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

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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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on November 11, 2019

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Feed Your Brain

Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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6. Write it Down

If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

7. Listen to Music

Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

8. Visual Concepts

In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

9. Teach Someone Else

Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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