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Monday WOD: 8/12/13

A.
10 x EMOM of:
Clean or Power Clean x 1.1
(rest 10 seconds between singles)
*every minute on the minute. go as heavy. “Heavy” indicates that you are loading by feel. Only continue to increase the load if you are moving with damn good mechanics and good speed on the barbell.

Three sets for times of:
Run 400 meters
12 Hand-release Push-Ups (Handstand push-ups for the experienced)
16 Pull-Ups (Chest-to-Bar for the experienced)
20 Kettlebell Swings (53/35 kg)
Rest 3 minutes

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EXPERT ADVICE

Six Ways to Protect Your Gums

Back when we were kids, dentists loved to scare the hell out of us with horrific photos of bloody, red gums and rotten teeth. Terrified that our mouths would end up like that, we’d brush and floss twice a day without Mom making us, at least for a few days after each checkup.

But as adults, far too few of us follow doctor’s orders, meaning those nasty photos may not be so far from reality. Almost half of Americans age 30 and up have periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Men account for 56 percent of those cases.

Periodontal disease, or gum disease, happens when the tissues and bone surrounding our teeth become chronically inflamed and infected. In the early stages, gums swell and bleed, but as the disease advances, they actually recede, making it easier for teeth to degrade or fall out. The infection stems from bacteria buildup, which creates a film – plaque – that hardens into tartar. We usually associate plaque and tarter with teeth, but these substances can easily spread below the gum line and infect the soft tissue and bone. And the trouble doesn’t always end in the mouth. Several studies link gum disease to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Even if your gums seem healthy now, they won’t stay that way if you don’t take care of them. Periodontal disease rates shoot up to 70 percent among people 70 and older. So now’s the time to get a grip on gum health. Here’s how…

#1 Brush (the right way).

Brush (the right way).
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Brushing seems like a no-brainer, but it’s crucial, and experts say many of us aren’t doing it correctly. First off, brushing isn’t just about clearing food particles from teeth, so a few quick swipes won’t cut it, says Dr. Nancy Newhouse, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. “The main purpose is to create friction on the tooth surface to remove bacteria and plaque,” she says. This means two minutes of solid brushing, which most of us don’t come close to reaching. “Spend a lot of time focusing on the tooth-gum junction,” says Newhouse, adding that you should only use soft-bristled brushes. “Medium and hard bristles are way too abrasive and completely destructive to the gums,” she says.

Timing is also key. Ideally, you should brush in the morning and at night, but Newhouse says the before-bed brush is more important, because we don’t drink throughout the night, except for maybe a little water, and our mouths produce very little saliva to flush away bacteria. Also brush after meals whenever possible, but don’t devour your lunch and then whip out the toothbrush. “Wait for about 30 minutes after a meal before brushing,” says Dr. Emanuel Layliev, of the New York Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. “After eating, the pH in your mouth is very low, meaning it’s a very acidic environment, so brushing immediately can wear down the teeth and gums even more.”

If you can’t brush during the day, then at least find a minute to floss after you eat, Layliev says. But never jab your gums with a toothpick, which damages gum tissue.

#2
Chew sugar-free gum.

Besides freshening breath, chewing sugar-free gum helps keeps gums in good shape. “Gum pulls food particles out of all the pits and grooves in your mouth to help keep bacteria from thriving,” Layliev says. Also, chewing gum stimulates saliva production to help the mouth stay moist, says Newhouse. She says saliva production sometimes decreases with age and about 500 commonly prescribed medications can cause dry mouth, which ups your chances of gum and teeth troubles.

Layliev suggests gums sweetened with xylitol, a natural sugar alcohol that acts as an antimicrobial and lessens inflammation. “Xylitol is also great because it satisfies sugar cravings without doing all the harm of true sugar,” he says.

#3 Limit your intake of chewy and sticky foods.

Limit your intake of chewy and sticky foods.
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Oral bacteria feast on sugar, which is why dentists always say to cut back on candy. But Layliev says sugar-packed foods that are also chewy, sticky, or crunchy – think granola bars, cake frosting, barbecue sauce, and dried fruit – are especially gum-ravaging. Besides being chock-full of sugar, these foods cling to teeth and gums and work their way into tiny crevices and pockets in your mouth.

Obviously, you’re going to eat this stuff once in a while – just limit the frequency. “It’s better to eat a piece of cake in one sitting than to snack on sticky, sugary foods throughout the day,” Newhouse says. “The more times you expose your gums and teeth to sugar, the more chances the bacteria have to grow, and the greater your risk of periodontal disease.” For this reason, Newhouse says that sipping on sugary beverages and juices, and even sugar-sweetened coffee, throughout the day is terrible for gums and teeth.

#4 Eat fibrous and antioxidant-rich foods.

Eat fibrous and antioxidant-rich foods.
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Certain foods are actually great for gum health. “Fibrous foods like celery, apples, carrots, and cucumbers naturally clean the surface of teeth and also massage and promote good circulation in the gums, which helps tame inflammation,” Layliev says. Plus, he says chewing these foods churns up more saliva to wash away food particles.

Also load up on antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like leafy greens, berries, oranges, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. “Diets rich in antioxidants enhance the overall health of the body and therefore gum health,” Layliev says. They bolster your immune system to help battle oral bacteria and stave off infections, says Newhouse.

#5 Regularly rinse with a (natural) mouthwash.

Regularly rinse with a (natural) mouthwash.
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Swishing around a mouthwash or rinse, especially after you brush, helps flush away any remaining food remnants and offers an extra antimicrobial punch. But don’t grab that electric-blue Listerine. Layliev says to steer clear of mouthwashes that contain alcohol, a common bacteria-zapping ingredient. “Alcohol is harmful to soft tissues like the gums and can increase your chances of soft-tissue cancers,” he says. “It also dries out and weakens teeth.”

Instead, go with a mouthwash that uses natural antimicrobials such as mints and plant essential oils and gum-soothing ingredients like aloe vera. Also choose a clear rinse, rather than a brightly colored concoction, which will stain teeth over time, says Layliev.

#6 Exercise regularly.

Exercise regularly.
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Shockingly, even your gums benefit from regular exercise. A 2010 Japanese study found that periodontal disease was much less common among adults in good aerobic shape and with low body mass indexes than among those who didn’t work out. “Exercise promotes good gum health because it quickens blood flow,” Layliev says. “Better circulation decreases the amount of C-reactive protein in the blood, thereby lessening inflammation in the body, including in the gums.” Exercise also may promote gum health by easing stress, which studies suggest may increase likelihood of periodontal disease.

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