WHY IS MORNING BREATH SO BAD?

It’s safe to say that having great breath in the morning is something that only happens in the movies. Bad breath is a common theme for many of us when we first wake up, which is why we usually head straight to sink for a flossing and brushing session.

But why does this happen? Why does bad breath strike when we are first waking up? Simply put, it has a lot to do with your body chemistry and what you may have eaten or drank the night before.

The science behind bad breath
When you drift off into dreamland, many of your organs begin to slow down, including the basic functions of your mouth. This includes saliva production, which is one of the most important things that your mouth does. Saliva is naturally high in oxygen, according to Breath MD, which is an all-natural method of eliminating anaerobic bacteria. When you’re asleep, your mouth produces much less saliva compared to when you are awake.

Saliva is also important for the health of your mouth because it helps to break down food particles. This means that if you didn’t do a great job of brushing or flossing the night before, sulfur compounds can begin to emerge while you’re counting z’s, including hydrogen sulfide, dimethyl sulfide and methyl mercapatan, which can all contribute to bad breath in the morning.

What you can do
One of the best ways to combat morning breath is to drink plenty of water to get saliva functioning at normal levels, eat a healthy breakfast, and then brush and floss. Removing as much plaque from your teeth and gum line before you start snoozing can also help to reduce the funk from your mouth the next morning.

We all suffer from morning breath from time to time, but with a few of these helpful tips, you can rise and shine with less smell.

 

Source: TheraBreathe

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How to brush baby teeth: 6 tips for keeping your children’s teeth clean and healthy

The bedtime routine can be difficult enough without the teary trials of teeth brushing. Every mother wants her children to grow up with a happy healthy smile and the best way to ensure that happens is by getting them into good habits from the get-go. We spoke to Dr Flora Chigwedere, founder and principal dentist at the Covent Garden Dental Spa, to find out the best tips on how to brush baby teeth effectively.
Getting your children ready for bed is never an easy task and brushing their teeth can sometimes seem like the ultimate hurdle.
Up to around the age of seven, children are usually dependent on their parents cleaning their teeth for them so it’s important mums and dads brush up on all the best tips to help give their little ones a healthy smile.
New research by Aquafresh revealed that parents spend at least three days a year trying to get their kids to brush their teeth, with a staggering two thirds admitting that they don’t know how to look after their teeth properly.
More than 27% of parents don’t think they need to start brushing until their little one has between two and five teeth, when in fact, toothbrushing should start as soon as the very first tooth makes an appearance, which is usually between five to seven months.
Tina adds: “Milk teeth have 50% thinner enamel than adult teeth, so it’s key that mums and dads start brushing their child’s teeth regularly from the minute they come through, even if it’s just the one tooth. This will not only give their children the best possible oral healthcare start, but also get them into a good routine.”
Regular dentist appointments will also help normalise the idea of caring for their own teeth, NHS dental appointments are free for children so next time you’re due a check-up take your little ones along too.
Whether they’ve just got their first tooth through or they’re flashing all their little gnashers, it’s good to read up on the dental details so you know you’re doing a good job.
Flora Chigwedere has covered all areas from when you should start brushing baby teeth to which toothbrush to buy and how much toothpaste to apply. It’s not as simple as brush and go!
Here’s how to avoid the teeth-brushing battle come AM or PM:
How to brush baby teeth: 6 tips for keeping your children's teeth clean and healthy

Make brushing teeth fun time

Admittedly, brushing your teeth isn’t the best feeling in the world so any opportunity to divert the fuss of foaming toothpaste and achey gums is a must.
“Try playing a certain fun song which they will always associate with brushing their teeth. ‘This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth, early in the morning’. Counting teeth always helps to focus their attention on something different and develop their counting skills.”
Dentist Tina Tanna adds: “Brushing doesn’t have to be a chore and can be made fun. Get your little one familiar with the sensation of a toothbrush by giving them a brush to play with, or bring their favourite toy into the bathroom and brush their teeth too.”

Going it alone

“Allow them to brush by themselves after the age of seven. You will have to brush their teeth for them during the early years but when they’re ready allow them to get used to the idea of caring for their own teeth by having a play after you have done the proper brushing.”

