HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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spend brushing. Whether you choose an electric or manual toothbrush, dental experts recommend you try not to brush too excessively or too hard. This can abrade enamel. Anything that boosts the beauty of your smile is worth looking into.

In the quest for good dental hygiene, you may find yourself trying to decide between using a manual or an electric toothbrush.


“A hygienist would say everybody should have an electric toothbrush,” said Dr. Patricia Takacs with Beaumont Family Dentistry. “You can’t push it too hard; it does what we can do with our drills; it polishes like we can polish; it can get below the gum line. But I still use manual toothbrushes.”


The American Dental Association (ADA) says manual toothbrushes can be just as effective as powered ones. According to Consumer Reports, a recent study showed electric toothbrushes reduced dental plaque 21 percent more and gingivitis or inflammation of the gums 11 percent more than a manual toothbrush after three months of use. What makes the difference is the brusher. Proper brushing technique is important whether you plug your toothbrush in or use your own power.


Toothbrushes have come a long way from the days when people used twigs stripped of their bark to clean their teeth. The earliest bristle toothbrushes were created in China in the 7th century. The first U.S. patent for a toothbrush was granted to H.N. Wadsworth in 1857. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies toothbrushes as medical devices, but they are generally considered to pose little harm to anyone and are subject to the least amount of regulatory control.   

BRUSH UP ON THE ELECTRIC VS. MANUAL DEBATE

An electric toothbrush can do almost 30,000 strokes per minute, compared to the manual average of 300 to 600 strokes per minute. There are several different types of electric toothbrushes. One type has a rotary brush that moves in a circular motion at 3,000 to 7,500 strokes per minute. Some toothbrush heads move in alternate directions; this is called rotation oscillation. Sonic toothbrushes use a side-to-side motion at about 31,000 brush strokes per minute. An ultrasonic electronic toothbrush has side-to-side motions that create vibrations that dislodge plaque. None of these are more highly touted over the other, so the choice about whether to go manual or electric is strictly up to you. One disadvantage is the cost. A top-quality electric toothbrush can cost up to $100 or more. As with regular toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads have to be replaced every few months.


If you have trouble physically moving your toothbrush around your mouth – perhaps because you have a touch of arthritis – an electric toothbrush can be a great asset. Children may enjoy using an electric toothbrush that features their favorite cartoon character. Also, an electric device with a timer can help them brush for the recommended two-plus minutes, which isn’t a bad idea for adults, either, since many people underestimate how much time they actually spend

TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler