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10 Habits We Thought Were Good, But They’re Not

When we were children, our parents taught us to brush our teeth after eating, not to sit in front of the computer screen for too long, and to keep our hands at the"10 and 2 position" while driving. But as it turns out, we should have given up some of these habits a long time ago.

At Bright Side, we have learned which daily habits aren't worth keeping and which ones can actually be dangerous to our health.

1. Cleaning your ears

Our bodies are perfect mechanisms and as such, our earwax is specially designed to perform "self-cleaning". Earwax is supposed to lubricate the ear canals and protect them from bacteria, fungi, and insects. By the way, it's worth noting that earwax leaves the body in a natural way, sliding down the ear canals before being removed while chewing food. When you clean out your ears yourself, you can get the exact opposite result. When you intrude into the ear canal, you cause an increased production of earwax. All you should do is clean your ears out gently with a wet towel after a shower or bath.

2. Standing far from the microwave

Microwave ovens are not as harmful as many people think. Unlike X-rays or a tanning beds, microwaves don't produce chemicals or ionized radiation known to cause DNA damage or genetic mutations. In fact, this appliance is made so that the electromagnetic radiation it produces doesn't leave its bounds. So, if you don't hug a turned on microwave, there is no health risk.

3. Flush with the toilet lid open

Everyone knows that they should flush right after they are done doing their business, but it's important to do it right. If the toilet lid is left open, little particles with bacteria get sprayed up to 2 meters high. This is just disgusting! Do't forget to close the lid before you flush.

4. Wash all kinds of food

Not not all kinds of food need to be washed. For example, red meat and bird meat should not be washed. You won't get rid of the bacteria, but will instead just spread them around the kitchen. You should bake or boil the meat so the bacteria will die thanks to the high temperature. But any bacteria that spread to the table or somewhere else in your kitchen will most likely end up in your body. The rest of the food (like fruits or vegetables) should be washed before you cut them.

5. Clean your nose

When your nose is stuffed up, it is very uncomfortable, so we will do anything to breathe more easily. But cleaning out your nose can lead to problems like infecting your nose with outside bacteria which can lead to an infection in your nostrils or sinus canals. In fact, your nose should get cleaned on its own. To get rid of everything inside, you can blow your nose carefully or wash it out with water and salt. And if you get your hands to your nose, make sure they are clean.

6. Limescale in kettles is very dangerous

In terms of chemistry, limescale is nothing but sediment of calcium and magnesium carbonate. There are a lot of these chemicals in pharmacies. People take them when they have heartburn and other ailments. However, limescale in kettles is pretty safe because nobody eats it on purpose in big amounts. But the amount of limescale you have in your kettle can help you see that there are many chemicals in your water.

7. Brushing your teeth after eating

Of course people should brush their teeth every day, but it's important not to do it right after eating, but instead only 30-60 minutes after a meal. Tooth enamel is the most solid part of the human body, but it can also become softer under acidic conditions like after eating fruit or some dairy. If you brush your teeth right after a meal you can damage the enamel. Dentists recommend washing your mouth out with water or chewing bubble gum to increase the production of saliva.

8. Crossing your legs is harmful

For a long time, people thought that sitting with their legs crossed was a fast way to develop varicose veins. But recent studies show that this position doesn't lead to varicose veins at all. You shouldn't spend too much time in this position though, as is true for any position.

9. Working on a computer is bad for your eyes

Of course your eyes get tired after working at a computer for a long time. But being tired is not the reason why your vision might worsen. Scientists came up with the term, "computer vision syndrome" which consists of dry eyes, pain in the neck and shoulders. To avoid such symptoms, you should follow these simple rules: use a monitor with the right brightness level, take breaks, and blink more often to avoid dry eyes.

10. Holding a steering wheel at the "10 and 2" positions

One of the first things we learn in driving school is the rule of "10 and 2", which stands for the correct position of our hands on the steering wheel. It is believed that it can help you control the car better if you need to handle an unexpected obstacle. But this is a misconception. Experts recommend the "9 and 3" position of the hands to be able to make turns even at high speeds. Additionally, this position keeps your hands further from the airbags to avoid possible injuries.

Which of these habits do you do the most? After reading this article, are you planning to give any of them up? Tell us what you think in the comment section below!

Illustrated by Natalia Kulakova for Bright Side