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tiny white bugs
Animals, Life Tips

Pest Control 101: Getting Rid of Tiny White Bugs

Are you a neat freak à la Monica from Friends? Even if a little bit of dust here and there doesn’t bother you, we bet it will from now on. Namely, what you think is dust might be tiny white bugs getting all comfortable on your surfaces.

Odds are, even the thought of it has made you feel uneasy. For that reason, we have prepared for you a brief guide to these dust-like insect species. Read on to find out what they are and how you should best deal with them.

What Are the Tiny White Bugs That Resemble Dust?

Before you find out how to get rid of these minute organisms, you need to consider the nature of each of the five main white bug species.

1. Dust Mites

Dust Mites

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If you’ve ever tried a Kirby or any other more potent hoover, you know how dirty your place can get. Even if you tidy up regularly, this vacuum cleaner can leave you dumbfounded at the number of tiny dirt particles it manages to collect.

Chances are, the whole thing instantly grosses you out, and you end up feeling like you’re living in a stall. But we’re all in the same boat here, mind you.

It’s not that we’re untidy — it’s just that dust mites find shelter inside our mattresses, upholstery, curtains, and carpets. For instance, a typical bed mattress can have around one hundred thousand to one million dust mites.

To make matters even worse, these microscopic insects feed on your dead cells. They also absorb moisture from the air, which is why you’re more likely to find them in high-humidity areas.

But the truth is, these tiny white bugs aren’t there to hurt you. Thus, they won’t bite you nor harm you directly — they are far too small to do that. However, an abundance of them can cause you to have an allergic reaction.

Their droppings can trigger your immune system’s response and leave you sneezing, coughing, or even dealing with asthma attacks.

2. Mold Mites

Mold Mites

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Let’s face it — mold is yucky in and of itself. Imagining these tiny fungi growing on your pipes, windows, or walls might be giving you the chills. You can expect mold forming in areas with high humidity, and you’re probably already used to getting rid of it. But what about mold mites — what are they, and do all moist areas have them?

Mold mites are tiny white bugs feeding on fungi and yeast that you can find in soil or inside your home. Using more proper terms, these guys aren’t insects but arachnids, like ticks or spiders.

Mold mites are almost transparent organisms whose size rarely crosses 0.012 inches, making them invisible to the naked eye. In most cases, you’ll be able to spot only a discolored mass forming on mold.

However, these mites might also create brown or gray areas near your food. Dead and alive mites, their droppings, tiny food particles, and your dead cells make up this dust called biomass.

Another thing to look for is visible individual mites scurrying all over your surfaces. Such a sight may indicate there’s a mold mite infestation nearby, which you’ll have to deal with as soon as possible.

3. Woolly Aphids

Woolly Aphids

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Have you ever seen one of those fluffy white masses forming on trees, looking like fungi? If so, it probably hasn’t even occurred to you that they are, in fact, insects. At a brief sight of such a formation, you might have mistaken it for white tree sap or leftover animal hair. But it turns out to be a heap of tiny white bugs called woolly aphids.

These guys dwell on tree barks and twigs where they feed on sap, producing a white waxy substance. As their name suggests, woolly aphids are fluffy and easy to spot as they’re always in large groups.

They also breed quickly, reproducing by parthenogenesis. What this means is that female woolly aphids can lay eggs without being fertilized.

Thanks to the fast reproduction of these bugs, they can cause an infestation in no time. You can usually find woolly aphids on hawthorn or crabapples in springtime.

That’s when they’re most active, but even then, they don’t pose a serious threat to the tree they live on. Still, they can cause premature leaf drop, curled or yellowing leaves, and slow plant growth.

4. Mealybugs

Mealybugs

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If you’re looking at a white formation on a plant, woolly aphids might not be the ones to blame. In this case, the true culprits will probably be tiny white bugs known as mealybugs. The two species often get mixed up thanks to their similar appearances and habitats. Like woolly aphids, mealybugs are white, fluffy, and reside on plants.

So, how can you differentiate between mealybugs and woolly aphids? The main difference between the two is that they attack different plants or different plant parts.

Unlike their lookalikes, mealybugs usually dwell on plant joints or where leaves meet stems. You can also often spot individual mealybugs scurrying around on a plant, which is rarely the case with woolly aphids.

When it comes to a mealybug infestation, bear in mind that it can happen to indoor species like your houseplants. They will pierce through their host’s leaves and stems, sucking the sap from the plant.

