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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
By Janice Neumann
When I was in my 30s and a dentist told me I needed a few crowns, I decided to skip the expensive devices because of my meager paycheck. Besides, my teeth weren’t hurting.
Years later, I am paying the price in pain and costlier dental work. One of the damaged teeth that needed a crown distorted my bite, making a minor jaw-joint problem even worse.
Unfortunately I’m far from alone. The price of dental care is steep for many people financially, physically and even socially, according to Marko Vujicic, chief economist and vice president of the Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association.
Vujicic said that the majority of emergency room dental visits were for infections that could be handled in a dentist’s office. Overall, emergency room dental visits cost $1.9 billion yearly, 40 percent of which is public money, according to his institute’s analysis of data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
“I’m comfortable calling that highly wasteful,” Vujicic said. “That’s a very inefficient way to spend dollars.”
When Angela Lombardi, who lives in Bensenville, Ill., put off getting fillings because of the cost, the pain kept mounting and her teeth kept deteriorating. Eventually she had to have five teeth pulled at a county clinic, where the fee was low.
But that wasn’t the end of her pain. At age 32, she had difficulty chewing food and was too embarrassed to smile because of the unsightly gaps between her remaining teeth.
“Gosh, I had so many teeth pulled because of not having enough money to go to the dentist to get them treated,” said Lombardi, now 39. “When I got them pulled, there’s this empty space and it’s ugly. . . . You can’t chew, you can’t smile.”
Lombardi finally found help at Midwestern University College of Dental Medicine in nearby Downers Grove, where she will get a bridge and crowns for about $3,000.
The dental school, where care is provided by students, charges a third to a half of the fees charged by private dentists. “We want our students to have as robust an education as we can provide, and lower fees help attract and facilitate acceptance of treatment plans,” said Melisa Burton, Midwestern’s assistant dean of clinical education.
More people are avoiding dental care because of the cost than other types of health care, according to a study in Health Affairs that was led by Vujicic.
The study showed that adults ages 19 to 64 said they were more likely to forgo dental care because of cost than children or seniors (12.8 percent of non-elderly adults compared with 7.2 percent of seniors and 4.3 percent of children).
Nearly a quarter of adults with incomes below the poverty line said they did not receive dental care because of cost. Even people with dental insurance were avoiding getting their teeth fixed because of cost, according to the study.
People also said they didn’t get the dental care they needed because of fear, inconvenient locations or appointment times, and trouble finding a dentist who takes their insurance. Cost, however, was the main reason.
Vujicic said public health programs don’t seem to take account of the connection between oral health and overall health. Medicaid includes dental coverage for children and some states expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, but 22 states do not offer dental care for adults via Medicaid while others offer varying degrees of coverage. Marketplaces created under the ACA offer dental coverage in separate plans.
“You and I understand the mouth is connected to the body, that bacteria in the mouth affects bacteria in the body, but policy doesn’t,” Vujicic said. “There is emerging and new evidence showing the link between chronic disease and oral health.” Oral care can help reduce overall health-care costs, research has found.
Vujicic advocates more insurance coverage, both public and private, for oral health. He said that adding dental coverage under Medicaid for the 22 states without it would cost $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion annually, but some of that would be recouped from fewer emergency room visits for oral care.
Jason Grinter, a dentist in Rockford, Ill., sees many patients who have gone without consistent dental care. He said the state’s Medicaid program has been a big help to patients in Illinois, covering fillings, dentures, extractions and, in some cases, root canals and crowns.
Grinter said he sympathized with patients who couldn’t afford dental care or dental devices such as partial dentures, which aren’t included in Illinois Medicaid for adults. He also said private insurance often caps benefits at around $1,000 per year, a ceiling that has not kept pace with dental costs.
“We’re all struggling, and a lot of times it’s a difficult conversation between the patient and dentist because there is the [financial] barrier,” Grinter said. “Not that someone is trying to price-gouge, but the price in my lab is $500 to $600 for a removable denture. . . . If you want to add some time and materials, it’s going to get up there in price.”
