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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 October 23, 2018

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

The Neural Knitwork Project

In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

The knitting and neural connection

The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

More mental health benefits from knitting

Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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“You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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“People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

The dopamine effect on our happiness

Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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“Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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