Keep the brain young, fight heart disease, maintain oral health? What is this super food?

Lovers of red wine, rejoice!

Researchers have now identified yet another reason why you should keep on enjoying this beverage.

Some of us love to savor a glass of red wine — or two — with dinner every once in a while.

The catch is that this velvety drink often leaves the teeth stained, so maybe it’s not such a good idea to order it on your first date or while out on a business dinner.

That being the case, it’s certainly not intuitive to infer that red wine could do anything for your oral health — the contrary, rather.

The research was led by M. Victoria Moreno-Arribas and colleagues from Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación in Madrid, and the Department of Health and Genomics at the Center for Advanced Research in Public Health in Valencia.

Moreno-Arribas and team have now published their findings in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Moreno-Arribas and her colleagues have revealed another merit that speaks in favor of red wine: some of its components may protect against the formation of cavities and against gum disease.

The health benefits of red wine come from its content of polyphenols. These are a series of micro-nutrients with antioxidant properties. As antioxidants, they can protect against action of free radicals, which are unstable atoms that play a key role in the cellular aging process.

Polyphenols are nutritional superheroes with many secret weapons. One of these is their impact on our gut bacteria. Some polyphenols can be absorbed into the small intestine, there to interact with the gut microbiota and fend off some of the bacterial “bad guys” that might threaten our health.

Picking up on this thread, Moreno-Arribas and colleagues hypothesized that polyphenols found in red wine and grapes could have a similar, protective effect in the mouth, fending off harmful oral bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

What happens in the mouth

In the new study, the scientists first compared the effect of two types of polyphenol typically found in red wine (caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid) as well as that of red wine and grape seed extracts (Provinols and Vitaflavan) on three harmful oral bacteria: Fusobacterium nucleatumStreptococcus mutans, and Porphyromonas gingivalis.

What they found — experimenting with a laboratory model of gum tissue — was that the two red wine polyphenols caffeic acid and p-coumaric acid were most effective at repelling the harmful oral bacteria and preventing them from attaching to healthy tissue.

Next, they tested a mix of caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, and Streptococcus dentisani, which is an oral probiotic that, as recent research has suggested, may help to prevent tooth decay.

This experiment was even more successful, as the protective effect of the two polyphenols was enhanced by the presence of the probiotic.

Finally, the analysis of phenolic metabolites, which are substances formed as the polyphenols start transforming in the mouth, suggested that these small products may in fact be the “active ingredient” associated with the polyphenols’ protective effect.

So go ahead — pour yourself a glass of red wine tonight, safe in the thought that this drink, at least, won’t cause you any oral suffering. Of course, don’t overdo it; red wine is an alcoholic beverage, after all, and too much alcohol isn’t anyone’s friend.

Using a small wine glass, though, could help you curb your appetite a little, so you can delight your palate — and teeth and gums — with some polyphenols, while still keeping your gray matter quite safe.

Adapted article: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321028.php

Dentist inspecting patients mouth using a dental explorer

Dental Discount Plans vs Dental Plans

Dental Insurance vs. Dental Discount Plans

Over the last 10 years, 1 in 4 Americans have put off a needed dental procedure due to the high cost of oral health care.  Not surprising when you realize that the cost of dental care has soared by 20% over that same time.  The pain in the wallet that comes with a pain in your mouth has led many people to try to find another option; but which is the better option? Dental insurance? Too much coverage for you? How about a dental discount plan?

Even for those that have dental coverage as a part of their employee compensation package, they cannot always make full use of the coverage they do have.  Many dental insurance plans have coverage limits of only $1000 to $1500 dollars, and that’s after you meet your plans deductible.  Then there are the issues figuring out if your favorite dentist is in network, preauthorization requirements for many needed procedures, which can take weeks or even months, and finding out that your insurance doesn’t cover all your needed procedures.   Most plans require you to be in the program for a period of time before you can be authorized for root canals or fillings, so even if you get insurance, you may have to wait up to three months to be able to use it.  Then there is the painful fact that many of these dental insurance plans require you to pay for the procedure up front and be reimbursed later on down the road.

This combination of limited coverage, waiting periods, and red tape has caused many people to begin looking at dental discount plans.  Dental discount plans work very much like buying a Sam’s Club card.  You pay an annual fee (usually between $150 and $300) and then you get a reduced fee on all work you have done from any participating dentists.  These plans go into effect immediately and provide either a discounted rate or a percentage off of the work you want done.  Either way, you pay the full discounted rate at the doctor’s office at the time of treatment.

Which path is best for you really differs from person-to-person and your annual dental needs.  Even the cost of an employer covered dental insurance as a part of your employee compensation package should be compared and reviewed to insure additional coverage is not needed.

Dental insurance plans usually come with a monthly fee and cover 100% of preventative procedures such as check-ups, x-rays and cleanings.  They then usually provide a tiered system of costs for more involved work you want done.  Often, your total benefit can be roughly equal to your annual costs, so take the time to compare plans.

