We have such grandiose plans for improving our health and well-being and making our lives easier and better; but most of the time these plans are hardly implemented and we continue leading our monotonous lives as before. Why is it so? The problem with most of us is we tend to think in terms of big things, whether it is about losing enormous amount of weight or following a strict diet plan. We often neglect little things of life; but little things do matter.
Take the case of brushing and flossing teeth for instance, it’s such a simple routine but we tend to overlook its importance. Of course, most of us brush and floss our teeth religiously to maintain good oral hygiene, but did you know that it could also help cut down the risk of contracting heart diseases? The average mouth houses over 6 billion bacteria, which almost equals the number of people on earth, and some of these are responsible for causing bad breath, tooth decay, and inflammation. Researchers at Columbia University of Minnesota say that these bacteria can also cause thickening of the carotid arteries, a precursor to heart attacks and strokes. A recent
research has once again reiterated the fact that people with the germiest mouths are most likely to have heart attacks. Furthermore, another research has confirmed that bad oral hygiene could also lead to complications in pregnancy and problems for babies—in fact, bacteria from a mother's mouth could be transmitted through the blood and amniotic fluid to her unborn child. Researchers caution that this could increase the risk of a premature delivery, a low birth-weight baby, premature onset of contractions, or infection of the newborn child. A simple improvement in dental hygiene is what is required to help ward off incidence of infections and deadly diseases. US
But remember that good oral hygiene alone won’t prevent tooth decay, gum disease or other infections; you need to sanitize your lowly toothbrush too. It is highly recommended if someone in the family is ill with an infectious disease. A toothbrush is literally a Petri dish! For one thing, it mostly resides in the moist environment of the bathroom which is ideal for germs, viruses and harmful bacteria to thrive. These bugs from your toothbrush are then transferred to your mouth every time you brush. Even the best-rinsed toothbrush harbours these unhealthy bacteria. Sanitizing a brush involves much more than just a quick rinse under the sink when you're finished brushing. You should eliminate these germs by submerging the bristles in a glass of antiseptic mouthwash like Listerine after brushing. A wet brush is also a breeding ground for wandering microorganisms, so allow the brush to air dry. However, don't soak it for hours together in any antibacterial rinse—15-20 minutes is more than enough. Also don't put a cap or store your brush in a closed container or a drawer, for this may trap bacteria inside and closed environments with moisture are found to be most conducive for their growth. Always store it upright in an open container and do remember to change your brush every three months.
Another good way to sanitize a toothbrush, as suggested by the Reader’s Digest magazine is to place it in a microwave for 15 seconds. The microwave radiation kills the germs, bacteria and microbes that dwell on your toothbrush. If you don’t have a microwave, you could sanitize your toothbrush by boiling it for about five minutes. This will kill most bacteria, but it could wear out your toothbrush bristles faster. You could also use toothbrush sanitizers for your brushes. Some use ultraviolet sterilizing lamps to sanitize the toothbrush, killing harmful bacteria and viruses, while others use steam and dry heat. You may look for these products at Amazon and buy only those that are most effective and approved by the FDA.
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