As a result, the leaves on the host plant can turn yellow, causing it to weaken. In more extreme cases and when left untreated, mealybugs can eventually also kill their hosts.

5. Whiteflies

Whiteflies

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Much like their cousins, the tiny white bugs called whiteflies can attack your houseplants. They also have distinguishing mouthpieces which they use to suck the host plant’s sap.

As a result, they produce a sticky white substance known as honeydew. And, as you can see, these guys aren’t proper flies, being more related to aphids and mealybugs.

But as opposed to aphids, whiteflies do require a bit higher temperatures. Because of that, they’re more likely to be found on indoor or greenhouse plants. Most commonly, you’ll be able to spot them on the backside of leaves, living in groups. Individual whiteflies, however, might be imperceptible, ranging from 0.06 to 0.01 inches in size.

Like aphids and mealybugs, they can cause damage to the host plant. By draining all its juices, they make the plant’s leaves dry and yellow. Whiteflies can also slow down their host plant’s growth and make it less fruitful.

What’s more, whiteflies are famous for transmitting plant viruses, and the plant hosting these bugs becomes more prone to illness in general.

How to Get Rid of These Tiny White Bugs?

Now that you’ve seen what these little guys are capable of, let’s take a look at how you can deal with them.

1. Getting Rid of Dust Mites

Mites

You already know just how much dust mites love humid places. So, the first step in getting rid of them could be getting a dehumidifier or an air conditioner. By doing this, not only will you make the place inconvenient for current dust mites, but you’ll also prevent potential future infestation.

Another good idea could be changing old carpets and curtains and replacing them with easy-to-clean synthetic materials.

Speaking of which, your number one ally in getting rid of dust mites would be regular and thorough cleaning. Wash your blankets and bedding in hot water or freeze them to make the conditions unfavorable for these parasites. You can also vacuum your mattresses using a HEPA filter hoover and cover them in dust-proof materials.

2. Getting Rid of Mold Mites

soda

Because these guys can’t do without fungi, you might want to eliminate the mold first. You can do this using hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, or chlorine bleach. Whichever solution you opt for, remember to leave it over the mold for some time before rinsing it. And, to prevent it from forming again in the future, use a dehumidifier.

The same cleaning substances can also help you kill mold mites themselves. These arachnids won’t be able to survive baking soda, borax, and bleach. The same goes for vinegar and lemon, whose acidity is highly effective for getting rid of mites.

3. Getting Rid of Woolly Aphids

soap

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You already know that woolly aphids don’t pose a severe threat to your plants. For that reason, deciding to do nothing about the woolly aphid infestation would also be fine. What’s more, these guys already have their natural enemies like ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies.

But if you want to prevent a woolly aphid infestation on your plants, you can use insecticidal soap to treat the infected area. In more critical situations, you can also resort to harsher chemicals like acephate.

4. Getting Rid of Mealybugs

If you’ve noticed mealybugs on some of your houseplants, you need to separate the infected plants from the healthy ones. By doing this, you’ll make sure these insects don’t spread, and you’ll be able to control the situation more easily.

Then, you can use pesticides to get rid of all the visible mealybugs. But note that these guys are resistant to chemical pesticides, so be sure to use organic ones.

Another way to deal with them is to soak cotton pads with alcohol and clean the affected leaves. Using cotton swabs dipped in alcohol will prove an even more thorough procedure. With the help of them, you’ll be able to clean less reachable places.

5. Getting Rid of Whiteflies

When it comes to a whitefly infestation, there’s also no need to resort to pesticides. Instead, you can use a few simple home remedies to get rid of the stubborn whiteflies. For instance, a regular handheld vacuum cleaner could do wonders. It will help you remove both the adult individuals and their larvae.

You can also use diluted liquid dish soap to clean the affected leaves. This method will effectively rid your plant of whiteflies without harming it. An alternative would be neem oil, which works as a natural pesticide. In the worst-case scenario, you might need to remove the diseased leaves.

how to get rid of pantry moths
Animals, Life Tips

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths: 6 Safe Ideas

Pantry moths are considered to be one of the most common pests found in kitchens and (of course) pantries. These insects aren’t poisonous, however, they will eat anything they come across. So if you’re currently dealing with an infestation, this article will teach you how to get rid of pantry moths.

What Are Pantry Moths?

Pantry Moths

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Before you read about how to get rid of pantry moths, it’s important to learn a bit about these pests.

Pantry moths, also known as P. Inerpentella are flying insects that feed on dry foods. These insects are also called Indianmeal moths, grain moths, flour moths, and weevil moths.