Often families will make sure their children get to the dentist, Grinter said, but tight budgets mean the parents won’t do the same.
“They will bring their kids to the dentist three or four times to get all the treatment that is needed,” Grinter said, “but they’re not willing to do that for themselves.”
Forgoing dental care in adulthood can mean even worse health problems in old age, according to Amber Willink, an assistant scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. And Medicare does not cover dental care (or vision and hearing care).
“There’s that cumulative effect of put it off, put it off, put it off. . . . It’s only going to be that much worse and that much harder to manage and treat,” Willink said. “We’re talking about people who are having trouble eating because of their dental issues.”
As for Lombardi, she is looking forward to the day when she can smile again. The university care helped, and then her boyfriend stepped in with a Christmas present.
“He told me, ‘Your gift is I’m going to help you get your teeth fixed,’ ” she said.
Read article on orignial site: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-dental-visit-can-cost-you-but-a-delay-can-hurt-your-teeth-and-budget-even-more/2017/12/01/20bef8e8-c405-11e7-aae0-cb18a8c29c65_story.html?utm_term=.c54b06f3f7dc&wpisrc=nl_sb_smartbrief
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.”
Why is health care in the U.S. so expensive?
Health insurance. You know you need it, but navigating through the terms and coverage explanations can be ridiculously confusing. But if you don’t understand how your plan works, it could really cost you.
Current law allows younger people to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26. And that leaves a lot of them scratching their heads while reviewing their health care options after blowing out their 26 birthday candles.
Many Americans get health insurance through their employer. If not, they can find individual plans via government exchanges, through a broker or directly from an insurance company.
Here’s your cheat sheet to some common terms you might run into when comparing plans during open enrollment:
Claim: This is the bill your doctor submits to your health insurance provider for any care you receive. If you paid for service out-of-pocket, you can also submit your own claim to your insurer directly to try and get reimbursed.
Premium: This is the amount you pay every month to maintain your health insurance plan. Even if you never end up needing health care services, you still have to pay your monthly premium to your health insurance company to stay covered.
Deductible: Your insurance company usually doesn’t start covering your health care bills right away. You’ll probably have to pay a set amount first. That’s called your deductible. It’s how much your plan requires you to shell out for your health care before your insurance starts to cover your bills. Usually, the cheaper the plan, the higher the deductible.
High-deductible health plans: Under these plans, you’re expected to pay more of your health care bills, but your monthly payments for coverage will be cheaper. It can be a good option for a young, healthy person who doesn’t expect to go to the doctor much. These plans allow you to stash away money into a tax-advantaged account called a Health Savings Account (HSA) that can be used to cover deductibles and other medical expenses.
Copayment: A set fee you pay when visiting a doctor after you’ve met your deductible. You might have different copayments for doctor visits, hospital stays and other types of care.
Coinsurance: Some insurance plans expect you to pay a percentage of the bill even after you’ve met your deductible. For example, you could be on the hook for 20% or 30% of the bill while the insurer handles the rest.
In-network provider: A medical professional who is part of your health insurance coverage and has pre-determined agreements with your insurer on what to charge for certain services and visits. Staying in network means your insurance will cover more of the costs and your bills will be much cheaper.
Out-of-network provider: A medical provider who does not have a contract with your health insurer, and will likely be more expensive to receive care from. You can end up being responsible for most, if not all of the bill if you go to an out-of-network doctor.
Out-of-pocket maximum: While deductibles and coinsurance could mean you end up paying a lot of money for health care, the good news is there is a limit to what you’ll be responsible for paying. If you end up with a lot of medical bills one year and reach your plan’s cap, the insurance company will cover 100% of your medical services for the rest of the year.
Explanation of Benefits: While it may look like a bill, it isn’t. An EOB is just an overview of what (and how much) your doctor billed to your insurance company and what the insurer has agreed to cover. It can also include an estimate of how much you might be expected to pay, but the medical provider will send a bill separately.
Read article on original website: http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/19/pf/health-insurance-terms-open-enrollment/index.html
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