5 Steps To Finding The Right Toothbrush

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By Aalia Anderson

toothbrushFrom the time you were a little kid and mom or dad helped you put that fabulously pink or blue sparkling toothpaste on your elaborately decorated cartoon-themed toothbrush, you knew that brushing your teeth was important. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of good oral hygiene, the key to keeping your teeth and gums in check, and to maintaining not only good dental health but your overall well-being. When toothbrushes first came out 80 years ago, everyone used the same one. Now, most supermarkets and pharmacies have an entire shelf dedicated to dental care, and the choices can be overwhelming. Here are 5 steps to navigating the toothbrush aisles and walking out with the right choice for you.

1. Find the right size

The best toothbrush for will have a head that will allow you easy access to all surfaces of your teeth. A toothbrush head that is too big for your mouth may be difficult to maneuver around those hard to reach areas, such as the sides and backs of your molars. Make sure the toothbrush also has a long enough handle, and maybe some gel cushioning for your thumb to make for a more comfortable brushing experience. Some experts say it should be as comfortable as holding a fork when you eat.

2. Choose the right bristles

Toothbrushes come with soft, medium, or hard nylon bristles. For the large majority of you, the most comfortable and safest choice will be a soft-bristled toothbrush. Medium to hard-bristled brushes could actually damage your protective tooth enamel, the gums, and root surface of your teeth, depending on how vigorously you brush them and how strong your teeth are. For the best tooth protection, it’s important to make sure the bristles on your decided toothbrush have rounded tips.

3. Expert Advice

Ask your dentist for a recommendation. He or she will know whether a toothbrush has been quality-control tested for proper cleaning effectiveness and safety. If that isn’t accessible to you, on your next trip to the supermarket or chemist, look for the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Approval. In disposable toothbrushes, this seal ensures safe tips, sturdy and durable bristles, a sturdy handle, and a toothbrush that will effectively reduce plaque build-up and gum disease. If you are thinking about electric toothbrushes, the seal ensures that they undergo additional safety testing in an independent lab to prove that they are safe for use on the tissues of your mouth and teeth, and any dental hardware that may be in place as well. What you do NOT want to do is buy a no-name dollar store toothbrush.

4. Invest in an Electric Toothbrush

toothbrushpasteNow that I’ve got you thinking about electric toothbrushes, let me explain why they might be the best choice for you. Dentists everywhere overwhelmingly recommend them as the best way to keep your teeth clean and plaque-free. You can buy the toothbrush heads in various shapes and sizes, and they all work differently, some oscillating, some vibrating, and some rotating. They also come with a lot of bonus features, like special modes for sensitive teeth, gum massaging, or even whitening. Some even come with pressure sensors that will let you know if you’re brushing too hard, and feature digital reminders to replace your toothbrush head! [source: Oral B]. Most are even packed with extras like toothbrush holders and travel chargers. With all these fancy tricks and frills, it’s no surprise that electrical toothbrushes sport a much higher price tag than manual ones. Starter kits are generally $50 to $75, although some can be as low as $25 or as much as $100 or more. But thinking long term, they most likely won’t cost much more than manual brushes, as they don’t need to be replaced as often. Most importantly, their benefits will really outweigh their costs: they can remove plaque and stains more effectively, are gentle on your gums and teeth, easier to use, can give your gums a gentle massage, and are a lot more fun than a manual toothbrush!

5. Know when to repair your toothbrush

For disposable toothbrushes, the American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if the bristles are starting to look frayed. Once they start to break apart and lose their normal flexibility, change your toothbrush – a visual inspection is better to go by than a strict timeline. It’s also important to change your toothbrush after you’ve had a cold, since the bristles may have collected germs that could lead to future reinjection. Whatever you do, and whichever toothbrush you choose, always makes sure to brush your teeth twice daily, for at least two minutes a session, using the proper technique. Happy brushing!

– Aalia Anderson is a Melbourne – based writer and blogger who is also an avid twice daily tooth brusher. She is a longtime patient of Chatswood Dentists and gathered a lot of valuable information for this post from the experts at their boutique dental practice. They have helped her develop an individually designed home care and dental health maintenance program, and have guided her well in choosing the perfect toothbrush every time!