The size of a pantry moth can vary, however, they are typically very small. Adult moths grow up to 3/8 inches in length, with their wingspan being from 1/2 to 3/4 inches. Thanks to their size, it’s quite easy to overlook these insects until you have a full-blown infestation on your hands.

Pantry moths can be found all across the U.S. and are easy to identify. Adult moths have bronze wings with or without a pattern (for example, a black horizontal line). Their colors can vary, from light to dark brown.

Are Pantry Moths Harmful?

Harmful

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Pantry moths are not harmful to people. However, these insects feed on basically any type of dry food. With that in mind, your pantry is the first place they will infest, since that’s where people tend to store dried goods such as raw and processed grains, pasta, cereal, dog food, cat food, etc.

Also, contrary to what you may think, having pantry moths isn’t a sign of poor housekeeping. You can keep your pantry as clean as a whistle, and still have an infestation.

What’s more, most infestations occur within commercial food processing facilities. Then, when you open your food, the moths will eventually fly out and move into your home.

Worst of all, one pantry moth can lay an average of 300 eggs. However, it’s not uncommon for them to lay up to 500 eggs at a time. Once they lay their eggs, it will take up to 18 days for them to hatch. In some cases, the eggs will hatch all at once, but it’s possible for them to hatch in intervals as well.

Once hatched, you’ll have hundreds of white caterpillar larvae in your pantry. These are typically up to 1/2 inches long. While moth eggs are difficult to detect, the larvae are hard to miss considering they bear a strong resemblance to maggots.

The larvae will spin webs and consume your dry food during the course of several weeks before they form pupae. The pupae then hatch into adult moths. This process usually takes up to 10 months.

Why Are They Infesting Your Pantry?

Pantry

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Pantry moths can enter your home in a variety of different ways. For example, they can simply fly in through an open door or window. In some cases, pantry moths will make their way through openings around your vents, cables that run through your walls, and plumbing lines.

But even if you’re careful to shut all your windows and doors, and you made sure to plug up any holes in your walls, there’s still a good chance that these pantry moths can stow away inside packaged food.

The problem is that once a pantry moth makes its way into your home unnoticed, there’s a good chance you’ll soon have a full-blown infestation on your hands.

A pantry moth only has one mission: to find an area with plenty of food. Once it does, it can safely lay its eggs.

Why Do They Keep Coming Back?

Back

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Pantry moths keep coming back into your home for one simple reason: you have plenty of open food lying around. If you’re not careful to keep everything in air-tight containers, or you regularly leave pet food out, then it’s no wonder pantry moths are turning your pantry into their home.

What’s more, if you’re not careful to check your food once you bring it home from the store, there’s always a chance that a moth or two could be hiding inside your food.

So ultimately, if you want to keep the moths away, you will need to start inspecting your food more thoroughly.

How to Get Rid of Pantry Moths: 6 Ways

Get Rid of

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Namely, dealing with a pantry moth infestation isn’t difficult. However, it will involve a lot of work on your part. So without further ado, here’s how to get rid of pantry moths.

1. Clean Your Pantry Regularly

Cleaning your pantry once a week is a good way to prevent a moth infestation. However, you should be thorough when cleaning, making sure to vacuum every nook and cranny in your pantry.

Furthermore, you should make sure to use a safe cleaning liquid when you wipe down your counters. For extra protection, there are a few natural moth repellents you can place inside your pantry.

2. Inspect Your Dried Goods

The next tip for how to get rid of pantry moths involves thoroughly inspecting your food. This means opening and checking every dry food item.

Overall, you will need to look for moth larvae in your food, and on the food packaging itself. Also, check for messy webs, since these will belong to moths (spiders make neat webs).

Keep in mind that moths love to infest all of your grain-based products such as pasta, flour, and cereal, so check those first. Then, move on to nuts and sweets.

Once you’re done inspecting these products, you can move on to canned products and spice jars. For unopened cans and jars, you will only need to check the packaging for moth larvae.

Equally important, if you keep any pet food in your pantry, make sure to check it as well.

3. Discard Your Dried Foods

Dried Foods

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Whatever food you find that has moths or larvae, you will need to throw away. However, it’s important that you place these items in an outdoor trash can. If you throw them away in your kitchen trash, all your hard work will have been for nothing.

If you have some unopened nuts or grains that you would like to keep, but you’re afraid they may be infested, place them in the freezer for a few weeks. This will kill any moths or larvae that may be lurking inside.

