Keeping Oral Health of Children

Keeping Oral Health of Children

Oral hygiene is very important in children as poor oral hygiene may lead to poor health and other kind of dental diseases. The cavities and gum diseases not only affect the physical appearance of a person, but also lead to serious health problems such as insomnia, stroke and even hearing defects. It has been found from the studies that the poor oral care can contribute to the clogging of the arteries, problem of the lungs and even can damage the heart valves. This might be seen when an expectant woman having gum disease, makes a pre-mature deliver or the baby is very much in weight etc. Hence, it is very necessary to start a regular and good dental regime at the early age during childhood to avoid health problems and diseases at a later stage. For taking proper care of the teeth the child should be taught how to brush, clean and floss the teeth properly.

Ways to keep the child’s oral health in pink:

To keep the oral health at its prime, the child should follow all the fundamental steps recommended by almost all the dentists. This avoids the incidence of dental problems like gingivitis, halitosis, tartar and gum diseases. Apart from proper brushing, the other hygienic methods like the right method of flossing and using the mouthwash have to be taught. The American Dental Association even advises the parents of a new born to start cleaning their newborn child’s mouth within few days after birth. It is very important for the clarity of speech and chewing action in the kids.

Parents of young children schedule regular oral health checkups around the first birthday of the kid. A pediatric dentist should be ideal choice for children. The baby’s gums and teeth can be wiped with a wet washcloth after each meal to help removing plaque that gets accumulated on the gums and teeth. Soft bristle toothbrushes with pea sized fluoridated toothpaste can be used to brush the teeth. Also the children should be taught to spit the toothpaste at a very early age and until then the children should use toothpaste without fluorine. Till the kids are good and comfortable doing flossing and brushing, the parents should assist the children.

The children should be fed with calcium rich foods and supplements along with a good oral hygiene to maintain good oral health of children.

The children can be encouraged to brush by changing the color and appearance of toothpastes. Most of the children do like to brush with a fluoride toothpaste but they should be able to spit after brushing. Also, the children need to brush twice a day. Eating snacks made of sugar and carbohydrates needs to be avoided if not at least the teeth should be brushed properly after eating them. It is a good idea to eat nutrition rich food like vegetable, fruits etc instead of sugar candies as they both provide the required nutrition and also strengthens the teeth due to the chewing action.

Chronic Bad Breath; Know the Facts and Avoid It!

Chronic Bad Breath; Know the Facts and Avoid It!

Chronic bad breath can consistently interfere in your social activities. It can even prevent you from getting more friends and affiliates. But how do you really know that you have a worse case of halitosis? There are more ways than you can imagine, which will not suggest you get into shameful situations. There are even some physical indications for you to watch out. Here are few tips on how to know you have it:

1.) The tongue has two parts: the posterior and the anterior. The posterior is the back part of your tongue while the anterior is the front most part. If you consistently have a white or yellow film in your tongue, especially on the posterior part, it is already an indication that you may be having bacteria of halitosis underway. Get a spoon, a good metal or silver one, and scrape that part of your tongue.

Don’t mind the soft, white or yellow matter you get by doing so. It’s not the main thing or important thing, and if it smells so bad then you definitely have a bad breath. Another way is by licking your wrist and having it dry in about five seconds. Smell it and whatever it turns out to, that’s the way you smell to others.

2.) The mouth is not supposed to smell as well as tasting that bad. When you usually have that bad taste inside your mouth, you should know that it is the main indication of you having a very bad breath.

3.) Another way of knowing you have a bad breath is when people back away from you when you are talking. You should be aware of this simple situation as it only indicates that you are an undesirable talker because you foul the air.

4.) There are people that are more vocal or honest to the extent of telling you at front that you have a chronic bad breath. Some people, on the other hand, are less blunt and may just offer you candy or mint or chewing gum.

5.) Another very good indication that you are suffering in a chronic bad breath is when you don’t get friends or people don’t like talking or simply being with you.

Growing socially is very important for everyone. This is why you have to treat your chronic bad breath immediately. But how do you do it? There are also very many ways on how you can have it prevented as well as treated. Some are listed below for your preferences.

1.) Improve your oral hygiene. The keyword is to do it properly and regularly. Don’t just simply brush it. Floss and use mouthwash for even better results.

2.) Drink plenty of fluids but this does not include coffee or alcohol as these drinks leave residues that may even cultivate your halitosis into severe condition.

3.) Eat fibrous foods as they are very good for your oral and overall health.

4.) Whenever you eat dairy foods, fish and meat, make sure you brush your teeth, tongue, and gums as these foods are very heavy on smell.

5.) Never finish your brushing habit without brushing your tongue with more attention on the back part as it is there where bacteria are thriving.

