Trump administration just carved another chunk out of Obamacare

by Sally Pipes | Jan 18, 2018, 10:47 AM

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor released a proposed rule that would enable as many as 11 million Americans to sidestep some of Obamacare’s premium-inflating coverage regulations. Specifically, the new rule allows small businesses and self-employed Americans within the same state or metropolitan area, including areas that extend across state lines, to band together to purchase large-group insurance policies through so-called association health plans, or AHPs.

The rule basically legalizes affordable health coverage for small businesses.

At present, businesses and individuals have little choice but to buy coverage in the individual or small-group markets. These plans are subject to Obamacare rules that have sent premiums soaring. Obamacare’s essential health benefits mandates, for instance, require all plans sold on the individual and small group market to cover a long list of potentially costly services and procedures, from pediatric dental care to speech therapy.

By effectively banning simple, low-cost coverage, such rules have made insurance more expensive for individuals and small businesses. On Healthcare.gov, the federal exchange that covers 39 states, the average premium for the second-lowest benchmark silver plan rose by 38 percent this year. By contrast, the average premium in the large-group market, where Obamacare’s mandates don’t apply, rose by only 5 percent.

AHPs also give small firms and self-employed individuals more bargaining power to obtain favorable rates from insurers. For instance, dozens of small landscaping companies could form an AHP. That economy of scale enables them to save big bucks and tailor coverage to members’ needs.

For years, Obamacare has forced many small businesses and sole proprietors to purchase prohibitively expensive, excessively comprehensive health insurance. The AHP rule would give these folks a more affordable option.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-trump-administration-just-carved-another-chunk-out-of-obamacare/article/2646301

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.

36 HEALTHY RECIPES FOR STRONG, CAVITY-FREE TEETH

Posted by  | May 27, 2015 | 

 

From the amount of research that’s been done, it’s become increasingly apparent that fluoride is a toxin and harmful for our teeth and bodies. As mama’s who care for our children, we can speak up and tell our dentist no to fluoride for our kids. There are healthier alternatives to your children having strong, cavity-free teeth without using neurotoxins. There are even natural solutions to turn to when little ones do develop a childhood cavity.

But what about the everyday stuff? How do we nourish our children’s bodies and keep their enamel healthy and decay free through our everyday choices? It all starts with the food we eat.

How Cavities Start

We’ve been taught that certain foods, like sugar and other acids erode enamel, creating a haven for bacteria to invade and causing cavities. But the issue is actually much deeper than that.

“Daily the calcium and phosphate of the enamel migrates out of the teeth to the bones, heart, brain and other places where it is needed. This is called by dentists demineralization.” (source)

Unless we are providing the body with the minerals it needs to function properly, the minerals in our teeth will continue to leech out. Our bodies don’t just need calcium though, they require water soluble and fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

Primitive people’s diets contained ten times more fat soluble vitamins than our average diet today. There was also little to no tooth decay. If you look at pictures of indigenous tribes in Africa today, their smiles are straight and very white, without modern dentistry.

So what should we be feeding our children to promote strong, cavity-free teeth?

Foods To Eat

These foods and nutrients should be incorporated into children’s every day meals. It’s also really important for pregnant and nursing mothers for the proper development of the baby they’re nurturing.

  • Fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and K2. These are found in grassfed dairy, aged cheeses, pastured butter, high vitamin butter oil and pastured meats. And yes, vitamin K and vitamin K2 really are two different nutrients.
  • Include regular protein throughout the day to help balance blood sugar. Dentist Dr. Melvin Page found that the incidence of tooth decay would increase when blood sugar levels raised above the 80-90 range. (source)
  • Increase mineral intake from bone broth high in gelatin, raw and cultured dairy products, and seafood products.
  • Fermented foods and probiotics are also a must have.
  • Fermented cod liver oilhigh vitamin butter and coconut oil provide necessary fat soluble nutrients.
  • Vegetables contain vitamins necessary for strong enamel, so a wide variety should be included.