Balance your Family Right This Summer!

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By Helen Agresti

familyAre you setting your child up for a healthy life? Your willpower as a parent will most likely determine the health of your child’s life as an adult. Naturally, children acquire their parents eating habits and practices.

Now that summer vacation is upon us, most parents stress over the abrupt change of schedule and finding enough activities to occupy their kids. Whether you’re a stay at home parent or a working parent, it’s a challenging time to be a chauffer, cook, and housekeeper. In the midst of this chaos, most parents find themselves taking the “whatever’s easy” or “convenient” path to feeding their family.

Even with game filled nights of lacrosse, soccer, or a swim meet, planning healthy family dinners 3-4x a week should be achievable. If we can make time for camps, practices, and games, we can find the time to eat healthy meals at home with our family. Many people often ask, but how do I balance our busy summer schedule with having enough time to prepare healthy meals at home?

Here are a few things you can do to achieve that balance:

1. Schedule family dinners on the calendar at least 1 week in advance. Pencil in an entrée on each of those days. For example, grilled salmon, barbecue chicken, pork tenderloin or pulled pork sliders.

2. Grocery shop with a plan. Work around your entrées for the week. Purchase enough produce to create easy to prepare side dishes. For example, corn on the cob, asparagus, salad greens, and zucchini.

greenpeppers3. Save time by having your vegetables washed and your entrée marinating prior to dinnertime.

4. Don’t commit to everything. Avoid spreading your family too thin. There’s nothing wrong with putting what’s best for your family first.

5. Limit your time on social media. Program your phone to alert you when it’s time to disconnect. We’re much more productive when we allow ourselves a specific amount of time to be social.

6. Enjoy the moment. Get your kids involved with preparing family meals. Use this time to talk and listen to your kids. Sitting down at a table with your family should be free of distractions from the television, phone, and laptop.

Cheers to a Healthy, Happy, and Safe Summer!

– Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC. For more healthy tips and recipes visit her on the web at pronutritionconsulting.com.

Getting Kids To Eat Right: The Do’s And Don’ts

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By Jared Pennington

kidseatinghealthyProper nutrition is vitally important for children. It keeps them healthy, provides their growing bodies sustenance, and allows their minds to fully engage in their education. A study of children eating habits also suggests that the foods that parents feed them when they are young directly affect the foods they will crave and choose to eat when they are older. There are a few rare cases where children pave their own way to healthy diets, but many more children continue to unconsciously seek out food that their childhood has taught them to crave. Below I will provide some guidelines that will promote a lifetime of healthy eating.

The Do’s

Know how much your child should eat. You know the proper portion size for your child. Children are able to self-regulate their own food intake. Healthy children should be allowed to determine when they are full. Forcing a child to eat more than they can will teach children to ignore their body’s cues. This could lead to years overeating and obesity.

Model good eating habits. Children will feel better about trying new foods and even grow to like a food when they observe their parents eating the food. Healthy or unhealthy, whichever you choose, you are choosing for them as well. Due to the importance of modeling good eating habits, it is paramount that you sit down as a family to eat.

familytvModel good behavior with friends of the child. As the children grow their peers will affect their eating habits a lot more. Eventually they will observe and to like the foods they see their peers enjoying. While you can’t control the eating habits of other children, you could talk to the parent of one of your child’s friends. You can work together to teach healthy eating for both children.

Urge children to try new food multiple times. People tend to dislike foreign foods on the first try. We just can’t get paste the weird flavor, texture, or smell. Children like other adults can learn to like a food. You should urge a child to try a new food at least 10 times before accepting that they do not like the food.

The Don’ts

Bribe children into eating. Let them develop the taste for healthy foods naturally. While bribing a child to eat healthy fruits and vegetables with ice cream or a new videogame might provide the proper nutrients that night, it will not foster healthy eating habits. The problem is that the bribe teaches the children that ice cream is desirable and healthy fruits and vegetables are undesirable. Before the bribe they might have learned to like peas. After the bribe they have had their own belief that peas are bad reinforced. This belief could carry into adulthood.

