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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 May 15, 2019

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

“Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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