Talk it through

“While brushing, talk them through what you’re doing. ‘Now we’ll brush the back one. Then we’ll brush the front ones. And we won’t forget to clean behind’. This contributes to a more methodical approach to brushing.”

Toothpaste tactics

Kid’s toothpaste comes in all kinds of tasty flavours to make teeth brushing as appealing as possible, but make sure your child is brushing as well as tasting!
“If they’re brushing their own teeth put a very small dash of toothpaste, otherwise all you will see is them sucking the toothpaste off the brush. Then when it’s your turn to brush for them after, apply the correct amount of toothpaste – a pea size is advised.”

Use a fun toothbrush

When it comes to kids it’s all about making the dullest of activities seem like an adventure so why not invest in an under the sea inspired toothbrush or a sparkly princess toothbrush holder to make them look forward to brushing. You can even get bendy banana toothbrushes for toddler training!
Flora says: “My favourite is the Rockabilly Kids toothbrush. It combines fun colours with a wobbly shape – perfect for keeping the little ones amused as well as experimenting with texture and shapes.”
How to brush baby teeth: 6 tips for keeping your children's teeth clean and healthy

Fun flavours

Most children will light up at the thought of strawberry flavoured anything so associating their favourite tastes with teeth brushing could be the approach that works for you.
“Try different flavoured toothpastes to make it fun for them. Talk to them about the colour and flavour when brushing and perhaps other foods that have the same taste (strawberry jam, yoghurt, fruit). This helps your child to build up positive associations with brushing their teeth.”
There’s all kinds of fun flavours available on the market now including watermelon and bubblegum.

Tips For A New Smile In The New Year

Any time of year can be the right time to begin taking better care of your smile.

Many see the New Year as the best time to make a resolution to practice better dental hygiene—starting with regular dental visits.

While routine dental visits are something many people dread, practicing good oral hygiene throughout the year may change the way you feel about your smile, improve your overall health and boost your self-confidence. Routine visits to the dentist help ensure your dentist is catching and fixing any small dental issues before they become big issues.

To help, here are a few key tips from Dr. Nathan Laughrey, D.M.D., of Aspen Dental. Dr.Laughrey has been treating patients for more than 15 years and believes that by incorporating his advice into your daily, monthly and yearly oral health routine, you can improve your overall health.

• Brushing your teeth at least twice a day WILL help with dental decay. Brush your teeth and gums twice a day for at least two to three minutes. Put your timer on and don’t forget to floss twice a day to remove food particles and prevent plaque buildup between your teeth.

• Choosing and using the proper equipment makes a difference. Use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush that fits your mouth comfortably. Consider using an electric or battery-operated toothbrush, which can help reduce plaque and a mild form of gum disease.

• Toss your toothbrush and get a new one regularly. Buy a new toothbrush, or a replacement head for your electric or battery-operated toothbrush, every three to four months. When your bristles are frayed, they do not clean properly and bacteria can harbor in the bristles.

• Don’t delay going to the dentist, even if you dread it. It pays to visit the dentist twice a year for an annual checkup and more often if you have high risk factors for periodontal disease. That’s because you will save money in the long run with routine visits and your visits will likely be less eventful.

• Even if you wear dentures, visiting the dentist is important. Visiting the dentist is not just for teeth cleaning. Dentists also screen for oral cancer and help with many other issues. Preventive visits are key for everyone.

 

Read more: http://scoopsandiego.com/online_features/health_and_wellness/tips-for-a-new-smile-in-the-new-year/article_d06699df-692e-54bf-9d00-a2c72bba5f05.html

Teeth care tips when wearing braces

Many of today’s teens (and even some adults) will have to wear braces to help straighten their teeth.

The braces are there to help straighten the teeth, and special care is needed to ensure the end result is successful.

Meticulous oral hygiene, watching what you eat, and regular visits to the orthodontist will help ensure the end result is a success.

Below are some pointers on how to best care for your mouth while wearing braces.

 

1. More places for food and plaque to hide!

When the orthodontist is finished applying the brackets and wires to your teeth (braces), you will notice a considerable difference in how your mouth feels. These brackets and wires create more space where food and plaque will accumulate.