Use food as a punishment or punish a child because of food. As I said above, you do not want to connect healthy eating with negative emotions or actions. Sending a child to their room because they won’t eat or forcing a child to eat vegetables because they were bad will not teach your child to eat healthy. Instead it will reinforce their belief that the food is bad. It could potentially lead to overeating, binging on unhealthy foods, and childhood and adult obesity.

junkfoodDo not restrict all unhealthy food. Balance is more important than restriction. Restricting food leads to the child preferring the restricted food. Once the child has access to unhealthy food they will overindulge which could lead to obesity. Humans crave fatty, sugary foods. Instead of starving this craving, you can teach children how to determine how much sugary foods they can eat daily and still be healthy.

Whether you like it or not, you are already affecting your children’s relationship to food. It is vitally important to know how your healthy food tactics affect your children. By incorporating these guidelines into your daily life, you and your children will be taking your first step towards a healthy lifestyle.

– Jared Pennington is a health and wellness writer who spent the majority of his youth sitting at a table staring at a plate of peas and dreaming of greasy fast food. He didn’t adopt a healthy lifestyle until a college class discussed the psychology behind eating habits. When he’s not working out or searching for new healthy recipes on the internet, he writes for Just Home Medical, a supplier of home aides such as grab bars to assist the injured and disabled.

Nutritional Synergism — Just The Right Mix!

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qaQ & A With Dr. Michael Wald

1. What is Nutritional Synergism (NS)?

NS is a term that describes the supportive and positive health boosting effects of combinations of nutrients with nutrients; nutrients with foods; foods with nutrients and/or medications. Synergistic combinations can enhance the effects of each of the combined compounds far beyond 1 plus 1. More like, 1 plus 1 = 10! NS can literally make the difference between using the “right stuff” and it failing or success! Here is what you need to know:

EXAMPLES OF POSITIVE SYNERGISM

For example, if vitamin D had an effect of “ 5” in the body and melatonin “5” together they would have the power of “20”! Certain antibiotics combined with probiotics such as bifi dobacterium, saccromyces boulardii and/or lactobacillus acidophilus and plant enzymes help reduce side-effects of antibiotics and help them penetrate more deeply into tissues so they work better. Here are more important examples of POSITIVE NS Vitamin A and D; melatonin and curcumin; EFA and fat soluble vitamins; vitamin C and selenium and vitamin E and selenium; B12 and folic acid; cysplatin and NAC, methotrexate 5FU and folic acid; oxidizing forms of chemotherapy and intravenous (not oral) vitamin C, etc. There are literally hundreds of examples of NS.

2.Is just combining several types of nutrients together always synergistically?

No. Very often patients that come to us have combined several powerful nutrients thinking that, because they are “natural” or “for the immune system”, that they help each other work better; not always true. See the example below of NEGATIVE synergism.

EXAMPLES OF NEGATIVE SYNERGISM

For a very ill person who must be careful to take the most perfect balance of nutrition possible, paying attention to nutritional synergism could make the difference between life and death. Zinc can act as an immune enhancer and so can n-acetyl cysteine (NAC), but when taken together zinc is bound-up (chelated) and therefore not effective. Iron with vitamin C causes the vitamin C to become oxidized and harmful. Copper and fi sh oils combined cause harmful oxidation (breakdown) to the oil – very dangerous to consume!

3. How can being mindful of NS make the difference for you?

First thing is knowing that NS exists – now you do! Second, get nutritional testing and a Blood Detective interpretation. Don’t know what this is? Visit: http://www.intmedny.com/blood-detective.php

4. How do you figure out how to best use the principles of NS?

Knowing where to start with nutritional food and lifestyle efforts is essential for long-term success. Visit with us for a comprehensive medical and nutritional interview to gain clarity around your health concerns and goals. If you know where you’re going you’re more likely to get there!