Foods To Stay Away From

There’s a huge list of unacceptable foods listed in the Cure Tooth Decay book. Unless your child already has decay though, you can most likely get by on a real food diet. The Weston A. Price Foundation’s guidelines are a good place to start. Diets low in sugar, especially processed sugar, and high in fat soluble and water soluble minerals will prevent tooth decay in most cases. Some of the foods that can cause cavities include:

  • Refined flour and other grains, unless properly prepared
  • Refined and processed sugar
  • Prepackaged and fast food
  • Coffee, soda and sweeteners
  • Soymilk and tofu
  • Pasteurized milk products, even organic
  • Hydrogenated Oils – like margarine and low quality vegetable oils
  • Non-grass-fed meat and eggs, and farm raised fish

What About Cavities?

If your child already has weakened enamel, decay and cavities, then additional measures should be taken. The Cure Tooth Decay book is such a wealth of information on the subject, so at that point it would be best to get the book and follow its protocol.

36 Healthy Recipes For Strong, Cavity-Free Teeth

Main Dishes

Side dishes

Broth and Soup

Sweet Treats

Beverages

My son doesn’t have a perfect diet, but we do try to include strengthening and nourishing foods as often as possible. So far he hasn’t had any cavities, and I’m hoping that with diligence, it will stay that way.

 

REFERENCES:

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 […]

3 gross reasons why you should finally stop biting your nails

Gianluca RussoINSIDER Jan. 4, 2018, 2:26 PM

Bad habits are incredibly hard to break, and some are more difficult than others. Although difficult, whether you can’t stop overspending or picking your nose, these habits must be broken. One of the most common issues is biting your nails. In fact, it’s estimated that 20-30% of people have this bad habit.

But just because it’s common doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

For starters, nail-biting can cause serious damage to the nails.

Chewing away at the white part of the nail can cause inflammation or infection of the skin. This may, in turn, affect the way the nail looks as it grows from this white section of the nail. Although this may not be permanent, increased and consistent nail-biting will result in more regular bumpy or rigidity nails.

Biting off pieces of the nail may leave the skin underneath exposed, according to Prevention, and prone to getting infected by bacteria found in the mouth or anything that comes in contact with that specific spot. These infections may be seen in forms of redness, swelling, or pus-filled sores on the nails.

Dental health may also be affected by nail-biting.

According to the Academy of General Dentistry, nail-biting increases the chances of teeth cracking, chipping, or wearing down. This is even more prevalent for those who also have braces, as braces increase pressure on the teeth.

When enamel is worn down, teeth may have increased sensitivity which can cause tooth and mouth pain and discomfort. Nail-biting may also cause dental health problems such as unintentional grinding or clenching, sores, and damaged gum tissue.

Shutterstock

Another major concern when it comes to nail-biting is the possibility of infection and illness.

Germs on the hands and fingers are transported into the mouth when nail-biting occurs. Although some of the microorganisms found on hands do not cause serious illness, others can. Under the nail, especially, are thousands of forms of bacteria that, when making their way to the mouth can cause an illness or infection.

If you’re fighting a nasty nail-biting habit, don’t fret. There are many steps you can take to worktowards fighting this. To start, keep your nails trimmed. Doing so will help prevent a desire to bite your nails as they have already been cut short. Whether through getting regular manicures or simply cutting them at home, keeping your nails trimmed and short is the first step towards fighting this habit.

Also, identify your triggers. It’s important to determine why exactly you are biting your nails. If it’s stress, identify stressful situations and find coping mechanisms to deal with the urge to bite your nails. If it’s boredom, find small activities to fill the time.

You may even want to consider applying bitter-tasting nail polish to your nails. Sold at almost any convenience store, this polish goes on clear and will taste bitter if you try to bite your nails.

Is dental insurance tax deductible?