It is crucial that you follow a strict oral hygiene routine because of this. Brushing with an electric toothbrush is essential as the rotating brush head is the only sure way to remove the plaque that has built up between the brackets. Many new electric toothbrushes will be able to fit a specialised brush head that helps get in between the wires of your braces.

Flossing is vital in helping remove all the food and plaque that will get stuck between your braces. You will need to buy specialised floss that allows you to thread the floss between the wires and the teeth.

 

2. Be gentle on your braces!

One of the many hassles with wearing braces is that they can break or come apart if one is not careful. Avoid eating food that is very hard and/or very sticky. Foods such as nuts, bagels, hard candy, popcorn, sticky/crunchy peanut butter and toffees are NOT recommended while wearing braces.

If a bracket or wire is broken or comes loose you must visit the orthodontist as soon as possible to have it fixed. Using special orthodontic wax (provided by your orthodontist) will help safeguard against traumatising your gums or cheeks if a sharp point develops. Many people wearing braces will experience a traumatic sore or ulcer in their mouth at some point. This is best treated by applying BYE Mouth Ulcer to the affected area which enables the ulcer to heal quickly and painlessly.

 

3. Stick to the plan!

You orthodontist will give you a breakdown of the treatment plan when fitting your braces for the first time. This will require regular visits to see him or her. Stick to those visits! They will also require that you visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and check-ups. Some dentists recommend that you visit them every three months. During these visits a thorough cleaning will be done and all the teeth will be checked for cavities. Because braces make it harder for you to clean, having a professional assist you will ensure that your mouth stays in the best possible condition.

 

Many of today’s teens (and even some adults) will have to wear braces to help straighten their teeth.

The braces are there to help straighten the teeth, and special care is needed to ensure the end result is successful.

Meticulous oral hygiene, watching what you eat, and regular visits to the orthodontist will help ensure the end result is a success.

Below are some pointers on how to best care for your mouth while wearing braces.

 

1. More places for food and plaque to hide!

When the orthodontist is finished applying the brackets and wires to your teeth (braces), you will notice a considerable difference in how your mouth feels. These brackets and wires create more space where food and plaque will accumulate.

It is crucial that you follow a strict oral hygiene routine because of this. Brushing with an electric toothbrush is essential as the rotating brush head is the only sure way to remove the plaque that has built up between the brackets. Many new electric toothbrushes will be able to fit a specialised brush head that helps get in between the wires of your braces.

Flossing is vital in helping remove all the food and plaque that will get stuck between your braces. You will need to buy specialised floss that allows you to thread the floss between the wires and the teeth.

2. Be gentle on your braces!

One of the many hassles with wearing braces is that they can break or come apart if one is not careful. Avoid eating food that is very hard and/or very sticky. Foods such as nuts, bagels, hard candy, popcorn, sticky/crunchy peanut butter and toffees are NOT recommended while wearing braces.

If a bracket or wire is broken or comes loose you must visit the orthodontist as soon as possible to have it fixed. Using special orthodontic wax (provided by your orthodontist) will help safeguard against traumatising your gums or cheeks if a sharp point develops. Many people wearing braces will experience a traumatic sore or ulcer in their mouth at some point. This is best treated by applying BYE Mouth Ulcer to the affected area which enables the ulcer to heal quickly and painlessly.

3. Stick to the plan!

You orthodontist will give you a breakdown of the treatment plan when fitting your braces for the first time. This will require regular visits to see him or her. Stick to those visits! They will also require that you visit your dentist on a regular basis for cleanings and check-ups. Some dentists recommend that you visit them every three months. During these visits a thorough cleaning will be done and all the teeth will be checked for cavities. Because braces make it harder for you to clean, having a professional assist you will ensure that your mouth stays in the best possible condition.

4. Wear protection!

If you play any form of contact sport it is very important that you protect your mouth and braces from taking a knock. Wearing of a specialised gum guard is vital. Your dentist will be able to assist you in having one of these gum guards made. – IOL, adapted from a press release.

If you play any form of contact sport it is very important that you protect your mouth and braces from taking a knock. Wearing of a specialised gum guard is vital. Your dentist will be able to assist you in having one of these gum guards made. – IOL, adapted from a press release.