– Dr. Michael Wald, Brain-Energy Blast

For more information about this or other topics please go to: www.intmedny.com

High School Graduation: A Right-Of-Passage

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By Bill Hanks

youngdrinkOver the next month, thousands of students will celebrate the beginning of adulthood as they graduate from high school. These teens will experience a multitude of life transitions in the coming years, including marriage, children, divorce, new jobs and job loss. Bill Hanks, author of “Serenity: It’s a God Deal” ~ (finding your way to sobriety, sanity and serenity), says graduation is a critical and opportune time for parents to provide their children the tools necessary to safely handle those future life transitions.

An estimated 650 high school seniors meet an early death during the graduation season each year due to drugs and alcohol, and unfortunately many of those cases could have been prevented with a discussion between parent and graduate regarding prom and graduation night expectations and the hard facts. Hanks recommends the following:

1. Make sure your teen has a plan for the evening of graduation and you know what that plan is, i.e., dinner, commencement and after-graduation parties.

2. Discuss not only the school’s rules for commencement, but also the laws regarding underage drinking with your teen and the consequences of violating them.

3. Know who is driving. Consider an adult driver to chauffeur.

4. Discuss curfew and plan to stay up for the new graduate’s return. Let them know you will be waiting.

5. If your teen is going to several destinations, have them call upon each arrival.

6. Give your teen the unconditional option of calling you at anytime for help or advice.

7. Do not rent hotel rooms for party-goers.

8. Re-visit the family’s existing rules on drinking, drugging, driving under the influence and sex.

9. Have your teen read and sign a sober contract, The Graduation Pledge.

10. Tell them how proud you are, how much you love and trust them, and to have a wonderful time (hugs are always good).

According to CollegeDrinkingPrevention.org, an estimated 1,700 college students will die each year of alcohol-related, unintentional injuries, including alcohol poisoning. Ensure your child doesn’t become part of that statistic by talking to them about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

The Graduation Pledge

“I can have a positive influence on my life and the lives of my friends. My decisions are my own. And they are responsible ones. That’s why I have decided to be safe and sober. So whether or not I go to out to celebrate my graduation, I promise not to use alcohol or other drugs. This is a promise I take seriously. It’s one I intend to keep, for my sake and the sake of my friends and family. I’m signing it. I mean it. I’m keeping it.”

Bill Hanks is the author of a self-help memoir titled “Serenity: It’s a God Deal” ~ (finding your way to sobriety, sanity, and serenity). Hanks is a recently retired 25-year veteran of Wall Street. In 1996, he recognized a problem with drugs and alcohol and subsequently checked himself into a treatment center. More than 17 years later, Hanks has worked with approximately 15,000 patients in recovery by voluntarily teaching weekly classes at various Tulsa treatment facilities. He also brings awareness programs to churches and schools in an effort to reach out to younger generations. His motto: “I would much rather deploy ‘prevention factors’ now versus ‘damage control’ later.”

Eating Right On Vacation

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By Cole Millen

saladplateSo, you have dieted in preparation for a great vacation and you are looking good. How are you going to keep the weight off during your relaxation time? Not to worry. It is possible to eat well on vacation and come back without having to fight the scale for your pre-vacation body.

Leaving
You might not know it, but your mission to keep the weight off starts before you are on vacation and while you are leaving. You will be tempted to catch a quick meal on the road or at the airport because you had to spend time getting all of your last minute vacation needs together. Either pack yourself a healthy snack from home or fill up on healthy food before you go. You will be too full to hit the fast food places at the airport which will save you both calories and cash!

Room Service
Forget about ordering in and room service when you are at the hotel. Hit the Internet and find the nearest market. Stop there for healthy foods at mealtime and put healthy snacks that do not require refrigeration, such as fruits, in your hotel room. If you have a fridge in your room, stock it with the foods you were eating on your diet. Above all, skip the drinks in the hotel and your mini-bar. The calories in these will destroy any diet. Both your midsection as well as your credit card will be extremely grateful!

Reading Reviews

One of the major factors that I found that has made a tremendous impact in my travels, was when I began to read the reviews on the areas and restaurants of where I was staying before hand.