Once you’ve dealt with the infested products, you will need to completely empty out your pantry. Make sure you pull out all of your shelf liners to give them a good wash. Vacuum the corners of your shelves, as well as the shelf brackets, undersides, hardware.

Also, don’t forget to vacuum the baseboards, walls, floor, trim, ceiling, and even your pantry door.

Then, you will need to use something strong to clean the pantry. Keep in mind that you won’t be allowed to use any pesticides to get rid of these pests, considering they’re located around your food products.

Instead, you should make a safe, homemade spray. You will need:

• A spray bottle

• Some water

• White vinegar

• Essential oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, and cedarwood)

Mix equal parts vinegar and water, and pour the mixture into your spray bottle. Add approximately 5 drops of peppermint, 15 drops of eucalyptus, and 10 drops of cedarwood essential oil.

Give the mixture a good shake, and then spray the solution onto all the surfaces in your pantry, giving them a thorough wipe-down.

The main thing to remember is that you will need to clean every area from top to bottom before you even consider putting all your items back in place.

4. Restock Your Dried Foods

Only when you’re 100% certain that you’ve gotten rid of your moth infestation can you start to restock your pantry. The best thing to do is to leave it bare for a day or two just to see if any moths appear again. If they do, you will need to give your pantry another scrub-down.

But, even before you begin the restocking process, you should first check all your products. As mentioned, it’s quite common for moths to enter your food while it’s being packed. So, when you gather all your products, make sure to open them and check for any moths and larvae. If you do find any, discard the infested items.

5. Freeze Your Dried Goods

One scary thing about math larvae is that they can eat through paper and plastic. That means that any food packed in paper or plastic containers is up for grabs. So what can you do?
Your best option is to freeze your dried goods. These include:

• Flour

• Cereal

• Nuts

• Seeds

• Bulk grains

• Dried fruit

• Crackers

• Chips

• Baking soda

• Baking powder

• Sugar

• Pet food

Basically, anything that doesn’t come in a can or jar should be frozen.

6. Seal Any Gaps in Your Wall

Make sure to seal any cracks in your walls or even the smallest of openings. Moths are incredibly small, so it’s easy for them to enter through tiny spaces.

Check the space between your cupboards and walls and behind your appliances. If you find any cracks, seal them with caulk.

Pantry moths are pretty annoying when they show up in your home. They’re difficult to spot because they’re so small, and once they start to multiply you’ll wonder how in the world could this have happened to you. But luckily, there are effective ways to get rid of them, and keep them out of your pantry for good!


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stone for gravestones
Life Tips

Stone For Gravestones: All the Details You Need to Know

Firstly, condolences. It’s a difficult time, and there’s much to process. You’re probably here to find a way to expedite the funeral and burial rites so you can have time to mourn and reflect on your unfortunate loss. One of the things you need to select is the type of gravestone you’re going to immortalize the deceased with.

Choosing a gravestone can be a somber yet peaceful process. Having a beautiful resting place to visit in the coming years can help you stay connected with your loved one. To make things easier, here’s a simple guide on all the different types of stone for gravestones.

What’s A Gravestone Called?

Granite

A gravestone is a large sculpted stone or marble piece with words engraved into it to commemorate the life of a deceased individual. It is used by families that practice the burial ritual for their dead. Some cultures cremate and some cast their deceased loved ones into the ocean.

Gravestones are part of an age-old tradition of burying the dead at a place people can come back to for remembrance, such as a cemetery.

It’s popularly believed that memories with the deceased keep your connection as well as those deceased people alive. And that those memories need to be given a lasting shape in the form of an honorable burial with a stone that will stand intact for decades to come. The gravestone and its words are an homage to the deceased.

Different Stone Types of Gravestones

#1. Granite

Gravestone

Granite is an exquisite stone with natural beauty. It has the sturdiness of marble and can withstand high heat, freezing temperatures, and acid rain. It’s practically priced for what it offers so you won’t get ripped off.

The best part is that it lasts virtually forever. There are granite stone engravings from 100,000 years ago that still exist today in perfect condition.

#2. Marble

Marble

Marble is the most exquisite material you could purchase for a gravestone, and it also offers lots of colors and designs to choose from. A gravestone made from marble won’t lose its luster, nor will it be affected by high temperatures, freeze-thaw weathering, or acid rain. It’s practically resistant to everything.

Marble sculptures from ancient history still hold every last grain of their original detail. The only problem is that marble can be costly to purchase, have engraved, and installed.