Dental discount Plans do not have deductibles or annual spending caps.  They are normally paid as an annual fee with coverage lasting for 12 months starting right away.  Dental discount plans normal costs are about half of what comparable dental insurance plans annual costs would be, but they offer only a discount on services not any form of coverage for needed procedures.

Often, the choice comes down to a persons need and preference.  If your personal yearly dental plan only calls for a few visits consisting of a check-up and cleaning, dental insurance may be the best bet for you as the annual cost of a discount plan might be more than the total savings offered for the minor work being done.  Not every needed procedure is covered by dental insurance however, while dental discounts are usually available for all of your oral care needs.  If you know that you have more involved procedures coming up, or if you have a family with active children, a dental discount card may be the way to go.  Other concerns, such as employment based coverage, insuring you are purchasing through someone with great customer service, and your favorite dentist is included are important considerations. Dental plans and Dental Discount plans found at www.mygenerationbenefits.com cover over 260,000 providers in all 50 states. The odds are high your current dentist is already a provider in a dental discount or insurance plan found at www.mygenerationbenefits.com

Everyone loves a nice smile and taking care of your dental health is a critical part of your overall health.  Take the time to look into your options to find the plan that is best for you.  If you need help checking your options, give Capital Benefits a call at 888-327-8880 or got www.mygenerationbenefits.com to get started.

 

Snack habits for kids is risky business for dental health

Tooth brushing only partly protects against the effects of sugary snacks on children’s teeth, research suggests.

A study of almost 4,000 pre-school children showed snacking habits were most strongly associated with decay.

Researchers found children who snacked all day – compared with just eating meals – were far more likely to have dental decay.

The study shows that relying on tooth brushing alone to ward off dental decay in children under five is not enough.

The study also said parental socioeconomic factors, such as the mother’s education level, explained more of the difference in children’s dental decay than diet or oral hygiene.

The researchers said that even though primary teeth were temporary, “good oral hygiene habits are set in childhood, and this relates both to diet and tooth brushing”.

Dental decay

Social scientists from the University’s of Edinburgh and Glasgow used statistical models and survey data to predict dental decay by the age of five.

They used data collected on diet and oral hygiene from repeated observation of children from ages two to five.

Snacking was the factor most strongly associated with decay, with children who snacked all day without eating meals having twice the chance of decay compared with those who did not snack at all.

There was an incremental association between lower frequencies of tooth brushing at the age of two and higher chances of dental decay at five.

Children who brushed less than once per day or not at all at the age of two had twice the chance of having dental decay at five compared with children who brushed their teeth twice per day or more often.

The study is published in the Journal of Public Health.

‘Ongoing challenge’

Lead researcher Dr Valeria Skafida, of the University of Edinburgh’s School of social and political science, said restricting sugar intake was desirable both for broader nutritional reasons and for children’s dental health.

Dr Skafida said: “Even with targeted policies that specifically aim to reduce inequalities in children’s dental decay it remains an ongoing challenge to reduce social patterning in dental health outcomes.”

Study co-author, Dr Stephanie Chambers, of the social and public health sciences unit at University of Glasgow, said: “Among children eating sweets or chocolate once a day or more, tooth brushing more often – once or twice a day or more – reduced the likelihood of decay compared with less frequent brushing.”

The researchers used data from the Growing Up in Scotland study – a social survey which follows the lives of children from infancy through to their teens.

The research was supported by The British Academy, the Medical Research Council and the chief scientist office of the Scottish government Health Directorates.

Water fluoridation is affecting my family how?

ANOTHER study confirms the detrimental effects of water fluoridation on the IQs of children Tuesday, January 09, 2018 by: Zoey Sky (Natural News) Another study has added to the growing body of evidence that links the fluoride found in water with lowered intelligence quotients (IQ) in children. A study, which was published last year, confirmed […]

Children who avoid tap water have lower lead levels but more tooth decay

By Brooks Hays

Elevated blood lead levels affect only a small minority of children, but the health consequences are profound and permanent,” researcher Anne E. Sanders said. For American children, tap water’s health benefits come with risks.

New research shows children and adolescents in the United States who avoid tap water are more likely to have tooth decay. The data also shows young people who avoid tap have lower levels of lead in their blood.

Most municipal water in the U.S. is fluoridated, which numerous studies have proven prevents cavities. However, aging infrastructure presents risks, including elevated lead levels in drinking water.

The lead crisis in Flint, Michigan, is an extreme example of a problem that’s fairly common in the United States. Studies show 5,300 water systems in the U.S. are in violation of the EPA’s lead and copper limits.

When researchers at the University of North Carolina examined blood and dental data of some 16,000 children and adolescents — collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey — they found children who said they didn’t drink tap water were more likely to have had at least one cavity.

Those same children were also less likely to have elevated lead levels, defined as more than three micrograms in a deciliter of blood.

Researchers found 3 percent of those surveyed had elevated lead levels in their blood. Nearly 50 percent had tooth decay.