Read more: Is dental insurance tax deductible? | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/112415/dental-insurance-tax-deductible.asp#ixzz52UfkKq00

A: Dental insurance premiums may be tax deductible. To be deductible as a qualifying medical expense, the dental insurance must be for procedures to prevent or alleviate dental disease, including dental hygiene and preventive exams and treatments. Dental insurance that is for purely cosmetic purposes, such as teeth whitening or cosmetic implants, would not be deductible.

Where Are Dental Insurance Premiums Deductible?

For most taxpayers, the cost of medical and dental insurance premiums paid during the tax year are deductible on form 1040 Schedule A as a medical and dental expense. Only the total of all qualifying medical and dental expenses, including insurance premiums, that when combined exceed 10% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI), will actually be included in the total of all itemized deductions.

For example, if a couple has an AGI of $100,000 and a total of $8,000 of qualifying medical and dental expenses, including dental insurance premiums paid, then none of these expenses would be included as an itemized deduction. Ten percent of the AGI would be $10,000, which is greater than the couple’s total medical and dental expenses.

For a self-employed individual, the cost of dental insurance may be deducted on Form 1040, line 29, without having to itemize deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A with the 10% of AGI limitation described above.

Other Limitations

Dental insurance premiums paid with funds from a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) are not deductible, as these funds are pretax and the IRS does not allow a double tax benefit.

Top Treats & Foods That Damage Teeth During The Holidays

 

https://happytoothnc.com/category/oral-health/

We all want healthy teeth and healthy gums. But the lure of sweet treats, delicious drinks, and decadent desserts during the holiday season can overwhelm our otherwise sensible choices. Unfortunately, holiday foods that damage teeth are all-too-common this time of year.

Time to switch things up and try a new tradition: Holiday treats that can

strengthen your teeth and your holiday smile.

Avoiding Holiday Foods That Damage Teeth

Even if you’re diligent about brushing and flossing, many foods will make caring for your teeth an uphill battle, or might even damage your teeth outright. In order to help you protect your teeth this holiday season, we’ve put together a list of the holiday treats that damage your teeth the most:

Eggnog. Eggnog is full of sugar, which is always bad for your teeth. But since this drink often has alcohol in it, it can dry out your mouth and prohibits the production of saliva. That means the sugar residue stays in your mouth for longer and does more damage.

Candy Canes. These holiday staples are also loaded with sugar, but what makes them especially bad for your teeth is that they take a long time to finish. Unlike a cookie that you may eat in a minute, candy canes bathe your mouth in sticky sugar for minutes on end.

Holiday Sugar Cookies. That said, cookies can still be an issue. Especially the kind of sugar cookie common around the holiday. C’mon… it has “sugar” in the name! Eating too many of these will only accelerate tooth decay.

Potato Latkes. The pancakes themselves are not the problem, it’s what’s on the side. A common tradition is to dip potato latkes into table sugar, which turns a traditional holiday treat into something that’s damaging your teeth. When possible, eat them with applesauce instead.

Caramel Popcorn. Sugar is once again the culprit in this holiday snack. But it doesn’t help that caramel popcorn is so addictive. It’s easy to munch on it absentmindedly for minutes on end which just exposes more sugar to your teeth for longer.

Of course, this list might be longer if you have braces, Invisalign, or other orthodontics. (Read: “Holiday Eating With Invisalign: Should Candy Canes Be On the Menu?” and “Foods to Eat and Foods to Avoid with Braces.“)

Holiday Treats For Healthy, Happy Teeth

It wouldn’t be much fun to spend the entire holiday season avoiding treats, especially when everyone around you is enjoying them so much. Luckily, you can be merry and be merciful on your teeth at the same time.

 

Here are some seasonal treats that you can indulge in without feeling guilty:

Peppermint Ho! Peppermint flavors are a staple of the season. Instead of eating candy canes, try peppermint tea (or make your own peppermint tea) and sweeten with low or sugar-free syrup. You can also try these homemade, sugar-free peppermint patties, of this terrific (and easy) dairy and sugar-free peppermint fudge.