#3. Bronze

Bronze

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Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper with perhaps 12-12.5% tin. It offers tremendous durability and resistance to weather.

The only problem is, bronze develops a thin brown layer of patina on the surface for protection. Over 30 to 50 years, this patina can turn a shade of blue/green in response to moisture or other agents, which may not be to your liking.

It is possible to reverse this corrosion and restore bronze to its original color through chemical therapy but that can be a costly venture. Bronze makes for a beautiful and lustrous gravestone, but a short-lasting one relative to the other stones mentioned here.

#4. Concrete Or Cement

Concrete

Concrete is a versatile material to use for gravestones because it can be easily shaped in many different ways. Concrete, as you may know by walking on pavement, can withstand a lot of force and all kinds of weather.

The only problem is that it can be susceptible to mold or moss, especially during the rains. It also needs to be cleaned and maintained regularly.

#5. Iron

Iron

Iron was the most commonly used material for gravestones in the Victorian era and can still be used today. It’s tougher than concrete. Cast iron can last for eons and can be molded into any shape you want.

Using pure iron, however, may be a bad idea as iron is susceptible to corrosion. It’s better to opt for iron alloys that provide much stronger resistance to humidity and oxygen.

#6. Sandstone and Limestone

Sandstone

Sandstones and limestones are both widely available and very easy to carve. You can make all kinds of beautiful designs with sandstone and limestone.

The only place they fall short, unfortunately, is the most important one — durability. They’re highly susceptible to damage and erosion due to rain or floods. A freeze-thaw cycle can also shatter these stones with ease.

#7. Fieldstone

Fieldstone

Fieldstones are stones that form naturally and are found almost everywhere. They’re your common everyday rocks and pebbles.

Fieldstones have been used to build structures since ancient history, some of which are still standing today.

Depending on what kind of fieldstone you’re using, their life can be endless. Some cemeteries tend to have rules about fieldstone graves though, so you should check them out before deciding.

How Much Does a Gravestone Cost?

The cost depends on a variety of factors such as the material you’re using, size, the amount of detail you intend to add to it, and transit costs. The average cost of a headstone in the US is USD 1,000 and can go up to USD 10,000 for premium headstones such as pink granite.

What Headstones Last the Longest?

quartzite

The absolute longest-lasting material for headstones is quartzite, a type of hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock. Quartzite is formed when heat, pressure, and chemical activity trigger a metamorphosis. The rock undergoes recrystallization, combining sand grains and the silica element that holds them together like cement.

The result is an incredibly strong, resistant, and long-lasting stone that doesn’t change for thousands of years and needs no maintenance. Weathering can cause minor damage, but it would take a couple of centuries before it starts to show.

Life Tips

What To Do When You Lose Your Car Keys and Have No Spare Ones

Losing your car keys can be a nightmarish experience, especially if you have a busy day ahead. And if you’ve misplaced your spares, that’s just making the problem worse. The first and most important thing to remember is not to panic.

Your mind and body subconsciously know your car keys are important, so it’s likely you’ve left them someplace safe but can’t remember where. They might even be inside your car on the seat or in the ignition. So, don’t worry. Take a look at these few simple steps on what to do when you lose your car keys.

What To Do When You Lose Your Car Keys

What To Do

You’ve lost your car keys and you’re getting late for something. Maybe you’re stuck at a parking garage. Or worst case, on a freeway someplace out of the city. You can’t figure out what to do now. No matter where you are, this quick guide will help you with the next steps.

#1. Don’t Panic

No matter how bad the situation is, not being able to keep a cool head always makes things worse. If you’re feeling nervous, find a place to sit down, drink some water, or call a friend for help. Losing your keys is a fixable situation; the worst it will do is delay some of your plans.

#2. Think About Where You Saw the Key Last

Once you feel relaxed and you’ve called a friend or someone you know, try to replay your entire day the best you can. When was the last time you had the keys in your hand or saw it kept somewhere? That’s the first place to start looking.

#3. Search The Area Where You Saw It Last

If you remember where you saw it last, search there. It could be on the fridge magnets, the couch, the table, or on your bed.

If you’re out eating or shopping, try to remember if you ever took out the keys because they were hurting your jeans pocket. It’s possible someone found it and reported it to the lost and found.

If you’re on the road, however, it has to be the nearest place you last got out of the car.

#4. If You Have an Older Car and Have a Valet Key

Car

Traditional cars come with a spare key, or as it’s also called a valet key. The master key fits into all locks on your vehicle but the valet key can only be used to open door locks or start the ignition.

