Health, My Blog

The Guide of How to Keep a Healthy Mouth

There is a Chinese saying that troubles come out of the mouth, and diseases get in from the mouth. Brushing our teeth correctly every day is not only a way to keep our mouths healthy but also a way to keep our whole bodies healthy. When we brush our teeth correctly, we eliminate the plaque building up and bacteria that could otherwise collect between our teeth and on our tongue. Thus, it prevents tooth decay and gum disease while promoting a better immune system and healthier lifestyle. While some people will get regular tooth polishing from their dentist (be it one at DentEssential or elsewhere) to help with this, it is also important to keep up the work yourself. This article focuses on how to keep a healthy mouth.

Use the Right Tools

The type of toothbrush we should use is quite a personal choice. Some of us swear by electric toothbrushes, but others prefer the simplicity of manual toothbrushes. Nevertheless, we should always use soft-bristled toothbrushes to clean our teeth and replace the toothbrushes at least every three months or when the bristles begin to fray as the worn toothbrushes could damage our teeth.

Do not Forget Floss

Many of us who brush our teeth regularly neglect to floss. To floss our teeth is not just to get the little pieces of food stuck in between our teeth. Our toothbrushes cannot reach all the areas of our mouths easily. Flossing our teeth each day is the best way for us to achieve a completely clean mouth. Flossing could also stimulate our gums, reduce plaque build-up between our teeth leading to cavities, and help reduce inflammation in the area. Usually, flossing once daily is enough to get these benefits.

Apply the Proper Brushing Technique

The American Dental Association advises brushing our teeth twice a day and each for 2 minutes. Usually, properly brushing our teeth takes at least two minutes, but most of us fall short of that. The proper brushing technique is:

  • Place the toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees to our gums;
  • Sweep or roll it away from the gum-lines and do not brush up;
  • Gently move the toothbrush back and forth with short and tooth-wide strokes;
  • Brush throughout outer surfaces, inner surfaces, and also chewing surfaces of our teeth;
  • Tilt the toothbrush vertically to make some up-and-down strokes when cleaning the inner surfaces of our front teeth;
  • Gently brush the tongue to eliminate the bacteria and freshen breath.

Choose the Right Type of Toothpaste

It does matter to choose the right type of toothpaste that could be a good fit for us to have a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile. There are varieties of toothpaste in the market designed for many conditions that consumers have, such as being prone to tartar, cavities, gingivitis, teeth with high sensitivity, and stained teeth. If we are not sure what type of toothpaste is the right one to use, ask the dentist for help at the next dental appointment.

Use Mouthwash

While advertisements make out mouthwash to be a necessity for a healthy mouth, many of us skip it because we don’t know how it works. As a whole, mouthwash helps keep a healthy mouth in three ways:

  • Lower the acid in our mouth;
  • Clean the hard-to-brush areas around or in the gums;
  • Re-mineralize our teeth.

In short, mouthwash is a useful adjunct tool to help make things into balance for a healthy mouth.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Although brushing our teeth is very important, it is not enough. Keep in mind that eating a healthy diet to have a healthy mouth is just as crucial in taking care of our teeth as brushing the teeth. A well-rounded diet could set the stage for successful health throughout our entire body. There is no doubt that the healthier diet we are having, the less plaque build-up will need to remove from our teeth when we come to clean our teeth. For a healthy mouth, try to include the following foods into our diet:

  • Cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Leafy greens
  • Raw fruits and vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Water
Health, Recipes and Cooking

The Healthiest Cooking Methods to Cut Calories and Add Flavor

Some people think that healthy cooking can only be attained with expensive cookware combined with the skills of a gourmet chef. On the contrary, it takes basic cooking techniques to prepare a healthy meal, and many people who struggle to learn vital cooking skills tend to use cooking classes that can be found online. One of the main culprits of a poor diet is saturated fats that are found in butter and lard. Roasting is one of the best methods for keeping it low on fats. In my years of healthy cooking, I always consider the techniques that not only reduce calories but also retain valuable nutrients without adding salts and fats. I’m happy to share with you my favorite culinary approaches.

