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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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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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