Archive for February, 2015

Teaching kids to brush their teeth

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Kids in general either hate brushing their teeth or they simply couldn’t care less. However, it is important to teach your kids how to brush their teeth to avoid dental and other health problems. With a little patience, creativity, and a handy tool, you should be able to get your kids to brush their teeth in no time.

For preschoolers

It’s relatively easy to teach preschoolers, as long as it’s fun for them and is done through rhythm and rhyme. Let your kids know that there are germs that we can’t see living on their teeth and it’s important to get rid of them. You can even make a song about teeth brushing.

When teaching your kids how to brush their teeth, first show them the proper way to go about it. Once you have demonstrated the up and down, round and round process of brushing teeth, hand your kids their brushes and let them try. Use a safe kids’ step stool to help them reach the sink. Choose one that is self-retracting so that when your kids are done using the sink, the step stool automatically retracts underneath the sink and out of adults’ way. Once they are able to do the whole brushing process themselves, make the event and exciting and joyous one. Clap and cheer for your kids. Tell your other family members how good the kids were and have them cheer for the children as well. Have your kids show other family members how they too can brush their teeth.

Things to do:

• Show your kids how excited you are about brushing, and get even more excited when they brush.

• Make brushing a fun experience.

• Ask them to show you how well they can brush their teeth.

• Make it a point to show other family members how good the kids can brush their teeth.

For Grades K-3rd

Kids this age learn things through presentation and repetition. Offer your kids to watch you as you brush your teeth, explaining things as you go along. Come up with creative analogies: “plaques are invisible bugs that eat away at your teeth. The only way to get rid of them is to brush your teeth.”

Things to do:

• Regularly offer your kids to watch yourself brushing.

• Be consistent with brushing times

• Come up with creative analogies or explanations about brushing teeth

Grades 4th-6th

At this age, there is no better way to effectively teach your kids to brush their teeth than to show them what happens when a person does not brush his/her teeth. Gather pictures of people’s teeth the have serious decay. Or better, get pictures of people with rotten teeth. During your visits to the dentist, teach your kids about proper brushing by asking for pictures of people who do not brush their teeth and explaining to them, “This is what happens to people who do not brush their teeth.”

You can also add that there are health risks when they do not brush their teeth. Some of these include gum diseases such as gingivitis (swollen or inflamed gums), periodontitis, gum infections, bone destruction, and tooth loss. It has even been found that gum disease is a likely risk factor for heart disease and stroke for adults.

Things to do:

• Ask your dentist to share stories, pictures and information of the hazards of not brushing teeth.

by: Dana Mulder

Eliminate light to sleep soundly

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The majority of people are sleep-deprived, according to a report by the World Association of Sleep Medicine. The association has also developed the 10 commandments of sleep, and one of the most important is to eliminate as much light as possible.


Now there is a new way to darken your bedroom for sleep, and then enjoy gently filtered natural light plus a view when you want to relax during the day. New Silhouette A Deux window shadings deliver translucency and room-darkening all in one product.


Retailers tell us that chief among the Hunter Douglas premium line up, Silhouette shadings beautifully soften and diffuse the light with their sheer facings and fabric vanes. This new design pairs a variety of trend-forward fabrics and a room-darkening roller shade. The back roller shade operates independently of the Silhouette shading and can be positioned to provide as much or as little light as desired.


This innovative window treatment is ideal for entertainment hubs or media rooms, since they add the all-important style quotient and cut the glare on screens, while providing the option of full room-darkening.

What you need to know before undergoing a cosmetic medical procedure

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

As the quest for the perfect body and flawless face continues, many consumers have turned to spas, salons and walk-in clinics for cosmetic medical procedures at bargain prices. With the number of these facilities increasing, more consumers are influenced to believe that certain cosmetic procedures are easy, inexpensive and risk-free.

“In many instances, dermatologic surgeons, who are properly trained and experienced in performing cosmetic medical procedures, are sought to correct the mistakes of inexperienced and unqualified physicians,” says Dr. Susan Weinkle, president-elect of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). ”Consumers should be aware that lower prices do not mean equal training and treatment, and should be cautious that these discounted prices could put their health at risk as a result of the provider’s inadequate training and lack of expertise.”

Dr. Weinkle and the ASDS urge consumers to recognize that all cosmetic procedures are medical procedures that should be performed by a qualified physician or under the close supervision of an appropriately trained physician.

Serious side effects, such as burns, infections, scars and pigmentation disorders can occur when consumers visit non-physicians or physicians who do not specialize in dermatology and perform treatments like laser hair removal, deep chemical peels, acne therapy and other procedures, says Dr. Weinkle. Non-physicians do not have the necessary medical training, and physicians who are not board-certified in dermatology lack the qualifications to determine and optimally perform the best treatment for your concern, or to handle complications adequately, should they occur.

“It’s critical that consumers take precautions and understand that dermatologic surgeons with the experience and knowledge of the health and function of the skin should perform cosmetic surgery procedures,” Dr. Weinkle says.

