Skip to content

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Dental Device May Aid Weight Loss

Novel Mouth Appliance Makes You Take Smaller Bites
Font Size
A
A
A

WebMD Health News

May 25, 2004 -- Dentists are getting into the weight loss game. No, not by wiring your jaws shut or removing your teeth -- but by selling a retainer-like device that makes you take smaller bites.

Called the DDS System, the device costs nearly $500, and it is custom-made to fit the roof of your mouth.

The manufacturer, Scientific Intake of Atlanta, touts the device as one that promotes behavior-change, rather than calling it a guaranteed weight-loss aid.

The principle behind the appliance is the scientific finding that it takes 15 to 20 minutes for your brain to signal the stomach that it's full and to stop eating. In our hurried society, Americans tend to eat too fast. Fast eaters can do a lot of caloric damage before putting down the fork.

"I love pizza and used to eat five or six pieces," say Debra Gray King, DDS, a cosmetic dentist at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, an unpaid spokeswoman for Scientific Intake, and a first-hand tester of the DDS System. "With the device in place, your mouth is smaller," she says. "You take a smaller bite by the second bite. A normal bite seems way too big. Now, I savor every bite of pizza and don't eat as much."

King also points out that it takes seven minutes to eat a hamburger. Theoretically, one could eat two before the satiety signal was given by the brain.

King says she has lost 2 ½ pounds in the last three weeks. "I am the lowest I have been since I had my last child."

A group of researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge did a two-day study of 32 overweight people, with half the group using the DDS System. The DDS-ers ate 23% less food, or 533 fewer calories. This study is unpublished data funded by Scientific Intake.

"Isn't this kind of an expensive way to do it?" asks Ruth Kava, PhD, RD, director of nutrition of the American Council on Science and Health in New York City. She semi-seriously recommends the Fletcher method of prolonged chewing called "Fletcherizing." Horace Fletcher was a 19th century health guru who suggested chewing everything a hundred times until it turned to liquid and "swallowed itself."

Today on WebMD

measuring waist
4 tips for shedding yours.
apple cider vinegar
Does it have health benefits?
 
Chocolate truffle
For weight loss, some aren’t so bad after all.
woman holding red dress
24 simple, practical tips.
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
fat caliper
Tool
 

Special Sections