Dental Insurance Plan: A Few Things To Remember

Dental Insurance Plan: A Few Things To Remember

Regular dental check up is the foremost advice that any dental health care professional offers. But only few of us act on that expert advice. Simply because most of us are lazy. Besides, we do not want to spend money on something for which there is apparently no urgent need. Laziness is the state of mind and has to be taken care of by us on our own, but so far as expenses are concerned, dental insurance plans take much of the load off one’s pocket. However, while going for a dental insurance plan, there are a few things you must ensure.

1.Make sure that the dental insurance plan allows you to choose your own dentist. If the dentist you want for yourself and your family is not among those that the plan approves, the expenses incurred by visiting such dentist may not be borne by the insurance providers. So, make sure that you are not put to any such irritating inconvenience. Pay a little more, if you have to, to be attended by your preferred dentist. It’s well worth it.

2.Consider the restrictions, if any, imposed by the plan on your choosing the treatment options. There are a few insurance plans that tend to cap the number of treatments allowed while a few others would limit the expendable amount. Those who have a family history of poor dental health must consider this aspect very carefully and ensure that the plan they choose imposes the least number of restrictions on their choice of treatment.

3.Know what your plan covers exactly and what stands outside its purview. A good dental insurance plan allows a cleaning treatment every six months. X-ray and fluoride treatments are inclusive, as they cost little or nothing at all. So far as the major treatment procedures are concerned, you are required by many plans to pay 50 percent of the expenses. If your family has had good dental health in the past, you may ask for lesser coverage in this area.

4.Who all in your family would be covered under the plan is also an important issue. Mostly, dental insurance plans cover the spouse and also the dependent children right from the birth up to 18 years of age.

These are a few things that you must consider while going for an insurance plan so that all of your dental worries are a thing of past.

Helpful Tips For A Whiter Smile (3)

Helpful Tips For A Whiter Smile

We all want to look great, and healthy teeth creates healthy smiles. Whiting your teeth can be a benefit not only for your look, but for the health of your mouth as well. Use these tips below to make those pearly whites shine and promote overall wellness for the health of your mouth.

Before investing a lot of money in teeth whitening products give baking soda a try. Baking soda is effective at removing most surface stains and if you are happy with the results it will save you a ton of money. Add a bit of baking soda to your regular paste every time you brush; it takes about three weeks for results to be noticeable.

Brushing your teeth with apple cider vinegar can help take the discolorations that have developed over time away. Simply dip your brush in apple cider vinegar and brush as normal. You can even add it to your regular dental hygiene routine! It is a cheap and effective way to a bright smile.

Women can use lip color to make their teeth appear whiter. Certain shades of red and coral will improve the brightness of your teeth and make them look whiter. A light shade of red works the best. Using a lipstick that is a lighter color can make teeth look yellow.

Eat more foods that are good for you. What you eat can have a huge impact on how white your teeth are. Try to avoid fast foods or foods that are overly processed. Instead, try to eat more raw and organic foods like more raw fruit or vegetables.

For many years people have sworn that baking soda works quite well for teeth whitening. There are now many types of toothpaste that have baking soda right in them so you do not have to mess with making up the paste yourself. The paste is made up with a bit of salt and baking soda and then brushed onto your teeth.

An easy way to keep teeth whitened is to brush after consuming something that tends to stain teeth. Common culprits are coffee, sodas, wines, teas, berries, and sweets. If you brush immediately after consuming these items, you prevent the stain from setting into your teeth. This will help you to keep your teeth white without having to resort to expensive treatments.

Do not start a home teeth whitening treatment without going to the dentist to have an exam done. You do not want to use any of these treatments if you have untreated cavities in your mouth. The same goes for gum disease. These things should be treated prior to any treatment.

If you are a smoker, you are going to have a constant battle trying to keep your teeth white. If you are that worried about a white smile, you are going to need to quit or at least cut down in the amount that you are smoking. It will be a never ending battle if you continue to smoke heavily.

As you just read, there are many quick and healthy ways to keep your teeth shining and white. Improving the health of your teeth can improve the health of your mouth as well. White teeth can give you the confidence you have been lacking and a healthy smile can open doors to a great self-esteem.