 

Read more: http://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/family/kids/teeth-care-tips-when-wearing-braces-1.1613208#.Uqx2sdIW2pY

Why Child Care Costs Are the Best Investment

If you could invest $20,000 per year for five years and this investment returns 100 percent in the first five years, 200 percent in years 5-10, 300 percent in years 10-15 and 400 percent in years 15-20, all in after-tax dollars, would you be interested? This is where you nod in excited agreement!

I oversimplified the situation above, and you can easily tell that the investment at $20,000 after tax per year for five years is the child care costs for your child for years 1-5, while you are out there being a fabulous working mom. I am assuming that after year five, your child will attend a public school, dramatically lowering your child care costs. The returns are your work earnings, growing over time due to raises, promotions, bonuses and your general awesomeness. To be added to the above returns are the medical and dental benefits, savings plan, retirement plan and a variety of other fringe benefits that may be available to you.

There are many reasons why women do not return to work after becoming mothers and I respect the choices a mother makes. I often hear, however, that mothers do not return to work because it does not make financial sense. I hear that their after-tax salaries barely cover the cost of child care, so why bother going to work to just turn around and write a check to a daycare center or pay cash to a nanny? What is missing from these statements is the word TODAY. You may be right, TODAY. The cost of child care may be a large percentage of your salary now, but your salary today is a fraction of what it can be in the FUTURE if you stay in the workforce, and nurture your career, along with your children.

If your dream is to have a career and raise children, these are the things I wish I would have known before I became a working mom, as they would have saved me some worrying:

    • Child care costs will generally decrease dramatically after your child is five years old

 

    • Your salary will generally increase with annual raises, promotions and job changes.

 

    • Your bonus may grow as your career grows

 

    • Your other sources of compensation (stock options, restricted stock, etc.) may also grow as your career grows

 

  • Therefore, the percentage of your total earnings spent on child care costs decrease dramatically after year 5 and continuously until college.

 

Of course, I am assuming that you are hard working, talented, a little lucky and don’t stink at your job.

If your dream is to have a career and children, don’t leave your career before you even got it started! Stay in your career, knowing that the first few years are the lean years of investment for the next few years, which can bring tremendous financial, personal and professional growth.

 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-rosenblatt/medicare-advantage-plans_b_4275652.html

7 Tips To Help You Pick The Best Medicare Advantage Plan

This is open enrollment season, running from October 15 to December 7, when you have a chance to choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, the type of coverage selected by about 28% of the 50 million people enrolled in Medicare.

During open enrollment, you can transfer from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or you can swap your membership from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits such as prescription drugs, eye care and dental care, that are not covered by original Medicare. In return for these extra benefits, people who enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, receive their care though networks of doctors and hospitals chosen by the plan.

Here are 7 vital things you need to know:

1-Follow the doctors. If you have primary care doctors or specialists you have been using, and want to keep using, make sure they will continue to be in the network of the Medicare Advantage plan where you are enrolled. The networks, which are the lists of approved doctors and hospitals by the Medicare Advantage plan, change frequently. Many insurance companies are deciding to narrow their networks for 2014. Ask your doctors now if they have signed up to continue in the plan for 2014. If the doctors have dropped out, you could face a big financial risk. If you go outside the network of your particular plan, you may be required to pay a much larger share of the cost, and in some, cases you may have to pay the full cost without any reimbursement from the insurer.

The Medicare Rights Center says you should ask these questions when you select a plan

“Will I be able to use my doctors? Are they in the plan’s network?
Do doctors and providers I want to see in the future take new patients who have this plan?
If providers aren’t in the network, will the health plan still cover my visits if I choose to see them?
Do my doctors recommend joining this plan?
Which specialists, hospitals, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities are in the plan’s network?
Who can I choose as my Primary Care Physician (PCP)?
Does my doctor need to get approval from the plan to admit me to a hospital?
Do I need a referral from my PCP to see a specialist?”
2-If you have developed a serious illness or chronic condition, it may be better to quit your Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare. Under original Medicare, you have coverage for any doctor or hospital participating in the Medicare program. This means you can see any primary care doctor, any specialist, and receive treatment at any medical center specializing in your ailment or condition. You will pay more under original Medicare, for Part B doctor coverage, Part D drug coverage, and Medi-gap supplemental coverage for your co-payments and deductible charges, than you have been paying for the Medicare Advantage plan. But you now have access to a bigger array of doctors and hospitals, an important tool in dealing with your new and challenging medical condition.