Steaming

Steaming facilitates a consistent flow of hot air that gently cooks food above the liquid without actually being submerged. This allows nutrients to remain in the food. In some instances, I can add some water, wine, or broth as an infusion. The ingredients pieces need sufficient room to absorb hot steam so they can cook evenly. If a liquid is involved, it should not go beyond two inches below the suspended food. The steaming appliance is usually a perforated platform but it is also possible to steam food directly on a plat or basket if the juices are needed in the finished dish. Examples of meals that can be steamed include vegetables, mushrooms, dumplings, fish, and chicken. Steam burns can be severe so I must protect my face and hands from the pot top when removing the rid.

Stir-Frying

Stir-frying is best for cooking a single ingredient that has been fully prepped with high heat and some oil. A classic stir-fry requires the cooking materials to be chopped into smaller pieces for even cooking. The food is stirred by shaking the pan or moving with a utensil. When stirring, I start with the materials that take longer to cook because the others may overcook if I put them first. The idea is to have everything done at the same time. I have found a large skillet or a wok frying pan to be efficient in stir-fries. Examples of recipes for this method include spiced beef and vegetables, chicken and spinach stir-fried with oyster sauce and ginger, and lemon and scallion chicken.

Broiling and Grilling

The two techniques expose food to the source of heat directly. Like roasting, broiling and grilling make the fat drip off. Broiling is the process of putting food on a broiler rack with a heating element above it. Food is best grilled in an outdoor setting. This involves the placement of the ingredients on a grill rack. A bed of charcoal embers is one of the best sources of heat for grilling. Gas heated rocks are also great. Every grill comes with a user manual issued by the manufacturer. Smaller food pieces like chopped veggies should be put inside a long-handled grill basket or wrapped in foil to avoid sipping through the rack.

Best Flavoring Choices

I can’t get enough of meals flavored with herbs and spices. Natural flavorings not only add the much-needed aroma but also enhance the food color without additional salts or fats. Culinary herbs are some of the best flavor boosts for any type of meal. They also contain protective phytoestrogens and can be used to replace salt and cooking oil. When shopping for herbs at the grocery, I must pick fresh and brightly colored herbs that are not wilted. I add these at the end of my cooking session. I love dried herbs as well which come in handy at the earliest stage of cooking. Dried herbs have a stronger flavor than the fresh ones yet each has a unique taste. The only products I avoid are the pre-packaged seasoning mixes since they are infused with excessive salts. Far from boosting the flavor, herbs make perfect additions to salads, mustards, soups, drinks, and bread. My best spice collection for stir-fried vegetables includes garlic, coriander, lemongrass, chilly, and ginger. Other flavorful options I can’t fail to mention are:

  • Low-fat marinades: Best for grilling, roasting, and broiling. A home-made marinade comprises oil and vinegar/citrus juice in the ratio of 1:2. Herbs and spices may be added as desired.
  • Dried mustard: Best for adding zesty flavor.
  • Dried veggies and fruits: Cranberries, mushrooms, currants, cherries, and tomatoes provide more intense hints when dried than fresh.
  • Hot peppers: Fresh pepper needs to be finely chopped after removing the membrane. Less is more when it comes to adding hot peppers.
  • Vinegar and citrus juices: To be added at the last moment on vegetables.
Fitness, Health

An Overview of Weight Loss

One New Year resolution for most of us is to shed a few pounds. Sometimes we succeed, and for the next few months, we are over the moon with joy enjoying our summer bodies until we gain all the fat right back. Finding the ideal method to lose weight for good is a mission that we all aspire to conquer. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single method that can help us shed the weight at once and remain petite forever. Losing weight is hard but maintaining that perfect figure is even more challenging. Physical fitness is one of the primary yet very efficient ways to ensure that weight loss stays gone.

One of the significant benefits of physical fitness is that it helps us lose weight by burning extra calories, reduces the risk of chronic illnesses, builds stronger bones, and keeps us in a good mood. There are various exercises that we can indulge in. However, for the process to work, we must go for a workout that we enjoy doing. The positive attitude towards the sport or activity will keep us going even after we shed a few pounds. Continuous exercise keeps the weight gone, and we keep getting lighter. Here are some of the fun exercises we could choose from.

Walking

Walking sounds basic, but it has been proven to be a very effective way to lose weight. By walking, I don’t mean taking a few steps within the house; think more of outdoor walking. Taking a stroll at a regulated speed, say 4km/hr for an average of 50 to 90 minutes, three to four days a week, will do wonders for your weight. A big advantage of walking is that we do not need any special gear to start doing it. Also, it is straightforward to incorporate walking into your regular schedule. For beginners, an average of 30 to 50 minutes is enough, and we can keep adding on the time as we get used to it.