Flossing – Remove Your Plaque With Few Hassles

Flossing – Remove Your Plaque With Few Hassles

How Important Is Flossing?

In one word…very! Flossing not only cleans areas of the teeth where ordinary toothbrushes can’t reach, it is a key factor in preventing gum disease. Brushing is an excellent beginning, but flossing is a crucial factor when it comes to keeping healthy teeth. The bacterium that gets caught in the nooks and crannies between teeth and in the tight spaces that toothbrushes can’t reach is removed by flossing.

Bacteria, if not removed regularly, may cause a host of problems in a person’s mouth. For instance, a byproduct of the bacteria is acid; this acid eats into the enamel of otherwise teeth and creates cavities. Another byproduct of the bacteria is a sulfur compound which causes halitosis

Remnants of food, combined with remaining bacteria turns into plaque. Plaque, left hanging around between the teeth will become a stronger more toothbrush resistant substance called tarter. Tarter is not removed by normal brushing. Tarter remover requires the professional services of a dentist.

Tarter left alone allows the bacteria to breed and cause a more serous condition called gingivitis. Gingivitis occurs when the bacteria emits toxins that irritate the gums and causes redness and swelling. Left alone, it worsens and causes periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria have been allowed to manifest and invade not only the gums, but also the bones. This is dangerous because the bones are the very support structure that holds teeth in place. Left untreated, teeth will fall out.

I Haven’t Flossed In A While. What Should I Expect?

If you haven’t flossed in quite a while, there is a possibility that you may see a hint of blood on the floss and in your mouth. This means that your gums are somewhat irritated and are really in need of flossing. Don’t give up. Keep flossing. Over a period of time, with regular flossing and brushing, the red should diminish and eventually go away. If it does not, pay a visit to your dentist.

How Often Should I floss?

According to the American Dental Association, you should brush twice a day
with a fluoride toothpaste and floss at least once a day.

What About My Children? When Should They Start Flossing?

The minute two teeth are able to rub together, thus creating a condition whereby food and bacteria can hide and grow, start flossing. Of course when they are young, they will require parental guidance. Continue to do so until you feel comfortable that your child can properly floss unaided.

How Do I Floss?

1.) Use about 18 inches of floss and wind most of it around the middle finger of one hand and the rest around the middle finger of the other hand.

2.) Gently guide the floss between your teeth with a rubbing motion.

3.) Once the floss nears your gum line curve the floss against one tooth in a ‘C’ shape. Slide it gently in the space between you tooth and gum.

4.) While keeping the floss against the tooth, gently, with an up and down motion, move the floss away from the gum.

5.) Repeat as needed.

6.) Remember to floss between all of your teeth, even the hard to reach ones in the back of your mouth. Also floss the back of the last teeth.

7.) Remember this is a gentle motion. Do not use a frontward, backward sawing motion. That can cause injury and prove to be painful.

Carrying out a full blown research before taking an insurance plan is vital

Carrying out a full blown research before taking an insurance plan is vital

With dental insurance you don’t have to bear the whole financial burden for you and your family. It pays to have a dental insurance coverage because this coverage is solely dedicated to make sure that people like you enjoy optimum dental health and feel at home with the assurance that when there is a need for dental treatment your company can always come to your aid. |You might be agitating for dental health insurance to be more flexible. This is because you know and it’s true that people do not have the same dental conditions. Still we don’t all require equal treatment for dental care. As a healthy individual may likely not need the common coverage that is offered in the plan. If you have this as a protest you can always go for other optional dental plans like discount dental plans.

Do you live in Florida? Are you looking for a dental insurance plan in that area? Then you don’t have to think much of it. It is quite easy to locate good dental insurance plans in Florida with ease. Florida State offers several dental insurance plans you can afford. |In Florida there is a very keen contest among numerous dental insurance companies and they all almost have their presence on the internet. With the internet all you need is to supply your personal profile and instantly you will be supplied with dental insurance quotes for your dental plans. |Are you interested in carrying out online research for dental insurance plans? Then if you are in Florida you can locate and purchase a dental insurance with ease. What you are required to do is to key in your PIN code and before you know it you already have access to all dental insurance companies in the state.

