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Top 3 Distractions that Make Children Fail In School

Top 3 Distractions that Make Children Fail In School

It seems more and more kids are distracted these days; with things like smart phones, tablets and the vast amount of information on the Internet, it’s no wonder that the current generation of school children find it difficult to focus and stay on task for long periods of time.  While it’s true that things like checking email, updating Facebook statuses, playing online video games and watching movies are big distractions, I’d like you to consider another distraction that you may have forgotten about: the health of their mouths, which often leads to failure at school.

Yes, the taboo topic: oral health.  Like it or not, the health of children’s mouths can be a huge distraction and contribute vastly to the success or failure of children in school.  Most of us have dealt with either cavities and/or gum disease at some point in our lives; after all, over 80% of the world’s population suffers with gum disease and cavities within a lifetime.

1.  Cavities can cause children to fail in school

Cavities are the single most common chronic childhood disease.  In fact, cavities are five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than hay fever.  In the U.S. alone, cavities and gum disease cause kids to miss 51 million school hours and their parents to lose 25 million work hours annually.

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Children experiencing mouth pain are easily distracted, unable to concentrate on schoolwork, and have problems with schoolwork completion. Untreated cavities can also cause headaches, physical dysfunction, poor appearance and speech issues—problems that greatly affect a child’s quality of life and ability to succeed in school, ultimately leading to them failing in school.

A recent study in Los Angeles, CA at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC reported that children living in the LA area who had complained of tooth pain were about four times more likely to have a GPA lower than the average versus children who did not have mouth pain.

2.  Heavy plaque left on the teeth

Let’s face it, children’s words are often cruel, and plaque that sits on teeth not only smells bad, but it also causes the teeth to look yellow or dirty, which can be a source of teasing or bullying.

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Your teeth don’t have to be straight and beautiful, but if they are dirty, other children are more likely to notice it and make a big deal about it, a distraction that leads to self-esteem issues and failure in school.

Also, recent studies confirm that the bacteria in plaque are responsible for everything from diabetes to Alzheimer’s disease, and a variety of chronic illnesses.  The bacteria inside plaque is full of nasty viruses, and other disease causing bacteria that wreaks havoc on immune systems, and starts to build up in childhood.  We can help put a stop to the rise of these diseases if we focus on home care while children are young.

3.  Bad Breath

Young or old, who wants to be around stinky mouth?  Here’s the problem: most kids that suffer with bad breath don’t know it, but everyone else around them sure does.  In the event that your child does suffer from bad breath, the first thing to know is that many times it comes from plaque on the tongue or the teeth, which needs to be focused on when cleaning.  However, if time goes by and you have exhausted all possibilities, you may need to see a doctor to make sure it is not stemming from an issue with tonsils, adenoids or sinuses.

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A silver lining to the dark cloud

Now, it all may seem doom and gloom, but there is one great thing to know:  these issues are all preventable, and most often treatable at home if you know the steps and the right products to use.

For instance, did you know that xylitol (a natural sweetener found in birch and corn husks) helps to neutralize the acids in plaque, and helps to re-mineralize the teeth?  It is sweet like sugar and is found in many forms such as candy, gum, toothpaste and granular form.  When taken after meals, it helps to neutralize cavity-causing plaque, and freshen breath. Six to ten grams (1-2 tsp) a day is all you need to really help with these issues.  The trick is to have it throughout the day and not all at once.

Also, learn what foods feed bacteria (breads, crackers, rice, pasta, simple carbohydrates, and dried fruit, for example), and what foods help neutralize bacteria (pineapple, nuts, seeds, cheese, broccoli and cucumber, for example).  Finish your meals and snacks with neutralizing foods instead of acidic ones.

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Incorporating new techniques

Lastly, really knowing how to take care of your mouth is the biggest piece to the puzzle that rarely gets taught and demonstrated by dental professionals.  We are told that brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist for cleanings is all that is needed, but if that were the case, most of us would be healthier than we are.  Truth be told, after seeing and cleaning thousands of mouths, most people get to about 80% of the bacteria in their mouths, but the 20% left behind is the most detrimental.

Try switching up your routine to get to areas that you might miss.  For instance, start brushing your teeth on the lower inside area closest to the tongue, or you could easily sit with your toothbrush and massage your gums while reading great articles at Lifehack.org, no toothpaste required!

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

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:

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.

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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.

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.

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

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!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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