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A Mouthful of Germs: 7 Ways You Are Getting Oral Bacteria

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A Mouthful of Germs: 7 Ways You Are Getting Oral Bacteria

A healthy body is not bacteria free. In fact, there are many good bacteria found in your gut that help in your digestive process.  However, major problems arise when you get harmful microbes in your mouth. Dangerous bacteria can get into your blood through your mouth. It can bind to cells and proteins and cause health problems to various organs of your body. In what ways are you cultivating mouth bacteria? Read on to find out.

1. Eating Sugary and Starchy Foods without Brushing

Sweets treats are hard to avoid, especially for us candy lovers.  But a little self-control can prevent millions of bacteria from multiplying in your mouth. Sugar is used by bacteria as a form of energy to build plaque and speed up tooth decay which causes bad breath. Sugary, starchy, and basically any food that gets stuck in your teeth can speed up the growth of mouth bacteria.

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2. Not Washing Your Hands before Eating

Germs can transfer to your hands when you touch dirty surfaces, people, and objects throughout the day. If you eat without washing your hands, you may be moving harmful bacteria from your hands to your mouth.  Frequent washing can destroy hidden germs on your hands. It can also reduce the risk of you getting common infections like cold, influenza, and viruses.

3. Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit that affects people of all ages. But did you know that your finger and your mouth are two of the germiest places on your body?  Our fingers are pretty much involved in everything we do. From handling money, touching door knobs, and holding food. Knowing this, your nails may actually be twice as dirty as your fingers. Disease causing bacteria can get stuck in your nails and transfer to your mouth if you frequently bite your nails. To prevent this, make a habit of washing your hands and cleaning your nails regularly.

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4. Smoking

Not only do cigarettes cause lung cancer and a heap of respiratory problems, they’re also bad for your oral health. Cigarettes contain nicotine and tar that make your teeth yellow and eat away at your gums. It also helps provide an environment for bacteria to grow along your teeth and gum line. Smoking can lead to oral cancer that will harm your jaw bones and tissues, and can result in tooth loss at a young age.

5. Transfer of Saliva

Bacteria can be transferred through saliva when you share lip balms, a toothbrush, or even when you kiss! If your partner has mouth bacteria, they can pass it on to you by kissing. Parents who frequently kiss their children can also be transferring mouth bacteria to their child. Dentists often suggest parents avoid this behavior, as children don’t have the same immunity from oral bacteria that adults do.

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6. Not Cleaning Eating Utensils Properly

Food stains from plates and lunchboxes are not only gross, they can become breeding grounds for disease-causing bacteria which can transfer onto your food and into your mouth! According to a study published in the journal Food Microbiology, kitchen utensils have the ability to spread salmonella and E. coli bacteria. To prevent these bacteria from colonizing your kitchen and mouth, make sure to regularly clean your utensils properly with antibacterial soap.

7. Not Cleaning Your Fridge

Bacteria are good at hiding, both because of the obvious fact that you can’t see and smell them, and because they breed and grow in the most unlikely places. It is known that bacteria can survive freezing temperatures, so refrigeration does not necessarily mean your food is protected from bacteria. For a bacteria-free kitchen, make sure to regularly clean your refrigerator, appliances, and cooking utensils.

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