Friday, March 30, 2012

How sealants can save your child’s teeth from decay

One of the best-kept “secrets” when it comes to children’s oral health is the sealant. These decay-preventing treatments are simple, painless, and effective – yet only about one-third of children have them, according to the National Institutes of Health. Sealants are essentially painted on to a child’s teeth and act as a shield against harmful bacteria and sugars.

This treatment is especially important for the back molars, as they contain deeper ridges and are harder to clean with a toothbrush. During the simple procedure, your child’s dentist will clean and dry the targeted tooth. A solution is then applied to roughen the surface of the tooth and help the sealant stick more effectively. Next, the tooth is dried and the liquid sealant is applied. Within a few seconds, the sealant hardens into the ridges of the tooth and is ready to start protecting your child’s mouth from decay. That’s it – really!

The NIH suggests that children who get sealants are able to save time and money later on because they have fewer fillings and other decay-correcting procedures. Best of all, with proper care, sealants can last up to a decade. During that time, if your dentist starts to notice any wear, he or she can reapply the sealant. According to the NIH, the most critical time to apply sealants is as soon as a child’s back molars erupt.

This generally occurs between the ages of 5 and 7 for the first set, and again between 11 and 14 for the “12-year molars.” To learn more about sealants and guarding your child’s teeth against decay, talk with a dentist on your True Care Advantage plan. It’s one of the most important investments you can make toward your children’s health

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Monday, March 12, 2012

A Healthy Diet, gives you Healthy Eyes

You probably learned as a child that eating carrots helps keep your vision sharp, but did you know that other foods can also improve eye health? According to experts at Prevent Blindness America, people who maintain a healthy diet are less likely to suffer from several kinds of eye diseases.

For instance, people at risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration have been shown to benefit from increasing their intake of vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc. Dark green vegetables such as spinach and kale may also promote healthy vision and reduce a person’s risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.

Regardless of the specific foods, a healthy diet may also lower the likelihood of diabetes, which can lead to serious conditions like diabetic eye disease and glaucoma. To learn more about the importance of eating a balanced diet and its effect on your visual health, talk to an eye doctor on your True Care Advantage plan. He or she can help you get started on a lifetime of healthy vision. (American Health Advantage)

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