This feature is to ensure that valet parking drivers cannot open your glove compartment or trunk. You can safely leave your car with the valet facility. Think about whether you have that key.

#5. Check Inside the Vehicle

This is a cliche that’s made its segue into countless comedy bits and movies. But it’s a cliche because it’s true. Your keys might still be inside the ignition. If you’ve looked everywhere and still can’t find them, there’s a good chance it’s just lying in the car.

#6. Check If Your Keys Are Locked in Your Car

If you don’t see them in the ignition, here’s another possibility. They fell out of your pocket and onto or under the seat as you were getting out of your car. If they’re under the seat, you might have a hard time spotting them from the outside unless you can manage to get the window open.

There are several ways to open your car door without the keys, but it’s recommended you get professional assistance. You don’t want to seem like a carjacker.

#7. If You Suspect Your Keys Have Been Stolen

If you have reason to suspect someone has stolen your keys, there are a few steps you should follow. Firstly and most importantly, remain close to the car or keep it within your visual range until you manage to get it open.

Next, phone the police and report your missing keys so they know to keep an eye out for the number plate. You should also contact your insurance provider to find out if they include key protection as a part of their cover.

Have your spare key sent to you, or if you’ve lost them too, contact an auto locksmith or mechanic to help you open your car.

FAQ

What Models of Car Keys Can a Locksmith Help Me With?

The automobile industry has become advanced and grown more complex due to technological advances in all aspects concerning the production of cars and security systems. Any lock can be unlocked by an auto locksmith. They can create new keys, remove broken keys from locks. and even replace your locks and give you a new set of keys.

Do I Need to Go to My Main Dealer to Get a Spare Transponder Key?

Transponder keys are usually made by the dealership from whom you purchase the vehicle. However, they tend to add an enormous mark-up for a simple key. You can get a better deal at a local car dealership or from an independent auto smith.

Can A Locksmith Replace My Electronic Chip or Remote Key Fob?

An auto locksmith can replace both your electronic chip and remote key fob. Make sure you only purchase the spare parts from an authorized vendor.

Do I Need to Take My Car to The Locksmith to Have Keys Made?

If you have the original and your papers to prove ownership, you don’t need to take your car to the locksmith for a spare key. If you’ve lost your main key. you will need to find a way to get your car to the auto store via a towing service.

should you floss before or after brushing
Life Tips

An Important Question: Should You Floss Before or After Brushing

When practicing good oral hygiene, mistakes are quite common as there is, unfortunately, a prevalence of myths and misinformation. An important question you don’t hear enough is should you floss before or after brushing? Or how do you effectively floss if you have braces?

On the one hand, it makes sense to think that you can floss after brushing to get out the food bits that your brush couldn’t. But surprisingly, dentists have to say otherwise. This article answers all the questions you might have about flossing.

What Is Flossing?

Flossing

To floss, you use dental floss. Dental floss is a cord or filament that’s thin enough to get in the tiny gaps between your teeth. It’s typically made of plastic, although some are made from nylon.

Dental floss is made to be flexible and sturdy enough to stand friction but smooth enough to avoid damaging your gums. To floss with it, you hold two ends of the string, push it into the gaps between your teeth and slide it up and down gently.

Flossing helps to dislodge food particles stuck between the teeth and helps reduce the build-up of plaque and bacteria in your mouth. It’s an important part of oral hygiene that you should perform regularly to keep your gums and teeth healthy and have a dazzling smile.

How To Floss

Flossing is easy unless you have braces because they have a wire that gets in the way. You need to give yourself 10 to 15 minutes to floss properly every day, and longer if you have braces.

Here’s the correct flossing method to follow for teeth without braces:

#1. Take roughly 18 to 24 inches of dental floss.

#2. Stretch and hold the piece of dental floss tightly in both your hands using your thumbs and index fingers.

#3. Place the dental floss between your teeth.

#4. Curve the floss into a C shape and rub it across the edges of the teeth. Make sure you reach the gum but be careful in that area.

#5. Repeat steps 1-4 for every gap between teeth.

Flossing With Braces

Flossing can be especially tricky with braces because braces involve a wire going through them horizontally across your teeth. This can make it impossible to get to the gum area while flossing. However, there are some flossing tools you can purchase that can help keep the spaces between your teeth plaque-free if you have braces:

#1. Floss Threader: Allows you to get dental floss under the wires.

#2. Waxed Floss: Very smooth and less likely to get caught on braces.