One way to effectively research for a dental insurance provider online is to collect several quotes from dental insurance companies and contrast the premiums and services they offer. After comparing these quotes you are left with one option and this is to select the best policy that you can afford especially as it fits your spending plans.|When taking a dental insurance policy it is important you make sure that the policy that contains preventive dental cares is well included in the plan. Preventive cares like regular visits to a dentist, cleanings and constant check ups are very important. The reasons you should watch out for these things is that they are the only measures that can reduce or prevent some serious dental problems from happening.

When settling for an insurance company, it is in your best interest to settle for a reputable insurance company that has been tested over time and trusted based on the quality of service they provide and their reputation for settling claims. You should not be surprised if you find out during your search that some companies do not keep to their promise and litigations may waste your time.|Buying a dental insurance plan is not all that matters. It also maters that you should be part of your own dental care struggle. How do you do this? Always go through the benefits leaflet and other information blockets handed out by the insurance provider. |After taking out a dental insurance it is very crucial to constantly keep the insurance provider abreast on the treatment types availed to you and confirm with the insurance company incase there are any changes effected on the policy after you might have bought it.

Everything You Needed To Know About CoQ10

Everything You Needed To Know About CoQ10

CoQ10 is a vitamin-like compound that is produced naturally in the human body and is also found in most living organisms. It is also called ubiquinone, a combination of quinone, a type of coenzyme, and ubiquitous, meaning it exists everywhere in the human body. CoQ10 plays an important role in your body’s energy production and is an essential component of the mitochondria, where it helps to metabolize fats and carbohydrates and maintain cell membrane flexibility. CoQ10 is also involved in the production of several key enzymes that are used to create ATP, which is burned by your body for energy, and in the energy transfer between mitochondria and cells. Without CoQ10, you would not be able to function!

What is its history?
CoQ10 was first discovered by Dr. Frederick Crane of the University of Wisconsin in 1957. One year later, Professor Karl Folkers and others at Merck Incorporated identified and recorded CoQ10’s chemical structure, and were the first to produce it through fermentation. Intermittent research led to its use in Japan for cardiac insufficiencies during the 1960’s. Dr. Folkers championed more intensive research into CoQ10’s role in cardiovascular health in 1972, after he and an Italian scientist, Gian Paolo Littarru, discovered that persons with cardiac insufficiencies had very low levels of CoQ10, and supplementation increased CoQ10 levels and positively affected heart health. Soon afterwards, the Japanese developed a method that allowed pure CoQ10 to be produced in quantities large enough for significant clinical trials. During the 1980’s this method was perfected in Japan, and medical technology finally allowed scientists to measure CoQ10 levels in blood and tissues, leading to a surge in further research. It was during this time that a Swedish researcher, Lars Ernster, drew attention to CoQ10’s role as a free radical-scavenging antioxidant. Today a multitude of research supports CoQ10’s health benefits.

As a result of the overwhelmingly positive reports from studies conducted since CoQ10’s discovery, the Japanese were the first to approve widespread use of CoQ10, granting market approval for it in 1974. From 1974 to 1982, CoQ10 use in Japan grew rapidly until it was one of the most widely used products in the Japanese pharmaceutical industry. It is still widely used today, and has a long history of safe use. In “An Introduction To Coenzyme Q10” by Peter H. Langsjoen, M.D., F.A.C.C., he lists the substantial amount of scientific evidence that supports CoQ10’s benefits. “Internationally, there have been at least nine placebo controlled studies on the treatment of heart disease with CoQ10: two in Japan, two in the United States, two in Italy, two in Germany, and one in Sweden. All nine of these studies have confirmed the effectiveness of CoQ10 as well as its remarkable safety. There have now been eight international symposia on the biomedical and clinical aspects of CoQ10 (from 1976 through 1993). These eight symposia comprised over 3000 papers presented by approximately 200 different physicians and scientists from 18 countries.” “The majority of the clinical studies concerned the treatment of heart disease and were remarkably consistent in their conclusions: that treatment with CoQ10 significantly improved heart muscle function while producing no adverse effects or drug interactions.”