The ASDS suggests consumers follow these tips before undergoing any cosmetic medical procedure:

  • Check credentials: Research the physician before undergoing the procedure to ensure that he or she is board-certified in dermatology. To find a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, visit
  • Don’t rely on price: If a procedure’s cost seems too good to be true, it probably is. Bargain-priced treatments may end up costing you in the long run if they cause harm, need correction or are ineffective.
  • Make sure a doctor is on-site to closely supervise: Most cosmetic surgery procedures should be performed by a physician. If the physician is supervising a procedure, make sure he or she is immediately available on-site to respond to any questions or problems that may occur while the procedure is being performed.
  • Ask questions: Always ask questions no matter how minor your questions may seem. Good questions include the following: Who will perform the procedure? Is this treatment right for me? What if something goes wrong? What procedures are in place to deal with an emergency? What training does the staff have? Is this laser, device or technique appropriate for my skin type? How many of the procedures do you perform in a month? May I see before and after photographs?
  • Be sure your medical history is taken: Before undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure, make sure the physician is aware of your medical history, including allergies to medications and previous surgeries.
  •  Don’t be afraid to walk away: Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, find a more reputable location.

For more information and to download a free pre-cosmetic surgery questionnaire, visit

New research shows health benefits of salt

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

According to Taubes, a flood of new research published in the last two years has not only shown the health benefits of salt but also revealed the risks of low-sodium diets. 

“There was no disputing that salt is a natural, no-calorie and tasty nutrient essential for life, but the biggest nutrition story in recent years is the proof that following the government’s low salt advice could actually shorten your life,” says Lori Roman, president of the Salt Institute.

Within the past year, peer-reviewed medical studies have documented:

* Type 1 diabetes risk: In one Australian study on patients with type 1 diabetes, low sodium intake was independently associated with increased all-cause mortality and ESRD (end-stage renal disease).

* Type 2 diabetes risk: In another Australian study with type 2 diabetes patients, lower sodium consumption was associated with increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

* No cardiovascular benefit to salt reduction: A study published in the American Journal of Hypertension showed that eating less salt will not prevent heart attacks, strokes or early death. On the contrary, low-sodium diets increased the likelihood of premature death. 

* Increased risk of illness and death: The Journal of the American Medical Association published a multi-year study on a very large cohort that concluded that lower salt intakes resulted in higher morbidity and mortality. 

* Negative effects of low-salt intakes: An analysis of 167 studies showed that individuals placed on the U.S. Dietary Guidelines-recommended salt levels experienced significant increases in plasma renin, aldosterone, adrenaline, noradrenalin, cholesterol and triglycerides – all risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

* Health risk of current U.S. Dietary Guidelines: In a Journal of the American Medical Association publication, an analysis of the association between sodium intakes and cardiovascular events in almost 29,000 adults, showed that CV risk was increased among those with the lowest levels, equivalent to the current recommendations in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

* Nutritional risk of current U.S. Dietary Guidelines: The American Journal of Preventative Medicine published an article demonstrating that following the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for salt will result in unbalanced and unsustainable dietary choices. 

* It is well documented that the Japanese and the Swiss enjoy among the longest life expectancy rates of any of the world’s population groups. Less known however, is that they are also among the highest rates of salt consumption. Comparing the available data on salt consumption and longevity around the world indicates that if we were to actually consume the low levels of salt recommended in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, our life expectancy figures would drop dramatically. 

Taubes is far from the only journalist to have questioned the government’s policy on salt. Scientific American reviewed the studies and summarized its findings in the headline, “It’s time to end the war on salt.”

Tips to help your baby sleep through the night

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Thousands of mothers across the country are in the same situation. Pampers recently sponsored a survey of more than 1,000 moms with little ones ages 3 and younger to find what they’re doing so baby rests comfortably, even at 3 a.m., and mom and dad can enjoy that elusive full night’s sleep. Here are some of their responses.

* Check the diaper. Surveyed moms said the leading technique to keep a baby sleeping at 3 a.m. is to wrap him or her in a dry diaper at bed time. To meet this demand and ensure dry nights, Pampers has newly designed diapers across its entire line that provide up to 12 hours of overnight protection assuring your baby a dry, comfortable sleep.

* Take a moment to cuddle. Spending time holding your child not only helps you develop a strong bond, it lets your baby unwind after a busy day of new sensations. Make sure cuddling time is soothing and relaxes your baby, preparing him or her for sleep.

* A little white noise never hurts. Eighteen percent of surveyed parents recommended sound machines. Remember that your baby was used to a lot of noise inside the womb and may have trouble falling asleep in total silence. Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake; this will help him or her associate bed with sleep and the sound machine will provide the necessary white noise he or she is used to.

* Make reading a routine. Your baby will fall asleep more quickly at night if you establish a routine that he or she can associate with sleep. Reading to your child can be a great addition to your routine. Read in a soft voice to sooth your little one and read for a set period of time, keeping the routine in place each night.

* Incorporate low-key music. If your baby does wake up in the middle of the night, engaging him or her in low-key activities will help baby return to sleep faster. Dim the lights while you tend to your baby, speak quietly and move slowly. If baby requires your presence for a longer period of time – such as for feeding – soft, smooth music is a great choice. It offers the low-key noise baby wants and is more entertaining for mom.

Helping your baby get a good night’s sleep is crucial for their development and your health as well. Remember that your little one is flooded with new stimulation every day and the best thing you can do to encourage sleep is establish a soothing, comfortable routine for your child. To learn more about Pampers and the major, meaningful upgrades across its entire line of diapers, visit