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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

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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