How does it help?
Virtually every cell of the human body contains CoQ10. The mitochondria, the area of cells where energy is produced, contain the most CoQ10. The heart and liver contain the greatest amount of CoQ10. It has helped some people with congestive heart failure(CHF) an effect reported in an analysis of eight controlled trials and found in some, though not all, double-blind studies. The beneficial effects of CoQ10 may not be seen until after several months of treatment. Discontinuation of CoQ10 supplementation in people with CHF has resulted in severe relapses and should only be attempted under the supervision of a doctor.

Similar improvements have been reported in people with cardiomyopathies a group of diseases affecting heart muscle. Research (including double-blind studies) in this area has been consistently positive.

Also, due to its effect on heart muscle, researchers have studied CoQ10 in people with heart arrhythmias. Preliminary research in this area reported improvement after approximately one month in people with premature ventricular beats (a form of arrhythmia) who also suffer from diabetes.

Angina patients taking 150 mg per day of CoQ10 report a greater ability to exercise without experiencing chest pain. This has been confirmed in independent investigations.

CoQ10 appears to increase the heart’s tolerance to a lack of oxygen. Perhaps as a result, preliminary research has shown that problems resulting from heart surgery occurred less frequently in people given CoQ10 compared with the control group.

Muscle mitochondria lack adequate CoQ10 in people with muscular dystrophy, a problem that could affect muscle function. In a double-blind three-month trial, four of eight people with muscular dystrophy had improvements in heart function and sense of well-being when supplementing CoQ10.

Mitochondrial function also appears to be impaired in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Due to CoQ10’s effects on mitochondrial functioning, one group of researchers has given CoQ10 (along with iron and vitamin B6) to several people with Alzheimer’s disease and reported the progression of the disease appeared to have been prevented for one and a half, to two years.

CoQ10 also modulates immunity. Perhaps as a result, a few cases have been reported in which women with metastatic breast cancer (cancer that had spread to other tissues) had a regression of their cancer after treatment with a very large amount of CoQ10 (390 mg per day).

CoQ10 appears to modulate blood pressure by reducing resistance to blood flow. Several trials have reported that supplementation with CoQ10 significantly reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, usually after ten weeks to four or more months of treatment.

Where is it found?
CoQ10 is found primarily in fish and meat, but the amounts in food are far less than what can be obtained from supplements.

Who is likely to be deficient?
Deficiency is poorly understood, but it may be caused by synthesis problems in the body rather than an insufficiency in the diet. Low blood levels have been reported in people with heart failure, cardiomyopathy, gingivitis(inflammation of the gums), morbid obesity, hypertension, muscular dystrophy, diabetes, AIDS, and in some people on kidney dialysis. People with phenylketonuria(PKU) may be deficient in CoQ10 because of dietary restrictions. CoQ10 levels are also generally lower in older people. The test used to assess CoQ10 status is not routinely available from medical laboratories

An isolated test tube study reported that the anticancer effect of a certain cholesterol-lowering drug was blocked by addition of CoQ10. So far, experts in the field have put little stock in this report because its results have not yet been confirmed in animal, human, or even other test tube studies. The drug used in the test tube is not used to treat cancer, and preliminary information regarding the use of high amounts of CoQ10 in humans suggests the possibility of anticancer activity.

Benefits
• may beneficially affect the aging process
• improves heart muscle function
• reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension
• boosts overall immune function

Patient Rights in Regard to Dental Care

Patient Rights in Regard to Dental Care

Dental Assistants work hard to help Dentists and Dental Hygienists provide quality care to patients. They try to provide patients with the knowledge of proper dental care as well as information about the procedures they are about to undergo. Patients have rights in regards to their dental care that Dental Assistants need to be aware of and respectful of.

Dental patients have the right to make an informed decision about their dental care. It is the responsibility of the Dental Assistant to make sure they know the facts about the procedures, the alternative options, and any risks involved in the procedures. Dental patients have the right to receive care from qualified staff members. Most dental offices will provide the licensing and credentials of staff members upon patient request.

The right to receive quality care is important to patients. Dental Assistants can do their part by taking the time to properly clean all dental tools and equipment. Standard sterilization procedures need to be followed accurately. Patients have the right to ask questions and receive informed decisions about the care they receive. Dental Assistants have the responsibility of keeping the lines of communication open. They need to be approachable by patients.

