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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Cleanings


Taking care of your mouth and teeth regularly when you’re an adult can help you avoid painful gums, tooth loss and other problems. Again, you need to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss them once daily. Check your mouth for sores that don’t heal, irritated gums and other changes, and ask your doctor if your medicines have side effects that can damage your teeth. Don’t smoke or chew tobacco and visit the dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cleanings. Your dentist can catch problems such as trauma, tooth decay, gum disease or cancer at an early stage.


Be careful of soda because of the phosphoric and citric acid it contains. These ingredients give soda its “bite” but they can also eat away the surface of your teeth. You need to quit smoking because the nicotine and tar in cigarettes turn your teeth yellow and eat away at your gums. Smoking also leads to the formation of bacteria and plaque on your teeth and along the gumline, which harms tissue, degrades the bone that supports teeth and even- tually increases your risk of tooth loss. Tobacco chemicals can even lead to oral cancer.

The first set of teeth is mostly formed at birth. These teeth hide under the gums. They hold the space where eventually the permanent teeth will be, allowing them to grow in straight.


When your child’s new teeth first appear, clean them by rubbing them gently with a wet washcloth; later you can use a child’s toothbrush. Don’t allow your child to sleep with a bottle; this can leave juice or milk on the teeth, causing cavities known as baby-bottle tooth decay.


Use water without toothpaste to brush your child’s teeth if he or she is under two years of age. Teach your children how to brush their teeth and tell them the importance of keeping their teeth clean. Avoid giving your children sticky or chewy food. Instead, encourage them to eat low-sugar snacks such as cheese, fruits and vegetables. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends children see their dentist starting at 1 year of age.


For teens, let them know taking good care of their teeth and mouth will give them a nice smile, pleasant breath and fewer cavities. Teens should not smoke or chew tobacco, which stains the teeth, promotes bad breath and can even cause cancer. Young people need to brush their teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. They should also visit the dentist every six months for regular check-ups and

KEEPING YOUR MOUTH AND TEETH HEALTHY

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

Use a toothbrush with soft to medium, multi-tufted, round-ended nylon bristles. Replace it when you notice bent bristles or after three months of use. A worn toothbrush can injure the teeth and gums. While brushing, use short, gentle, circular motions and hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, pointed towards the gum line. Also, lightly brush your tongue to help keep your mouth clean.


When flossing, wrap about a foot of floss around your index fingers, keeping around 2 inches between your fingers to work with. For each tooth, unroll a fresh section of floss and keep it tight against the tooth to break up plaque. Be sure to rinse after you floss.


You can protect your teeth from sports injuries by wearing a mouth guard or full-face helmet when playing. Don’t use your teeth to crack nuts, rip open packages or remove bottle tops. Doing so risks chipping or even breaking your teeth.


Dry mouth occurs when you don’t have enough spit or saliva to keep your mouth wet. This makes it hard to eat, taste, swallow and even speak. It can lead to tooth decay and other mouth infections. To prevent dry mouth, sip water or sugarless drinks, don’t smoke and avoid alcohol and caffeine.


Take care when learning to eat with dentures. Start with soft, non-sticky food and cut it into small pieces and chew slowly, using both sides of your mouth. Take the dentures out of your mouth at night and soak them in water or a denture-cleansing liquid.


A few minor changes in your daily routine can make a huge difference in the long term. Your dentist can remove any build-up on your teeth and treat any gum disease that has already appeared. However, you need to maintain daily dental care, and the main weapons are the toothbrush, toothpaste and interdental (between your teeth) cleaning.