Gingerbread. The bold flavor of ginger means that gingerbread tends to have less sugar than other types of cookies and cakes. So try gingerbread cookies over sugar cookies, or try baking actual gingerbread yourself- that way you can control how much sugar goes into it!

Cheese. Love cheese already? A study published in the American Academy of General Dentistry found that eating cheese raises the pH in the subjects’ mouths, lowering the risk of tooth decay. Cheese also contains calcium and protein, both found in foods that strengthen teeth. So go ahead, break out those holiday cheese balls. (We love this Christmas Tree shaped one you can make yourself.) If entertaining, it’s worth learning how to set up a simple cheese platter.

Almonds. Almonds are one of the best-kept secrets of the snack world. They are a good source of calcium and protein (which, again, helps to strengthen teeth) but are also low in sugar. While we don’t usually associate almonds with the holidays, winter has always been a season for roasted nuts. Try these spicy roasted almonds, or these rosemary roasted almonds, to get that nostalgic feel without loading your nuts with sugar. And, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can make these no-bake almond cranberry Christmas cookies. They’re vegan, low in artificial sugars, and totally tasty.

Keep Your Teeth Happy This Holiday Season

One more thing to consider – during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to let our guard down and “skip” our usual teeth cleaning habits. Bad idea: This is precisely the time of the year when those habits are most needed!

How to Save Money at the Dentist

Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they can’t chew healthy food

By Sarah Knapton, science editor
11 DECEMBER 2017 • 12:01AM

Dentures put wearers at risk of malnutrition because they cause wearers to avoid healthy foods which are difficult to chew, a major study has shown.

Researchers at King’s College London found the same was true for people with teeth loss, who also struggle to chew food properly.In both cases, tooth loss and wearing dentures was associated with joint and muscle frailty which can leave people at risk of bone breakages and falls.

The scientists said that people with dentures, or fewer teeth find it difficult to eat foods such as fibrous fruits and vegetables, nuts and meat, which are essential for good nutrition. Although dentures improves chewing function, the bite force is much weaker than that of natural teeth, meaning users often avoid certain foods.

“Persons with inadequate dentition are less likely to eat hard food that is difficult to chew, for example, some of the fresh fruits and vegetables, apples, pears, carrots, nuts etc,” said Dr Wael Sabbah, from King’s College London Dental Institute.

“They could also have difficulties in eating some cooked food such as meat, depending on the way it is cooked.”

Around 11 million people wear dentures in Britain. Although just six per cent of people now have no teeth compared to 37 per cent in 1978, 74 per cent have needed at least one tooth extracting.

The study examined the health of more than 1,800 people who had an average age of 62, and were categorised into three groups; having at least 20 teeth, denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth, and people and non-denture wearers with fewer than 20 teeth.

Researchers tested all groups for strength, frailty, BMI and oral health and interviewed about their nutritional intake.

The group that had less than 20 teeth and did not use dentures, and those who used dentures, were found to have consumed the least amount of nutrients, compared to recommended daily amounts. They were also found to be more frail.

Denturewearers and those with fewer teeth were 32 per cent more likely to be frail and 20 per cent more likely to be nutritionally deficient.

The researchers say the study demonstrates how important oral health is in preventing tooth loss which can cause nutritional deficiencies in later life.

Nutrients are crucial to maintain muscle mass and stave off musculoskeletal frailty.

“Few studies have examined the relationship between oral health, the number of teeth and general frailty,” added Dr Sabbah.

“One of the important findings of the study is the significant relationship between the condition of teeth and deficiency in intake of essential nutrients, regardless of the use of dentures.

“To date, the majority of efforts to improve frailty have focused on nutrition strategies, including health education, while the influence of teeth on dietary restraint of the elderly has been neglected.

“The findings of this analysis, along with that reported in earlier research, suggest that the use of denture could be a neglected intervention that could potentially have a preventative impact on musculoskeletal frailty.

“The results also highlight the importance of developing oral health policies to ensure older adults maintain functional dentition throughout their life.”

The research was published in the journal Geriatrics & Gerontology International.