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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before brushing may prevent or decrease how rapidly bacteria build up on the toothbrush.


•  Toothbrush sanitizers can deep clean your toothbrush. Some even use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms. You don’t need to use dishwashers, microwaves or ultraviolet devices to disinfect toothbrushes; these may damage the toothbrush. Sanitize toothbrushes at least once a week in warm, soapy water and then air dry.


•  After using your toothbrush, store it upright in a cup or a rack, where it can dry out completely. Also, consider storing your toothbrush in a place other than the bathroom, which contains many airborne bacteria. If multiple brushes are stored in the same holder, do not allow them to come into contact. Use a cover that lets air circulate around the toothbrush and prevents mold but doesn’t completely seal it (the lack of air can foster bacteria).


•  There is no need to soak toothbrushes in disinfecting solutions or mouthwash; this may lead to cross-contamination of toothbrushes if the same disinfectant

Toothbrushes become contaminated with bacteria, blood, saliva, oral debris and toothpaste while removing soft debris and plaque from the teeth. So dentists recommend rinsing the toothbrush thoroughly with tap water following brushing, though you still need to disinfect and sterilize toothbrushes further.


“Toothbrushes can become contaminated with oral microbial organisms whenever they are placed in the mouth,” said Sharon Cooper, PhD., a clinical associate professor at the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Viruses and bacteria from an infected person’s mouth can live for weeks on a toothbrush surface and continue to cause illness, Cooper added.


It’s important to know how to safely store and handle your toothbrush so it does not harvest germs and bacteria that may make you and your family sick. In its official statement on toothbrush care, the American Dental Association (ADA) says toothbrushes don’t have to be sold in sterile packaging, so they may have bacteria on them right out of the box. The ADA and the Council on Scientific Affairs provide the following toothbrush care recommendations:


•  Keep your toothbrush clean by washing it and giving it a thorough rinse to remove debris. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouth rinse before

TAKE CARE OF YOUR TOOTHBRUSH

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

In addition, make sure to take your child to a dentist for regular checkups and cleaning at least twice a year. The dentist can examine your child’s teeth and check for gum diseases or other problems that can damage the teeth and cause bad breath.


•  Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or when it shows signs of wear (for example, when it has worn or frayed bristles; they won’t clean the teeth and gums well enough).


•  It is also important to change toothbrushes after you’ve had a cold, the flu, a mouth infection or a sore throat because germs can hide in toothbrush bristles and lead to re-infection.


•  Never share or lend your toothbrush. This can transfer saliva and bacteria that can cause tooth decay. There is an increased risk for infection, especially for those with compromised immune systems or infectious diseases.


•  While brushing, use short, gentle strokes instead of hard strokes so the bristles do not fray.


•  Do not chew or bite your toothbrush while it is in your mouth; this can cause fraying. Some bristles could get stuck in between the teeth.


•  Move the brush quickly around your teeth to cover all areas, including the interior of your teeth and your tongue as well as the front of your teeth.