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Flossing Is A Waste Of Time If You Do It Wrong: 6 Flossing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Flossing Is A Waste Of Time If You Do It Wrong: 6 Flossing Mistakes You Should Avoid

As Associated Press points out in their study on flossing[1], if you are doing it wrong, it can do more harm than good. Flossing improperly can damage your gums, teeth, and dental work.

The American Dental Association[2] advises to brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss once a day. The purpose of flossing is not just to remove food remains that get stuck between your teeth, but more importantly to remove the bacteria between your teeth that turns into plaque and the development of germs that cause bad breath, among other things.

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Below are some of the most common flossing mistakes you should avoid:

1. Only floss with front and back motions

It’s not enough to just move the floss in the space between two teeth. In order to completely remove plaque, you need to actively scrape against both sides of every tooth and clean them. To effectively remove the plaque, you also need to move the floss up and down, and not use front and back motions, as many people do.

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2. Not flossing behind the back teeth

Bacteria can be found even in the back of your mouth, so although you might think there’s no point since there isn’t another tooth next to them, it is important to clean behind the back teeth. As with every tooth, in order to feel the benefits of flossing and proper oral hygiene, you need to spend the right amount of time cleaning each tooth. You should clean each side of your teeth for a few seconds, repeating the scraping motion 10 times to get the best results.

3. Using the same piece of floss for every tooth

When using dental floss, the main goal is to remove bacteria to prevent tooth decay. Thus, if you are using the same piece of floss to clean all of your teeth, you are just spreading the bacteria around your mouth. To prevent spreading bacteria, use a new piece of floss for cleaning each space between the teeth.

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4. Not flossing when your gums start bleeding

When you haven’t flossed your teeth for a while, the plaque starts accumulating, your gums become inflamed, and they bleed when you start flossing again. Even though you might think you are hurting your gums because they are bleeding, you shouldn’t stop because you need to remove all the plaque that has accumulated to avoid more serious problems. If you floss regularly, your gums should stop bleeding.

5. Flossing only to remove food

Contrary to the popular belief, the purpose of flossing is not just to remove the food you see and feel stuck between your teeth. The main goal is to scrape your teeth to remove the plaque, which can cause bad breath and make your teeth yellow. So while flossing when there is food stuck in between teeth is good, it’s better to floss daily regardless. Prevent incurring damage to your gums by not flossing excessively multiple times a day.

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6. You are flossing too hard

When you are flossing against the sides of your tooth, you need to press firmly enough to remove the plaque, but you need to be careful and not slam the floss down aggressively between your gums, or you will injure them.

If you want to take flossing seriously, be sure that you are doing it the right way in order to avoid wasting your time doing it improperly. If for some reason you can’t floss or simply don’t like it, you can consider using other alternatives, such as interdental brushes, which are small brushes that are used to clean the space between your teeth, or mouthwash, which is used to remove the plaque and prevent gum disease at its early stages. 

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/ via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f7e66079d9ba4b4985d7af350619a9e3/medical-benefits-dental-floss-unproven
[2] http://www.ada.org/en/

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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