How Your Tongue Works

KidsHealth presents,
‘How The Body Works’, with Chloe and the Nurb. Ah, how I love that, I just
finished a book feeling. What are you reading, Nurb? I’m learning to be a sales nurb. Can I try out my brand new
sales technique on you? I don’t know. I’m a pretty tough customer. Perfect. Old nurb loves to
rise to a challenge. What you selling? Hm, I’m not sure, but it’s
right on the tip of my– Tongue? Ding, ding, ding. The tongue! But I already have a tongue. Before you decide,
let me tell you all the wonderful
things you’ll get with your shiny, new tongue! This amazing tongue can be
used to talk, eat, and taste. First, let’s talk about talking,
since we’re doing it already. The front of the tongue
is very flexible, and is used to create many of
the sounds we call talking. Just try to say, this
or that without it. Go ahead, I dare you. Ah — ugh. Wow, that is hard to say. And the back of the tongue
helps with other sounds, like “k” and “g.” How would we sing without this
wondrous muscle in our mouth? Terribly. But with it– [singing] The tongue can also help us eat. It moves food around
your mouth while you chew, pushing it to your back
teeth so they can grind it up. It’s like a marvelous,
spit-covered food-moving machine. While the teeth
grind up the food, it gets mixed with saliva. Which we also call spit. The spirit and food mixture
then get pushed by your tongue to the back of
your throat, where it travels down your esophagus
or food pipe to your stomach. Eating would be awfully
hard without saliva. And flavorless, since a dry
tongue can’t taste a thing. Thank you spit. Tasting is the best. But I’m still not sold. Well, we’ve only just
gotten started with all the exciting tasting, features
your new tongue has. The surface of your
tongue feels rough, because it’s covered with a
layer of small bumps called papillae. Papillae. Papillae. The papillae contain
your taste buds. And those help us
taste everything from apples to zucchini. And everything in between. The average person
has 10,000 taste buds. These amazing little bumps can
detect sweet, sour, bitter, and salty flavors. Now, you’re just
making me hungry. And you should be. Your brand new tongue
can detect all four of these fabulous
tastes at once. Now, hold on Nurb. I’ve heard there’s a fifth kind
of flavor the tongue can taste. It’s called umami. My mommy? Not quite, though she
does have excellent taste. Umami is the Japanese word for
yummy, and that’s how it takes. Think of Parmesan
cheese, ketchup, sauces made with soy sauce. Yummy! Now, you’re selling me. This powerful organ can
detect five separate tastes. And if you order right now,
we’ll throw in a free nose! Without the nose’s
incredible smelling power, well, you can’t really
taste very much. Is that why when my nose
is stuffy, I can’t taste very well? Bingo! Taste and smell are
very closely connected. Wow. I am really impressed by all
the things the tongue can do. The best part is the
tongue never rests. That’s right folks. These tongues don’t
just work all day. They go all night, no
batteries necessary. So what do you say Chloe? Will you buy a new tongue? It’s a real bargain! So you’re telling
me this one tongue can be used to talk,
eat, and taste? That’s what I’m
telling you Chloe! You sold me. I’ll take one. The tongue! It’s got flavor! Limit one tongue per customers. Tongues are not intended
for tasting dirt, licking frozen poles, or sticking
out at brothers or sisters.

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