A patient has the right to refuse treatment or discontinue treatment at any time. The Dental Assistant needs to be respectful of this choice. However, the Dental Assistant has the responsibility to inform the patient of the health risks involved with doing so. Those patients wanting to continue care have the right to be seen at scheduled appointments and for a detailed treatment plan to be carefully outlined, and then followed.

Emergency situations do occur. Patients have the right to be seen as soon as possible. In the mean time, the Dental Assistant needs to do everything possible to reduce the pain and make the patient comfortable. Dental care can be expensive. Patients have the right to receive an itemized cost of treatment prior to accepting any dental services.

All patients want to be treated with dignity and respect. The patient who comes in with poor oral care habits doesn’t want the Dental Assistant to ask them rude questions about the last time they brushed their teeth. However, it is important for the Dental Assistant to express concern about the patient’s oral health habits, and provide education to help the patient develop better oral care practices.

Dental patients have the right to confidentiality. Dental Assistants need to keep information about procedures and those coming in for them to themselves. No one wants everyone in town to know they had two cavities or that they got their teeth whitened. Confidentially is very important to individuals in all areas, and their dental care is no different. A patient has the right to request copies of all information in their file at any time for their own use.

All patients have the right to express their concern over the dental care they received. They have the right to file a complaint against the Dental Assistant or other staff with the State Dental Board. Each state has their own policies and procedures for investigating complaints. The standard procedure includes obtaining the complaint in writing, sending a copy of the complaint to the dental facility, interviewing witnesses to the event, and making an informed decision on how to handle the complaint.

Dental Assistants need to be fully aware to patient rights. It is easy to get caught up in the procedures and duties of the dental profession. However, the satisfaction of the patient is the key to providing quality service and maintaining ongoing relationships with patients. Dental Assistants can do their part by providing patients with an approachable individual that they can discuss their needs, ideas, thoughts, and concerns over their dental care with. In that regard, a Dental Assistant can serve as a lesson between the patient and the other dental staff.

Natural, Healthy and Sweet – The Benefits of Stevia

Natural, Healthy and Sweet – The Benefits of Stevia

Stevia (STEE-vee-uh) is an outstanding, sweet tasting herb that has remarkable health promoting qualities. The sweetness of Stevia is largely due to its complex stevioside molecule that is composed of glucose, sophorose and steviol. A second compound called rebaudioside, which is present in Stevia, also contributes to Stevia’s sweetness. Stevia has a taste that is unique and has been described as very sweet with a slight licorice, almost bitter aftertaste. Generally, high quality Stevia contains very little of this bitterness. The sweetness of Stevia is much different than the sweetness of other natural sweeteners, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, but it is delicious. For some people the taste may require some “getting used to,” but most people quickly develop a taste for it.

Stevia is a South American shrub whose leaves have been used for centuries by native peoples in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten their yerba mate and other stimulant beverages. The stevia plant belongs to the Compositae (sunflower family of plants). Centuries ago, Natives of Paraguay used the leaves of this small, herbaceous, semi-bushy, perennial shrub to sweeten their bitter drinks. Originating in the South American wild, it could be found growing in semi-arid habitat ranging from grassland to scrub forest to mountain terrain. The plant made its way to Pacific Rim countries where in recent decades it became cultivated domestically, used in its raw leaf form and now is commercially processed into sweetener.

If you’ve ever tasted stevia, you know it’s extremely sweet. In fact, this remarkable noncaloric herb, native to Paraguay, has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries. Stevia is a natural, non-caloric, sweet-tasting plant used around the world for its pleasant taste, as well as for its increasingly researched potential for inhibiting fat absorption and lowering blood pressure.

Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than sugar in its natural state, and much more so when processed. Its medicinal uses include regulating blood sugar, preventing hypertension, treatment of skin disorders, and prevention of tooth decay. Other studies show that it is a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent as well. Stevia is actually good for you! On top of that, it is calorie and carbohydrate free. Stevia is a great sweetener choice for diabetics, those watching their weight, and anyone interested in maintaining their health.

