit feel better, are calmer, happier and in more control of their life.