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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 August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark Chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko Biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and Black Tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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