Brushing Teeth: Is It Better Before Breakfast or After? – The New York Times

By Hannah SeoNov. 1, 20224 MIN READQ: Is it better to brush my teeth before or after breakfast? Some dentists say it’s better to brush before, some say after — which one is it?Everyone knows that you should brush your teeth at least twice a day: once in the morning and once before bedtime. But when it comes to your morning routine, is it better to brush before or after breakfast?The truth is that few studies have looked into this question and their results have been mixed and limited, so there isn’t a definitive answer, said Dr. Apoena de Aguiar Ribeiro, a pediatric dentist and microbiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But, she and other dentists said, there are pros and cons for each option to keep in mind.

Is Olive Oil Good For You? What Experts Say About Health Benefits – The New York Times


“Olive oil-infused coffee? Starbucks bets you’ll drink it.

It wouldn’t be the oddest food and beverage product olive oil has seeped into. We mix it into ice cream and whisk it into chocolate cake. On TikTok, olive oil fans knock back shots of the liquid, saying it clears their skin and helps them lose weight. You can dunk grapefruit in olive oil or dribble it into a dirty martini, add it to granola or beat it into lemon curd.

Nutrition experts tout olive oil as a health-conscious component of your meal. Olive oil is linked with a range of health benefits, from lowered blood pressure to reduced inflammation, said Julia Zumpano, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic. Here’s what we know about what olive oil can — and can’t — do for your health.”

The Life-Changing Magic of a Urologist – The New York Times

“Urologists often deal with health problems that arise from two very intimate functions: peeing and sex. Because of this, “most urologists tend to have a lot of brevity and a bit of humor, because we know these are hard topics for our patients,” said Maria Uloko, a urologist at UC San Diego Health and assistant professor of urology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

In my experience (as both a patient and a health journalist), urologists will happily discuss the subjects that some of us laypeople tend to avoid: erectile problems, peeing too much, peeing too little, painful sex, dwindling or nonexistent orgasms, urinary tract infections and the list goes on.”

Do you pass the hearing test? – Harvard Health

“Approximately one in three people ages 65 to 74 has hearing loss. Nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.

While many people can function with some degree of hearing loss, especially if they have a spouse or family member who can repeat any information they may miss, ignoring hearing decline can profoundly affect one’s health.

Growing evidence shows that age-related hearing loss is associated with a higher risk of cognitive decline. Research suggests that hearing loss impairs new nerve cell creation in the hippocampus, the brain’s memory region. Hearing loss also is linked with increased risks for depression, social isolation, and being less active.”

Source: Do you pass the hearing test? – Harvard Health

What Is a Dynamic Warm-Up and What Exercises Should It Include? – The New York Times


“Twenty-plus years ago, a pre-workout warm-up usually meant a series of long, slow, sedentary stretches. Many a ’90s kid — wearing a cotton T-shirt in school colors — sat with one knee awkwardly bent behind them in a hurdler pose before heading out to jog their coach-mandated mile.

But in recent years, exercise science has coalesced around a better way to prepare your body for exertion: the dynamic warm-up.

A dynamic warm-up is a set of controlled, up-tempo movements that can help make your workout safer and more effective, said Alvaro López Samanes, an assistant professor and international coordinator of physiotherapy at Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, in Madrid, who’s studied them in tennis players.

Research suggests dynamic warm-ups improve agility, speed and overall performance for a wide range of sports, including tennisbaseball and running. They also appear to reduce injury risk. In a fast-moving, direction-changing sport like soccer, a tailored dynamic warm-up lowered the odds of getting hurt by about 30 percent in one 2017 research review.”

Is It Safe to Take Melatonin After Drinking? What Sleep Experts Say – The New York Times


“Q: I take melatonin to help me sleep at night. But I also like to enjoy a glass of wine or two after a long day to unwind. Is it safe to do both?

The struggle to get a decent night’s sleep is real. In 2020, about 15 percent of adults in the United States had trouble falling asleep regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly 18 percent had difficulty staying asleep. And increasingly, many people are taking melatonin in their quest for better shut-eye. Use of the supplement, which is sold over the counter as a sleep aid, has risen significantly over the past two decades.

But if your goal is to wake up feeling refreshed each day, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by mixing melatonin and alcohol before bed — and you may even be putting your health at risk, said Dr. Rachel Salas, a professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins Medicine and the assistant medical director at the Johns Hopkins Center‌ for Sleep and Wellness.”

The Health Benefits of Bird-Watching – The New York Times

Erik Vance learned to bird-watch in college, during the winter near St. Louis. Since then, he has spotted hundreds of species around the world.


