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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 June 18, 2019

15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

Here are some tips for installing the habit of contiuous learning:

1. Always have a book

It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

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3. Get More Intellectual Friends

Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

4. Guided Thinking

Albert Einstein once said,

“Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

5. Put it Into Practice

Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

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6. Teach Others

You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

7. Clean Your Input

Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

8. Learn in Groups

Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

9. Unlearn Assumptions

You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

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Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

11. Start a Project

Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

12. Follow Your Intuition

Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

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13. The Morning Fifteen

Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

14. Reap the Rewards

Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

15 .Make Learning a Priority

Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

In fact, you can train your brain to crave lifelong learning! Here’s how to become a lifelong learner:

How to Train Your Brain to Crave Lifelong Learning (And Why It’s Good)

More Resources About Continuous Learning

Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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