#3. Water Flosser Machine: Pushes water out of a pinhole at high speed to help dislodge food bits stuck between your teeth.

#4. Interdental Flossing Brushes: Cleans out debris stuck on the braces, wires, and between your teeth.

#5. AirFloss: Shoots out bursts of air to clean your teeth.

Is It Better to Floss Before You Brush or Vice-versa?

Floss Before You Brush

Image source: Pinterest

Studies have shown that flossing before you brush is better at reducing plaque build-up in the mouth, and here’s why.

Floss Before Brushing

Every time you eat, some bits of food are bound to get stuck between your teeth. Using dental floss to get them out can help you clean your mouth better while also making it easier for you to brush your teeth later. If you brush first and floss later, a lot of the food bits that come out during flossing will remain on your teeth until the next time you brush or floss.

Floss After You Brush

It’s not that flossing after brushing is bad for you or unhelpful in any way. But regardless of whether or not you floss after brushing you must floss before. This sequence is important to ensure the removal of all food bits and prevent plaque build-up.

Flossing Tools

Here are some of the flossing tools you can use to keep your gums and teeth clean.

  • Traditional Dental Floss

Dental Floss

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Traditional dental floss are available in both waxed and non-waxed varieties. They come in small concealed rolls, which allow you to pull out as much floss as you need and break it off.

  • Oral Irrigators

Oral Irrigators

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Oral irrigators are handheld devices that push water at a high speed through a small jet. It allows for effective food and plaque cleansing. They’re ideal for people with braces who can’t get a string between their teeth.

  • Interdental Brushes

Interdental Brushes

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An interdental brush is a small brush designed for removing stubborn pieces of food or plaque from between your teeth. This tool reaches areas that a regular toothbrush cannot. It has incredibly thin and flexible bristles that you can push into the spaces between your teeth as you’re brushing.

Other Dental Hygiene Tips

Dental Hygiene Tips

#1. Always brush your teeth before going to bed to prevent plaque from building up during the night.

#2. Don’t forget to clean your tongue. You can purchase a tongue scraper or use the back of your brush if it comes with a tongue cleaner. Your tongue also needs regular cleaning as it can also cause bad breath if left unclean.

#3. Use a toothpaste containing Fluoride. Fluoride is the leading substance that can help combat germs and prevent tooth decay.

#4. Floss as often as you brush and floss right before brushing.

#5. Consider purchasing a mouthwash; they have several benefits like reducing acid build-up in the mouth.

#6. Stay hydrated; don’t let your mouth go dry.

#7. Avoid or limit your consumption of fizzy beverages, sugary sweets or drinks, and alcohol.

#8. If you smoke cigarettes, try to quit smoking altogether. Tobacco is notorious for causing gum disease and tooth decay early in adults, although it is also unhealthy for a plethora of other reasons.

FAQ

When, And How Often, Should You Floss?

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends flossing at least once a day using traditional floss or an interdental cleaner unless you have braces, in which case you can opt for oral irrigators.

How Do You Properly Floss?

The proper way to floss is to get the strings between the teeth, bend them along the edges of each tooth, and scrape back and forth from the top, all the way down to the gum area.

Is It Better to Use Mouthwash Before or After You Brush And Floss?

There’s a lot of speculation concerning mouthwash. Some experts say it’s better to use mouthwash before brushing and flossing because it gets a lot of food out, making the following two steps easier. Some argue you should avoid mouthwash immediately after brushing, and use it later. It’s probably best to check with your dentist on this one.


Featured image source: Pinterest.com

bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal
Life Tips

Bad Taste in The Mouth After Wisdom Teeth Removal? Learn Why

Just had your wisdom teeth removed? Halitosis or bad breath is a common effect that can last for a while after you have your wisdom tooth removed. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to manage it.

If you’re experiencing bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal, this article is for you. Read on to know what can cause a bad taste in your mouth and how you can manage it.

Wisdom Tooth Removal and Bad Breath

Wisdom Tooth RemovalHave you been noticing a bad taste in your mouth after wisdom teeth removal? But is bad breath or a bad taste linked to wisdom teeth removal?

There are many reasons for bad breath, and tooth removal is one of them. Habits like smoking or drinking can also add to the bad breath or taste in such an extensive way that you won’t be able to tell where the bad breath is coming from.

However, studies have demonstrated that there is a link between wisdom teeth removal and bad breath. And there are a few reasons for this.

What Causes Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Removal?