Tammah Watts remembers the exact moment she became a bird-watcher.

It was April of 2007. She was stuck in her house, struggling with chronic pain resulting from complications after a surgery. The pain had become so debilitating that Ms. Watts, formerly an avid biker and hiker, couldn’t hold a pencil or pick up a cup at times. It had forced her to leave her job as a therapist and confined her to her home, where she had sunk into a deep depression.

Then one day, she looked out her kitchen window.

“There’s a tree that has a branch that tends to grow down. And there was this bright yellow bird there,” she said.

She didn’t know that it was called a yellow warbler, or really anything about birds at all, but she was entranced. Every day she watched it jump from branch to branch, barely discernible from the yellow blossoms of the tipu tree. And over time, this bird led her to others in her yard and brought Ms. Watts out of her pain and sadness and back into the world.

She started keeping track of the birds she saw, joined a local Audubon Society chapter and traveled the state looking for new birds. She now sits on the Audubon California board of directors. In short, she said, birding changed her life.

“It’s contagious. It’s addicting,” said Ms. Watts, who is writing a book called “Keep Looking Up: Your Guide to the Powerful Healing of Birdwatching.” “Birding really does cross over into so many areas of wellness, health and fitness.”


Four people, including Kim Ehn, president of the Dunes Calumet Audubon Society, are bundled up against the cold inside a building, hold binoculars up to their eyes while looking outside.
Kim Ehn, front center, president of the Dunes Calumet Audubon Society, leading a group of winter bird-watchers on the shores of Lake Michigan at the Indiana Dunes National Park in Portage, Ind.Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

A red-bellied woodpecker, which actually has far more red on its head than its belly, perches on a tree trunk and looks off to one side.
A red-bellied woodpecker perching on a tree in Willow Springs, Ill. This species is rarely seen any time of year, but it is easier to spot in the winter.Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

Starting on Dec. 14, bird-watchers across the country will begin the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, a 123-year-old tradition where people gather and help to catalog species in their area. Novices and serious birders alike walk through parks, forests and fields, looking for birds and listening for bird song; someone shouts “another yellow one!” and somebody else writes down “goldfinch.” “

How to Get Enough Vitamin D During the Winter – The New York Times

“Q: I spend most of my winter days indoors, and when I’m outdoors, I’m covered from head to toe. If I only get a few minutes of sun exposure on my face and hands each day, is that enough to get adequate vitamin D? And if not, what should I do?

If you live in a part of the country where winters are cold and gray, it’s smart to think about how you’ll get vitamin D — often called the sunshine vitamin — over the next several months.”

Why Is It So Hard for Men to Make Close Friends? – The New York Times

“The Tuesday before every Thanksgiving, Aaron Karo and Matt Ritter, both 43, go out to dinner with a group of seven men whom they befriended as second graders in Plainview, N.Y.

At the dinner, one of the friends wins the Man of the Year prize — a silly accolade the group concocted as an excuse to reconnect. They eat and they laugh, and the winner leaves with his name engraved on a cartoonishly large silver cup.

“It’s not really about the trophy,” said Mr. Karo, who co-hosts a podcast with Mr. Ritter called “Man of the Year,” which explores adult friendship. “It’s about the traditions that keep us together.” The friends jockey for the prize in a running group text, where they share memes and talk a bit of trash but also keep up with one another.

“I think men have been convinced that success in life does not necessarily include friendship — that if they’re successful at work or they’ve started a family, they’ve won,” Mr. Ritter said. “Our definition has always included having these thriving friendships.” “

Melatonin for Sleep: How the Aid Works – The New York Times

“Most people think of melatonin as a natural nod-off aid, kind of like chamomile tea in pill form. Even the name of the popular dietary supplement sounds sleepy — that long “o” sound almost makes you yawn mid-word. But melatonin is also a hormone that our brains naturally produce, and hormones, even in minuscule amounts, can have potent effects throughout the body.

“There are some clinical uses for it, but not the way that it’s marketed and used by the vast majority of the general public,” said Jennifer Martin, a psychologist and professor of medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Experts strongly urge people to consult their doctor or a sleep specialist before taking melatonin, in part because the supplement does not address many underlying health problems that may be disrupting sleep. Anxiety can cause insomnia, as can a host of other potentially serious ailments, such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or mood disorders like depression, that may require medical treatment.

Melatonin, however, is relatively inexpensive and readily available at local pharmacies in the United States (in other countries it typically requires a prescription), and many people will go out and buy it on their own. So what’s the best approach to taking melatonin? Here’s what experts had to say.”