Jogging/Running

Although jogging and running are in the same bracket, they are different. Jogging is done at a slower pace than running, but both are very effective. Recent studies show that running and jogging is an excellent way to get rid of belly fat, which is one of the spots that most of us struggle with. Jogging on soft surfaces such as grass or treadmills is easier on joints, making it even more fun. Adding a jog or run to our routine is relatively easy because it does not consume much time. Even better, we can choose to either jog in the mornings or evenings.

Cycling

Nowadays, I can rest assured because even if I don’t have the equipment or space to cycle outside, I can still do so indoors. Many gyms have stationary bikes which we can use for our routines. Various gyms have classes for the practice, and all we have to do is sign up. Of all the exercises we indulge in, cycling has proven to be the most beneficial. Not only does it help in weight loss and staying fit, but it also significantly upsurges insulin sensitivity and boosts immunity.

Lifting Weights

The first thought that comes to mind when we think about gyms is weight training. It is a popular choice for most people, mainly because lifting weights helps turn excess fat into muscle. Also, weight training boosts our strength and keeps burning calories, even when our bodies are at rest. Knowing this, it becomes a good choice for most of us who want to get rid of the weight real fast. Unlike walking or jogging, weight training should be done carefully to avoid overexerting ourselves.

 

Health

An Insight into Choosing the Best Health Insurance Plan

Are you planning to get a health insurance cover? If so, choosing a plan that is affordable and reliable is tricky thanks to numerous companies offering the services. Nonetheless, this should not be a cause of concern. In this post, we will learn how to find the best and reliable cover. Among the essential elements covered include cost of the cover, medical facilities supported, and the maximum amount the cover can pay for our medical bills.

The Hospitals and Facilities Supported

Does the prospective health coverage plan cover hospitals or pharmacies we prefer? This is an important question we should think of when choosing a health coverage plan. Most health insurance cover companies limit their clients on the places they can seek medical care. The limitations come in when an insurance company limits clients to a few hospitals. Therefore, before we sign up with a cover, we should consider the facilities they support. Some of the issues to think of are whether the hospitals they support are well-equipped and have a good reputation. Moreover, we should pick a cover that supports facilities located in or close to our residential areas.

Plans and Prices

Health insurance companies have varying plans that are paid differently. Mostly, we choose the plan that best befits our financial state. For instance, low-income families may decide to take advantage of these medi cal benefits from somewhere like IEHP, which will mean that they are covered for the relevant services if they are medically necessary. When it comes to cheaper plans though, the support offered is different from what higher earners who pay more for improved features get. We should inquire from the brokers or the company about their plans before choosing the right health care plans. We have to consider the premiums and see if our wages can comfortably cater to them.

Deductibles

We have to know the amount a cover will require us to pay from our pocket before they cheap in footing hospital bills. For example, if the deductibles are below $1,000, the cover may hardly pay for most bills. Normally out-of-pocket deductibles include the following:

  • Procedure fees
  • Prescriptions
  • Specialist’s visit

It is also important to note that some insurance companies prevent their clients from accessing advanced medical services. For instance, I can be forced to pay for cancer screening or vaccine bills despite having an insurance cover.

Co-insurance

Do you know other expenses you require to cater for to access medical care? We may have to pay for other expenses out of our pockets. For instance, co-insurance plans need clients to pay a percentage of the bill even after catering for the deductibles. Moreover, we may have to cater to co-pay. These are flat fees clients pay for prescriptions.

Medicine Coverage

One of the main concerns we should have before signing a contract with any health insurance company is whether the firm covers our regular prescriptions. In most cases, insurers have a formula and a list of the medicine they cover for. Hence, before we choose a plan, we have to check if the drugs we use regularly are on the list of covered drugs. Furthermore, the list of drugs covered is classified into tiers. Tiers determine the amount of money that we co-pay. To work with the right health care plan, we should make a list of all the drugs we use and compare them with the formula provided.

Selecting a health insurance plan can be overwhelming. However, this should not be a problem for us. This post captures information about the things we have to keep in mind when choosing the plans. To get the specific information about health coverage to pick for our family and us, we should check the summary of coverage and insurers’ benefits.