One of the major factors that I found that has made a tremendous impact in my travels, was when I began to read the reviews on the areas and restaurants of where I was staying before hand. Without this knowledge, it is practically a free for all when you get to where you are going and this is what often leads to unhealthy eating and expensive spending. I did a poor job of this in the past and paid the ultimate price with weigh gain. My most recent trip, I stayed in a hotel and I searched the destination’s reviews and ended up with the best option for my personal eating habits. Looking up the reviews on your hotel and surroundings can be a difference maker when you are trying to be healthy on your travels. They offer important information such as whether or not they have a pool to exercise, continental breakfast, workout room, healthy restaurants available/ nearby, as well as local markets. Make sure to do your homework prior to your departure.

Restaurants
Unless you are vacationing alone, you are likely to wind up at a restaurant at some point, even if you do not want to eat out. That is okay. Go straight for healthy dishes like salad and fish. Order steamed vegetables in lieu of starches like bread, pasta and potato. Do not order anything fried. If you are at a restaurant that sells huge portions, ask for a take-out container as soon as your meal arrives. Dump half of it in the container and save it for later. You will be less likely to overeat if you make that commitment right away.

girljogExercise
You do not have to hit the gym while you are on vacation, but go right ahead if you enjoy it. You will get plenty of exercise just enjoying your surroundings. You are probably in a nice climate in a beautiful location if you are on vacation, so make the most of it. Go for a walk or jog. Go rafting, hiking, swimming or even shopping. Just stay on the go when you can. When you cannot, stick to salad and lean protein that day.

At the end of a vacation following these tips, you will be sure to come home healthy and with a little more cash in pocket.

– This article was written by Cole Millen, an avid traveler and health enthusiast who has devoted his craft to helping others stay on track during their travels. This most recent post was inspired by his stay in a Las Vegas hotel where finding healthy food can be as difficult as winning in the casino!

Exercise And Eat Right For A Healthy Heart

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healthyheartFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very interesting article from the Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald, which discusses heart health during February, which in American Heart Month. I have been trying to post many articles this month about maintaining a healthy heart. Sadly, about 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States each year, which is 25% of all deaths. Living a healthy lifestyle is the best prevention, including quitting smoking, identifying and treating high blood pressure, knowing and managing our cholesterol, relaxing and exercising more in order to ease some of our daily stress, and preventing or carefully managing diabetes. Obesity is at one of its all time highs in the US, as so many adults and children suffer from risk factors associated with it. Please visit the Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald web site (link provided below) to read the complete article. I enjoyed it a great deal.”

From the article…..

February is American Heart Month and the perfect time to begin steps to help prevent heart disease, the leading cause of death for both men and women.

About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year – that’s one in every four deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease responsible for most of these sudden deaths.

You can reduce your risk of developing heart disease or having a sudden cardiac death.

Risk factors you cannot control include increasing age (men over age 45 and women over 55 are at increased risk), family history and gender. Knowing you have a family history of heart disease means you have to pay attention to those factors you can control. Heart disease kills more women than men every year and kills more women than all types of cancer combined.

The good news is there are many things we can do to reduce our risk. Quitting smoking, identifying and treating high blood pressure, knowing and managing our cholesterol, relaxing and exercising more in order to ease some of our daily stress, and preventing or carefully managing diabetes are all things we have some control over. We know that people with diabetes have a three times higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease than individuals who are not diabetic. Cardiologists consider the diabetic patient to have the same risk as a patient who has had a previous heart attack.

Watch your weight and be mindful of not only what you eat but how much. Being overweight or obese tends to increase the risk for heart disease, not to mention many other serious medical conditions. Making healthy food and beverage choices is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Choose foods in “nature’s own wrapper” and avoid foods high in saturated fat (animal fats) and cholesterol. Avoid trans fats entirely. A high-fiber diet will help you manage your weight. Salt (sodium) often worsens high blood pressure, so limit your salt intake to about three grams (3000 mg) daily. Avoid simple sugars like those found in soda, candy and desserts.

To read the complete article…..Click here