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Duration:02:54
Uploaded:2017-11-28
Last sync:2019-11-30 19:10
Mmmm! The smell of a batch of cookies straight out of the oven is enough to make your mouth water! But have you ever wondered why your mouth waters?! Jessi and Squeaks are here to tell you all about saliva and the many ways it helps you enjoy those cookies!
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SOURCES:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3312700/
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/what-is-saliva#1
https://www.unc.edu/courses/2008ss2/obio/720/001/2008_Readings/070308_saliva_review.pdf
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/00220345870660S203?journalCode=jdrb
[Intro]

We might not think about it a lot, but the insides of our mouths are really wet all the time. There's a ton of spit in there! 

(Squeaks squeaking)

Ah! Squeaks, don't lick me! There's always some spit, or saliva, in our mouths because it has some really important jobs, like helping us talk and taste. It even helps break down our food!

Saliva comes from special parts of your body called salivary glands. They look kind of like little blobs, and you have six of them: two under your tongue, two by the back of your jaw under your chin, and two under your ears.

Our salivary glands are always making more spit. We might not even realize how much since we swallow most of it, but they make 4 to 8 cups of saliva every day!

That might seem like a ton of spit, but it's a good thing we have it. Saliva is mostly made of water, and by keeping our mouths wet, it helps us move our tongues and lips around when we talk.

Saliva is also super helpful for eating. It makes the food in your mouth nice and wet, which makes it much easier to move around as you chew and swallow. And, at the same time, it makes your food taste better! the things that give your food its taste, like salt and sugar, have to dissolve in water for the taste buds on your tongue to be able to taste them. Without saliva, even a cookie would just feel like a bunch of dry, crumbly, tasteless stuff in your mouth.

(Squeaks squeaking)

I'm glad we have saliva, too! But, it does even more than help us talk and taste things. It also helps us digest, or break down, some of our food before it even gets to our stomachs. Even though most of saliva is water, there's also small amounts of other stuff in it, including something called an enzyme.

Enzymes are tiny little particles, way too small for us to see. But, they're in lots of different parts of our bodies. And, one thing enzymes do is help break down our food into smaller and simpler pieces that are easier for our bodies to absorb and use as energy. The type of enzyme in saliva is in charge of breaking down foods like bread, cereal, or potatoes. As soon as you put the food in your mouth, your saliva gets to work breaking it down! That way, it gets a head start on digesting it before you even swallow.

So, besides helping us talk and taste, saliva also helps us get energy from our food! And those are just some of its jobs. Spit is super useful!

(Squeaks squeaking)

I know! All of this talk about food is starting to make me hungry, too! Which is perfect, because it's almost time for lunch. Let's go use some of that saliva!

Thanks for joining us! If you want to keep learning and having fun with Squeaks and me, hit the subscribe button, and we'll see you next time here at the Fort!

[Outro]