“Elevated blood lead levels affect only a small minority of children, but the health consequences are profound and permanent,” UNC researcher Anne E. Sanders said in a news release. “On the other hand, tooth decay affects one in every two children, and its consequences, such as toothache, are immediate and costly to treat.”

Sanders and her colleagues published their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“Our study draws attention to a critical trade-off for parents: children who drink tap water are more likely to have elevated blood lead levels, yet children who avoid tap water are more likely to have tooth decay,” researcher Gary D. Slade said. “Community water fluoridation benefits all people, irrespective of their income or ability to obtain routine dental care. Yet we jeopardize this public good when people have any reason to believe their drinking water is unsafe.”


Read article on original site: https://www.upi.com/Science_News/2017/11/27/Children-who-avoid-tap-water-have-lower-lead-levels-but-more-tooth-decay/7601511814779/

A cracked tooth

Chew on this: Dental coverage gives protection within limits

By Tom Murphy

Don’t forget about your teeth when you start considering 2018 insurance needs later this fall.

The annual sign-up window for many types of health insurance also is a good time to think about dental coverage. Many employers offer a chance to sign up for it during their open enrollment period for benefits. Dental protection also can be purchased with private Medicare Advantage coverage or through the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces.

There’s a big market for it. About 74 million Americans have no dental coverage, according to the National Association of Dental Plans. That’s around 23 percent of the population, or more than double the percentage that lacks health insurance.

Here are some things to consider when shopping for dental plans.

WHY DO SO MANY PEOPLE LACK DENTAL COVERAGE?

The main reason is limits on government health programs.

Medicare provides health coverage for people who turn 65, but the federal program offers no dental option unless you buy it through privately-run Medicare Advantage plans. Likewise, dental coverage is spotty for adults in Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.

Shoppers also cannot use tax credits to help pay for most adult dental coverage sold on the ACA’s marketplaces or exchanges.

WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT FROM MY COVERAGE?

You won’t have to pay for preventive care like teeth cleanings. Your insurer also will grab the bill for the occasional X-ray. Coverage tends to shrink from there.

Basic work like cavity fillings might come with co-insurance, which requires you to pay a certain percentage of the bill.

That co-insurance may be as high as 50 percent for major work like crowns or dentures. Many plans also pay only $1,500 or less annually for care per person. After that, the customer has to pick up the rest of the cost.

Coverage for a kid’s braces also may be limited to a maximum lifetime payment of $1,000 per person, depending on the plan.

WHY ARE THERE LIMITS?

Dental coverage is designed to encourage people to get regular care that keeps tooth decayand other costly problems from developing.

“The idea is you pay more out of pocket if you let things go south,” said Evelyn Ireland, executive director of the National Association of Dental Plans.

If the insurer covered more, then premiums would rise, and that might dissuade people from getting regular dental checkups, Ireland said.

The dental plans association estimates that more than 90 percent of patients do not hit their plan’s annual maximum.

However, research suggests that some people start avoiding care before they reach their plan’s limits due to the costs they face even with coverage, said Marko Vujicic, chief economist for the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute.

SHOULD I BOTHER BUYING COVERAGE?

The answer can depend on whether you expect to need more than basic care and if your dentist offers a discount program. Patients can use tax-advantaged health savings or flexible spending accounts to cover dental bills.

Consider how your projected expenses compare with the monthly premium you’d pay for coverage and whether you have the resources to handle an unexpected bill of $1,000 or more. Monthly premiums can top $50 for a family plan, which is much less than a typical health premium. Your employer likely will pay some of that for any plan purchased through work.

Insurers also can help their customers by negotiating discounts with dentists that still apply even if a patient has to cover the whole bill for a procedure, Ireland said. Those discounts might reduce the cost of a crown from around $1,200 to $960, but you have to have coverage in order to get them.

Ireland said these insurer-negotiated discounts are generally bigger than what a dentist may offer a cash-paying customer.

 

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Read article on original site: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/chew-dental-coverage-protection-limits-49816168

individual dental insurance

The Case for Regular Flossing

Your dentist has likely told you for years (your entire life even) that you should be flossing your teeth daily. Food particles and plaque between your teeth can’t be removed with regular brushing, and so getting floss in there is the only way to properly clean the area out. For some reason, you and 36% of Americans would rather be cleaning a toilet than keeping your mouth healthy via flossing. People rely heavily on their dentists and amenities like individual dental insurance to keep their mouths healthy, when simply following the advice of dentists would offer even greater health benefits.

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dental plans

5 Steps to Take to Curb Bad Breath

From the time we’re small children, we’re incessantly reminded to brush our teeth and eat calcium rich foods to keep ourselves and our teeth healthy. Establishing good oral hygiene habits from a young age is imperative to good overall health, and dentists know that if you’re caring for your teeth as a child you’ll be more likely to do so as an adult. Excellent dental plans often go unused as our lives become busier, but when an issue like chronic bad breath surfaces, we’re more likely to give our dentists a ring.

While you’re waiting to make use of dental plans and get your teeth cleaned and properly inspected, there are some everyday maintenance steps that you can take to freshen your breath.

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