Topically, Stevia has excellent healing capabilities. If placed on a cut or scrape, it stings initially followed by a significant reduction in pain and accelerated healing with no scarring. Whole leaf Stevia extract can be used as a facial mask by smoothing the dark liquid over the entire face, allowing it to dry for 30-60 minutes, then rinsing. This will help tighten the skin, smooth out wrinkles and heal skin blemishes and acne. This has been reported to be effective when used on seborrhea, dermatitis and eczema, as well. Stevia is also beneficial for the hair and scalp; good results have been obtained by adding Stevia concentrate to shampoo, and also applying concentrate to the hair after shampooing, allowing it to remain on the hair for a few minutes, then rinsing.

Stevia is also able to perform a number of other beneficial tasks. For example, it has been shown that Stevia may enhance moods and increase energy levels and mental alertness. What’s more, it is also been shown to stop the growth of bacteria in the mouth is responsible for the production of acids that are responsible for gingivitis and cavities.

In recent years, Stevia has made its way to the Far East. In the 70’s and 80’s Stevia was developed as a sweetener/flavour enhancer which has since been used widely for this purpose in Japan, China, Korea, Israel, Brazil and Paraguay. It has been embraced in Japan, where it’s used in soy sauce, sweet pickles and soft drinks. In Japan, Diet Coke has been sweetened with Stevia.

The products in which Stevia has been used include soft drink, ice cream, cookies, pickles, chewing gum, tea and skin care products. In Japan about 40% of the sweetener market is stevia-based. The main producers of stevia are Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Malaysia and Paraguay.

The cosmetic industry also employs the use of Stevia in many of the available skin care products. It has been shown to reduce skin blemishes when applied topically. Stevia also relieves stomach discomfort.

There are no symptoms of deficiency but everyone can benefit from the use of Stevia. Populations that may benefit from the use of Stevia include: diabetics, the obese, the elderly, children, and athletes.

Diabetics, individuals with blood sugar problems, or the obese, may benefit from supplementing with Stevia due to its ability to regulate blood sugar.

Individuals suffering from hypertension may also benefit from the use of Stevia. It has been shown that in cases of high blood pressure Stevia has the ability to act as a vasodiolator, thus helping to lower hypertension.

In the late 1980s an “anonymous firm” lodged a “trade complaint” with the FDA about Stevia when it started to surface in the United States. One company using stevia was the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea company. They were ordered by the FDA to stop producing tea “adulterated” with Stevia. Traditional Medicinals, another tea company, had their inventory of Stevia teas confiscated during an unexpected FDA raid and were told the tea would be burned.

Why did the government treat Stevia like a controlled substance? FDA documents call Stevia a “dangerous food additive” even though the safety of Stevia has been widely tested for many years by scientists in Japan. The FDA will not reveal who made the “trade complaint” (despite the Freedom of Information Act) though many suspect that it was the makers of the artificial sweetener Aspartame (aka “Nutrasweet”) trying to fend off competition, as the artificial sweetener is very profitable.

To judge from the extensive measures the FDA has employed to keep Americans in the dark about Stevia, one might assume it was some type of dangerous narcotic. But, in fact, no ill effects have ever been attributed to it, although it has been used by millions of people around the world, in some locales for hundreds of years.

So adamant has the FDA remained on the subject, that even though Stevia can now be legally marketed as a dietary supplement under legislation enacted in 1994, any mention of its possible use as a sweetener or tea is still strictly prohibited.

In 1995 the FDA reversed their decision to ban Stevia, but only halfway. Stevia can now be sold as a “nutritional supplement” but not as a sweetener in the United States. This is also the case in the European Union, and the World Health Organization is pressuring other countries to follow suit.

Benefits
• non-caloric sweetener
• inhibits fat absorption and lowers blood pressure
• regulates blood sugar levels

5 Tips to Finding the Right Dental Insurance Company

5 Tips to Finding the Right Dental Insurance Company

With so many dental insurance plans to choose from it can be a daunting task to determine which plan is best for your needs or the needs of your employees. And to note, these needs are extremely important, as the dental care should never be overlooked. There are five tips that may help you discover which plan is right for you.

1. Consider Online Comparisons – While a trusted broker can provide you with several options to choose from, an online comparison of companies and dental insurance options can provide a means of insuring the greatest flexibility and price. The available plan types are extremely varied and an online comparison can allow you to see what a plan will and will not be able to do.

