Permission to Cross

In case you’ve been avoiding positioning your legs in a crossed position for the sake of your health or looks, it may be time to take another look at what really causes varicose veins and other health issues.

According to Dr. Darren B. Schneider, the chief of vascular and endovascular surgery at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, crossing your legs does not cause vascular problems such as the physical appearance of varicose veins.

Dr. Schneider said in a New York Times article that “most varicose veins are caused by a problem intrinsic to the veins, woman-crossing-legscharacterized by weakening of the vein walls and failure of the valves that control blood flow.” He also added that genetics likely have a larger relation to vascular concerns, rather than the way we position our legs.

These veins can be aggravated by the chronic elevation of pressure for long periods of time, which is why pregnancy, obesity and standing often throughout the day are all associated with the development of varicose veins. “Wearing tightfitting clothing or high heels may also make them worse,” Dr. Schneider said.

Another Reason to Dislike Red Lights

Hate stopping at red lights? Not only is it frustrating, but as it turns out, it’s also bad for your health.Modern_British_LED_Traffic_Light

According to a study in the Atmospheric Environment published by the United Kingdom’s University of Surrey, when drivers stop at a traffic light, they are exposed to toxic nanoparticles emitted from vehicles around them. The nanoparticles are known factors in a variety of heart and respiratory diseases.

A Fox News article has spotlighted this recent finding, noting these researchers found that while a driver spends just 2 percent of his or her total driving time at signal-controlled intersections, that amount of time accounts for 25 percent of total exposure to such particles while in the car.

Even pedestrians crossing intersections should be cautious of the particles emitted from cars. When drivers rev their engines as the lights turn green, they are completely exposed to the pollution source.

The concentration of these harmful particles were found to be 29 times higher at stoplights during heavy traffic and rush hour as opposed to when the traffic is flowing without difficulty.

In order to avoid what seems unavoidable to most of us in first-world countries, the study recommends that drivers keep vehicle windows shut, with fans off, and to increase the distance between cars.

Dentistry is not D.I.Y.

While those with gapped teeth spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to have their pearly whites perfected, Jamila Garza, a 24-year-old fashion design student from Everett, Wash., closed a gap in her mouth for only $5.

Garza, who is not a dental professional, has made a name for herself on her YouTube channel, by showing her viewers how to fix their teeth with small elastic bands. Garza believes she is doing the world and those with gaps a favor, but according to dentists and orthodontists world-wide, D.I.Y. teeth straightening is foolish and could eventually lead to the worsening of a gap or even teeth loss.

Dr. DeWayne McCash, an orthodontist in Chattanooga, Tenn., said in a New York Times article: “If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.”

A consumer alert was posted on the American Association of Orthodontists website cautioning consumers to be wary of any suggestions to move teeth with rubber bands, dental floss or other objects ordered on the Internet.

Dr. Rolf Behrents, the editor-in-chief of American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics, has even written an editorial cautioning consumers to stay away from this at-home teeth straightening method.

In case these warnings aren’t enough to scare you, 47-year-old David Campbell had a gap between his front teeth when he was an adolescent. A dentist he was seeing at the time suggested that he use rubber bands nightly, as seen in the YouTube videos. One evening, the elastic got stuck under his gums, which made his two front teeth start to protrude and by the time he was 13, he lost both teeth at the root.

Although Garza has been informed of Campbell’s situation, she still plans to wear her elastic bands nightly.