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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In order to have a healthy, bright smile, it is important to have regular dental exams and practice good dental hygiene. These are necessary for preventing gum disease and reducing the risk of tooth loss or dental problems. Proper dental hygiene not only is good for your teeth, but also has numerous other health benefits. Regular dental care isn’t expensive, but having a dental difficulty can become very expensive. That is why it is imperative to perform one of the main preventative actions: Brushing your teeth.


Some of the benefits of brushing your teeth include:


•  Reduced cost of dental care. Prevention is much less expensive than a cure. Brushing your teeth helps prevent cavities and other dental complications.

•  Prevention of gum disease. Regular brushing stimulates the gums, which keeps them healthy and thus prevents gum disease.

•  Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. The American Journal of Medicine has connected dental health to risks of heart attack and stroke. Gum disease is one indicator of heart disease. Also, bad bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream, which also increases your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.


Dentists recommend brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day,

THE BENEFITS OF BRUSHING YOUR TEETH

TANIQUA WARD, M.S.

TaNiqua Ward is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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once in the morning and once in the evening. Select a toothpaste that contains fluoride, which helps prevent cavities. Other ingredients in toothpaste, such as abrasives and detergents, are used to remove stains and bacteria. Flossing helps get rid of plaque, particles and food between your teeth. Both of these habits are essential for dental health.


Select a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid doing any damage to the teeth and gums. Hold the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle against the gum line and begin brushing from the gum line to the chew surface. Brush your teeth softly with short strokes. Use the same method on the inside of your teeth as well.


Dentists usually recommend using unwaxed floss because it is thinner and easy to slide between the teeth. Carefully insert the floss between the teeth by using a back and forth motion to get it near the gums. Make a letter “C” shape around the edge of the tooth and glide it up and down. Do this same process on all your teeth and be sure to floss the back sides of your teeth as well.