2. Price Comparison – It may be easy to make a quick decision based on a simple query, however, if you are working with a broker there may be other options they can present that may decrease the overall cost. Again by using an online comparison, you may be able to view all options and all price ranges. This information can provide information that can help you select a plan that fits your budget.

3. Benefit Comparison – There are several questions that you should consider when purchasing a dental insurance plan. Here are a few samples to consider.

Ÿ Will I be able to select my own dentist?
Ÿ Are there select dates and times that a dentist may restrict visits by individuals that are a part of a particular plan?
Ÿ Do I need insurance with co-pay?

4. Determine Personal Needs and Objectives – No one likes change, but you must ask yourself if certain components in a dental insurance plan are really a need or a want. You should determine what your objective is in obtaining dental insurance. When you understand your motivation and needs you’ll be better able to select a plan.

5. Understanding the Importance of Coverage – Once you understand that a dental insurance plan removes the barrier to oral health and that improved oral health is linked to improved physical health, a dental insurance plan begins to make sense.

Like major medical insurance, dental insurance provides a means of managing the rising cost of dental care. In certain cases premiums for dental insurance is tax deductible.

Naturally Sweet and Healthy – The Wonders of Stevia

Naturally Sweet and Healthy – The Wonders of Stevia

Stevia (STEE-vee-uh) is an outstanding, sweet tasting herb that has remarkable health promoting qualities. The sweetness of Stevia is largely due to its complex stevioside molecule that is composed of glucose, sophorose and steviol. A second compound called rebaudioside, which is present in Stevia, also contributes to Stevia’s sweetness. Stevia has a taste that is unique and has been described as very sweet with a slight licorice, almost bitter aftertaste. Generally, high quality Stevia contains very little of this bitterness. The sweetness of Stevia is much different than the sweetness of other natural sweeteners, sugar, or artificial sweeteners, but it is delicious. For some people the taste may require some “getting used to,” but most people quickly develop a taste for it.

Stevia is a South American shrub whose leaves have been used for centuries by native peoples in Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten their yerba mate and other stimulant beverages. The stevia plant belongs to the Compositae (sunflower family of plants). Centuries ago, Natives of Paraguay used the leaves of this small, herbaceous, semi-bushy, perennial shrub to sweeten their bitter drinks. Originating in the South American wild, it could be found growing in semi-arid habitat ranging from grassland to scrub forest to mountain terrain. The plant made its way to Pacific Rim countries where in recent decades it became cultivated domestically, used in its raw leaf form and now is commercially processed into sweetener.

If you’ve ever tasted stevia, you know it’s extremely sweet. In fact, this remarkable noncaloric herb, native to Paraguay, has been used as a sweetener and flavor enhancer for centuries. Stevia is a natural, non-caloric, sweet-tasting plant used around the world for its pleasant taste, as well as for its increasingly researched potential for inhibiting fat absorption and lowering blood pressure.

Stevia is about 300 times sweeter than sugar in its natural state, and much more so when processed. Its medicinal uses include regulating blood sugar, preventing hypertension, treatment of skin disorders, and prevention of tooth decay. Other studies show that it is a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent as well. Stevia is actually good for you! On top of that, it is calorie and carbohydrate free. Stevia is a great sweetener choice for diabetics, those watching their weight, and anyone interested in maintaining their health.

Topically, Stevia has excellent healing capabilities. If placed on a cut or scrape, it stings initially followed by a significant reduction in pain and accelerated healing with no scarring. Whole leaf Stevia extract can be used as a facial mask by smoothing the dark liquid over the entire face, allowing it to dry for 30-60 minutes, then rinsing. This will help tighten the skin, smooth out wrinkles and heal skin blemishes and acne. This has been reported to be effective when used on seborrhea, dermatitis and eczema, as well. Stevia is also beneficial for the hair and scalp; good results have been obtained by adding Stevia concentrate to shampoo, and also applying concentrate to the hair after shampooing, allowing it to remain on the hair for a few minutes, then rinsing.

Stevia is also able to perform a number of other beneficial tasks. For example, it has been shown that Stevia may enhance moods and increase energy levels and mental alertness. What’s more, it is also been shown to stop the growth of bacteria in the mouth is responsible for the production of acids that are responsible for gingivitis and cavities.