What Causes Bad Breath

  • Flow Of Blood

When you’re getting your teeth removed, you are first put to sleep or under anesthesia. Then, a pair of forceps is used to pull out the tooth by its root. This can cause a lot of bleeding as there is now a big opening in your gums. It is a wound that can take a few days to clot and heal itself. The blood that is released from your gums can create an unpleasant taste and odor in your mouth.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene After Extraction

As previously stated, the open wound that is caused by wisdom tooth removal can take time to heal. This wound is usually also incredibly sensitive during the first few days. So you might avoid brushing in that area to avoid disrupting the healing process. However, this causes a build-up of tartar and bacteria that eventually makes your mouth taste and smell foul.

  • Medications

You might be prescribed some medications by your dentist to help you heal. Bad breath can be a side effect of these medications.

Is It Normal to Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath is more common than you think and can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes it’s just because of the time of the day — we’ve all heard of morning breath. If you’ve just had your wisdom teeth removed, you will most certainly experience a rancid-like taste in your mouth. And if you naturally have breath problems, it would probably add to the bad taste in mouth after wisdom teeth removal.

How Long Does It Last?

How long bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth after wisdom teeth removal will last will depend on how fast that wound in our mouth is healing. If you’re following up on your medications and brushing your teeth well, it will usually subside in a day or two.

However, if the bad breath persists beyond that, it may be time to consider other factors that may be causing bad breath and taste in your mouth. For example, what’s in your body and the things you consume can play a major role in your oral hygiene.

Other Causes of Bad Breath

Other Causes

  • Food

One of the main causes of bad breath is what you consume. Some foods are known to leave residue in the mouth that can cause bad breath for a long time. And if you’re not brushing regularly, the food residue that may be stuck in your teeth can start giving off an even more pungent smell.

Here are some foods that cause bad breath:

#1. Garlic

#2. Onions

#3. Dairy

#4. Horseradish

#5. Coffee

#6. Alcohol

#7. Peanut Butter

#8. Fish

Sometimes, adding fresh herbs like parsley, basil or mint can help mitigate the bad breath as they contain strong oils. There are also several fresh fruits you can eat like melons, pears, and apples that help mask the bad taste of tooth removal.

  • Poor Dental Hygiene

Every time you eat, small bits of food can get stuck in your teeth, gums, and on your tongue. After a while, bacteria in your mouth begin to feed on these food bits and produce a sticky film on your teeth called plaque.

Plaque contains acids that can break down the enamel on your teeth and cause cavities. If left untreated, it can even result in root canals. Extended periods of not brushing can also lead to the plaque hardening into tartar, which is a calcified deposit that even brushing won’t get rid of.

Not brushing regularly can increase the chances of tooth decay and gum disease, which will cause foul breath. The most ideal dental care routine is brushing, flossing, and using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. It’s important to brush after every meal or twice a day at the least.

  • Dry Mouth

Saliva helps to clean your mouth. So if you have a dry mouth, it can cause bad breath. The best way to avoid this is to stay hydrated, especially during the summers.

  • Tobacco

Smoking tobacco can make your breath stink and in many ways.

#1. The smell of the cigarette smoke still lingering on your breath.

#2. Smoking can cause mouth dryness.

#3. Studies have shown that smoking can lead to gum diseases and tooth loss, both of which cause bad breath.

#4. Eating tobacco can cause stains on your teeth that are hard to remove with brushing.

  • Infections

Mouth infections like gum disease, chronic sinus infections, respiratory infections, bronchitis, food poisoning are all examples of infections that are correlated to bad breath. Other health conditions like diabetes, GERD, and kidney disease are also known to cause bad breath.

To reduce your risk of infections, you need to eat well and exercise so that your body’s immune system is strengthened. A lot of the time, the causes of bad breath are deeply rooted in lifestyle choices.

How To Get Rid of Bad Taste After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Get Rid of Bad Taste

One of the main reasons why you may be experiencing a bad taste is the course of antibiotics. Once the course is over, that taste will subside. As for the annoying blood taste, there are some ways to take care of that. Here are some tips:

#1. Brush your teeth regularly and carefully to avoid the area your tooth was extracted from. Avoid using mouthwash until your wound heals.

#2. Rinse your mouth with warm saline water multiple times a day.

#3. Eat/drink foods like parsley, apples, pears, celery, carrots, yogurt, green tea, and cucumbers. They all help mask bad breath and leave your palate with a good taste.

#4. Avoid smoking or drinking for a few days.

#5. Consider purchasing a low-strength 100% natural mouth freshener spray, but only in extreme cases.