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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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Armela Escalona

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Last Updated on November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

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Thanksgiving: It’s About The Simple Things

Thanksgiving, a day of pure gluttony, football, and possible uncomfortable situations with family members that you may or may not like. Oh, yeah, and the whole “know and reflect on what it is to be thankful and grateful.”

During the holiday season many people forget what this time of year is bout and are too worried about getting the “early-bird” deals on Black Friday and making sure that they have the perfect gifts for their loved ones. I am sort of a “Grinch” when it comes to the holiday season, mostly because of that mentality by many of the poeple around me.

But instead of being grinch-like this holiday season, I decided to simplify things and get back to what this time of year is actually is about; being thankful for what I have and what I can give.

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Simplify

I’m not a “minimalist” in any real sense, but in the last few months the talks of Patrick Rhone and others have got me to rethink my stance. Can you really have too much stuff?

Absolutely.

And with all that stuff comes the burden and the weight of it on your back.

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If you feel that the things around you are out of control, maybe it’s time to simplify and be thankful and grateful for what you have and use. Here are a few things that you can do to simplify:

  • You know those gadgets in the drawer that you said you were going to sell? Well, time to get the listing on eBay and sell them. Or, send them to a place like Gazelle. Even if they are old and won’t get money, you can at least recycle them.
  • Get rid of things you don’t need. Like old books, clothes, tools, etc. Have something that’s been laying around forever with no use? Donate it to a charity or church. If you aren’t using it, someone else could be.
  • Find your productivity tools and stick with them. Use tools and gadgets that serve multiple purposes so you can simplify your tool set.

Be Mindful

You don’t have to be a master Buddhist or meditator to be mindful (although, it can definitely help). Being mindful comes down to being cognizant of the present and not keeping yourself in the past or future. It’s about living in the moment and being aware of yourself and everything around you. It’s just being.

Without getting too “California” on you, it is super important to be mindful during the holiday rush. Rather than worrying about the things that you forgot at your house on the way to relatives or thinking about the next stop in your endless holiday travels, just breath and think about what you are currently doing.

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Spend the time with your family and friends and don’t crush the moment. Try not to concentrate so hard on getting the perfect photo of the “awesome moment” of the day and actually miss the awesome moment.

Being mindful over the holidays will help you be with your families, friends, and yourself allowing you to enjoy your time.

Reflect

As the year is coming to a close (yes, it really is that close!) it’s a great time to start reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you haven’t. Within the next few weeks we will have a more throrough reflection article here at Lifehack.org, but reflecting every now and then over your holiday break is a great way to see where you have been doing well in your life and where you need to improve.

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Reflection shouldn’t be used to “get down” on yourself. Reflection should be used to take an honset inventory of what you have accomplished, how you handeled situations, and what you can do better. If you journal everyday (a daily form of reflection) it may be a good time to start going over some of the things that you have written and start to put together a year’s end journal entry. I mean, how else will you write your autobiography?

But, seriously, reflecting on yourself makes you aware of your successes and faults and helps you plan and make goals for the coming year. It makes you a better person.

So, while you are stuffing your face with bird, stuffing, and mashed taters’, remember that the holidays are much more than the superficial things. Use this holiday to become a better person.

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Featured photo credit: Libby Penner via unsplash.com

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