In recent years, Stevia has made its way to the Far East. In the 70’s and 80’s Stevia was developed as a sweetener/flavour enhancer which has since been used widely for this purpose in Japan, China, Korea, Israel, Brazil and Paraguay. It has been embraced in Japan, where it’s used in soy sauce, sweet pickles and soft drinks. In Japan, Diet Coke has been sweetened with Stevia.

The products in which Stevia has been used include soft drink, ice cream, cookies, pickles, chewing gum, tea and skin care products. In Japan about 40% of the sweetener market is stevia-based. The main producers of stevia are Japan, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Korea, Brazil, Malaysia and Paraguay.

The cosmetic industry also employs the use of Stevia in many of the available skin care products. It has been shown to reduce skin blemishes when applied topically. Stevia also relieves stomach discomfort.

There are no symptoms of deficiency but everyone can benefit from the use of Stevia. Populations that may benefit from the use of Stevia include: diabetics, the obese, the elderly, children, and athletes.

Diabetics, individuals with blood sugar problems, or the obese, may benefit from supplementing with Stevia due to its ability to regulate blood sugar.

Individuals suffering from hypertension may also benefit from the use of Stevia. It has been shown that in cases of high blood pressure Stevia has the ability to act as a vasodiolator, thus helping to lower hypertension.

In the late 1980s an “anonymous firm” lodged a “trade complaint” with the FDA about Stevia when it started to surface in the United States. One company using stevia was the Celestial Seasonings herbal tea company. They were ordered by the FDA to stop producing tea “adulterated” with Stevia. Traditional Medicinals, another tea company, had their inventory of Stevia teas confiscated during an unexpected FDA raid and were told the tea would be burned.

Why did the government treat Stevia like a controlled substance? FDA documents call Stevia a “dangerous food additive” even though the safety of Stevia has been widely tested for many years by scientists in Japan. The FDA will not reveal who made the “trade complaint” (despite the Freedom of Information Act) though many suspect that it was the makers of the artificial sweetener Aspartame (aka “Nutrasweet”) trying to fend off competition, as the artificial sweetener is very profitable.

To judge from the extensive measures the FDA has employed to keep Americans in the dark about Stevia, one might assume it was some type of dangerous narcotic. But, in fact, no ill effects have ever been attributed to it, although it has been used by millions of people around the world, in some locales for hundreds of years.

So adamant has the FDA remained on the subject, that even though Stevia can now be legally marketed as a dietary supplement under legislation enacted in 1994, any mention of its possible use as a sweetener or tea is still strictly prohibited.

In 1995 the FDA reversed their decision to ban Stevia, but only halfway. Stevia can now be sold as a “nutritional supplement” but not as a sweetener in the United States. This is also the case in the European Union, and the World Health Organization is pressuring other countries to follow suit.

Benefits
• non-caloric sweetener
• inhibits fat absorption and lowers blood pressure
• regulates blood sugar levels

A Guide To Dental Health

A Guide To Dental Health

People begin to learn about dental health from a very young age, when teeth first begin to show up. But in spite of such early awareness, many people fail to maintain good dental health through their adult life. Good dental health comprises brushing and flossing your teeth every day, and regular visits to a dentist or dental hygienist as well. Besides, people supplement their dental care with the use of products like mouthwash or advanced mouth care systems. You should keep it in mind that the lack of adequate dental care practices will result in cavities and gum disease.

It is generally advised that you use a toothbrush with softer bristles so as to protect your gums. Some people, however, prefer power brush systems that help break up plaque and bacteria in your mouth. But it takes more than brushing to keep your teeth in good health. Some other steps need to be taken to ensure that people do not lose their teeth as they become old.

To begin with, you should understand your own oral health needs, as your oral health depends on your diet, the type and amount of saliva in your mouth, your overall health and your oral hygiene routine. Try to follow a daily routine in consultation with your dentist.

As fluoride strengthens developing teeth in kids and prevents decay in adults, toothpastes and mouthwashes containing fluoride should be used. You should brush at least twice a day, if possible three times or after every meal. You should also floss at least twice a day. Brushing and flossing will remove plaque, a complex mass of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth.

Limit the consumption of snacks and follow a balanced diet plan. Tobacco in any form will enhance the risk of oral cancer and cause stains on your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly and get your mouth examined.