3-Check your drugs for coverage under the plan. The list of approved drugs by Medicare Advantage plans, called a formulary, is constantly changing. Plans add and remove drugs, and change the co-payments and deductibles for these medications.

Go to the government’s official Medicare website.

When you search for a health plan at this site, be sure to enter all your medications. Click on “Find health & drug plans.” You can enter up to 25 drugs, and the plan finder will show you all the plans in your zip code including the charges for medications. The system will give you a password you can retain and use later if you need to modify your drug list.

4-Check the preferred pharmacy list to make sure there is a drug store conveniently close to you. The drug prices depend on buying the medications at a pharmacy which has a contract with the health plan. Many plans are now using lists of preferred pharmacies, where the price will be cheapest. It can make a substantial difference, so you want to use a preferred pharmacy whenever possible. Make sure the plan has one located conveniently near you.

5-Check the “snowbird” coverage. Many people on Medicare travel during the year on vacation, or to visit family members. Some are “snow birds,” spending months at a time in Florida to avoid the cold weather in the northeast. If you are among them, be sure your plan has coverage in the area where you will be vacationing, or spending long periods of time. If you get sick and need lots of expensive treatment while away from your home base, you don’t want to run up huge bills to be paid out of your own pocket.

6-When using the plan finder at Medicare.gov, check the plan’s total cost, not just the premium. Some people are dazzled by the idea of a plan that seems to be free because it has a very small or even a zero monthly premium. Don’t get fooled by this. Look at the column “Estimated annual health and drug costs,” to see what a plan is likely to cost you. And look at the “Health Benefits” column, which shows the out-of-pocket spending limits for the year when you stay within the plan network, and the limits when you go outside the network to get care. Some plans may have no limits for out-of-network spending, which could drive up your spending if you develop a sudden health problem and need to see lots of specialists.

7-Look at the stars. The federal government gives plans ratings between one and five stars. Only a small number of plans get the top 5-star ratings. Although Open Enrollment ends on December 7, you can still change to a five-star plan between December 8 and next November 30.

The 5-star plans are called “excellent” by the federal government, and the four-star plans are designated “above average.”

Only 3% of all Medicare Advantage plans get the 5-star rating, while 35% are ranked at 4-stars or 4.5 stars, according to HealthPocket, which offers comparisons and rankings on a wide variety of health insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid, and private coverage for individuals and small business.

 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bob-rosenblatt/medicare-advantage-plans_b_4275652.html

Tips For Maintaining Healthy Teeth At Home And With Your Dentist

(Photo : teenmouthguard.com) Teeth grinding is a serious issue that can be easily prevented with a night time mouth guard.

Some people are blessed with great teeth, others aren’t. Dental care can make up for a good portion of the gap as the system has redirected itself towards prevention rather than painful drilling and shots of novacaine.

Understanding the current methods of the dental system is important, according to CNN. Many people may not know, for instance, that cavities can now be cured, or recalcified, following fluoride treatment, or IM pasting. Reversing a cavity, however, requires early detection so schedule regular check-ups with your dentist, if possible.

Frequent visits are somewhat less necessary for those with a crown or a filling, which should be replaced approximately every eight years, according to CNN. Even if the dental work appears healthy, more damage could exist underneath.

Children should receive regular cleanings, including fluoride treatments, until at least the age of 15 because of their preponderance to consume large amounts of sugar, CNN reported.

As for home dental care, experts recommend the electric toothbrush, which compensates for the facts that most people don’t understand how to brush correctly or brush for the required two minutes. (Most electric devices have a timer).

For the grinders out there, invest in a mouth guard at night. Grinders can lose almost a millimeter of tooth per year if left untreated, according to CNN

Lastly, understand your own dental care and which areas give you trouble. Most dentists break teeth deficiency into four categories: cavity-prone, sensitivity, strainers, and those with bad gums. Each category can be treated with a specific regime, according to CNN.

 

Read more:  http://www.universityherald.com/articles/6082/20131209/tips-for-maintaining-healthy-teeth-at-home-and-with-your-dentist.htm