Use these tips and you will surely make a life changing treatment to your chronic bad breath.

Protect Your Health With Health Insurance: Advice And Tips (2)

Protect Your Health With Health Insurance: Advice And Tips

You want information about health insurance and you would like to have it in a easy to understand format. If this is the case, this article will be perfect for you. We will lay out some of the most important tips and guidelines in a way that you can quickly digest.

See through the marketing. Many health insurance companies will try to lure you in with splashy ad campaigns and one part of of their plan. You have to be smart about reading the fine print and making sure that a health insurance company is right for you before you run into a problem.

If you do not have any type of coverage or health insurance, then you want to find some immediately. There are many options available for people who do not have a lot of money available. There are even some insurance companies that have subsidies from the government to keep the prices down.

Whether you pay all or just a portion of your prescriptions, or you have a Health Spending Account to cover those purchases, you want to look for a deal when buying your pills. Check out pharmacies at either major discount retailers, or membership club stores, as their prices will often be very low.

Being denied for a health insurance policy might actually work out in your benefit, so do not let this deter you when finding the best possible package. A company that would deny you is far too profit driven to be a quality company. If you ever got sick or injured, they’d be looking to wiggle out of paying for it. Keep your chin up and go with another insurer.

If you want to save money, you should choose an HMO plan. You will pay less every month, and very low or no deductibles. But you will be limited to a list of approved doctors and hospitals. If this list satisfies you, choosing an HMO plan is the best decision.

Shop around to save money on health insurance. Every insurance company has its own internal models used to determine insurance rates. Each company places different weights on the same factors, so a smoker might find much cheaper insurance with one company than another. Many sites provide quotes online, so getting several quotes from a variety of companies has never been easier.

A great health insurance tip that can save you money is to make sure you don’t use any prescriptions that have expired. You might think you’re saving money by using up your old prescriptions, but you’ll only harm yourself, and you’re just insuring another medical visit in the future.

Dental insurance can really help cut the cost on dental repairs. Your teeth are a very important part of your health, but a costly one for most people. Having dental insurance will help to cut the total cost of all your dental work so you can afford to have a healthy mouth.

In conclusion, we have provided you some of the most crucial aspects regarding health insurance. We hope that you not only were able to learn something, but also will be able to apply it. Follow our advice and you will be one step closer to being an expert in this subject.

Individual Dental Insurance 101

Individual Dental Insurance 101

Finding providers who offer individual dental insurance plans may be difficult but not impossible. So do not let this minor point stop you from finding an insurance provider, because having dental insurance fulfills two great benefits:

Excellent Oral Health
ADA studies have shown that cleanings and regular dental check ups is one of the best ways to keep ones’ teeth and gums healthy, and safe from diseases. Many plans provide and pay for the insured to go for regular dental check ups.

Relief From Costly Dental Bills
Cavities, root canals, crowns and teeth extraction are an unpleasant reality. Without dental insurance, these simple procedures can become expensive. Many dental insurance providers offer plans where they pay for a bigger percentage or pay for the entire dental procedure.

What To Consider In The Search For Individual Dental Insurance Providers

Short or no waiting period
Some dental insurance providers impose a waiting period, to ensure that the old problems from the previous provider are not carried over to the new plan. This can be a problem for you if you need to undergo a procedure, but the new dental insurance has a waiting period of 6 to 8 months before you can avail of the coverage. You will end up paying for this treatment out of your pocket. So, do not delay your search for a dental insurance plan.

Buyer Plans or referral plans
Consider third party companies, which offer referral plans. Under this arrangement, the individual pays a monthly fee to a third party to gain access to dentists who have agreed to a reduced fee schedule. The third party’s services involve securing individuals to dentists. The individual pays the discounted dental fee directly to the dentist.

Independent insurance carriers
You can easily find these carriers on the net or the yellow pages. The better ones offer a flexible dental insurance plan, which can be written as stand-alone coverage or as a part of your present dental insurance plan.

Some of these carriers provide plans with the following benefits:
• The flexibility to seek treatment from your preferred dentist, but they will offer you bigger discounted fees if you choose a dentist from their network.
• Inform you what the contracted rate is for the treatment before you undergo this.
• Provide you complete coverage from preventive services such as check ups to major procedures like full dentures.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Bad Breath (Halitosis).

Bad breath(Halitosis)is widespread and quite common. You have probably discretely stepped away from friends or colleagues with bad breath. But it can also be a shock to realize that others, for the same reason, may be edging (discretely) away from you!

How can you know if your breath is offensive?

Try this simple bad breath(Halitosis)test:
Lick the inside of your wrist and wait 4 seconds. Now smell your wrist. If you don’t like what smell, your breath does not smell good either. Easy, no? An accurate and portable diagnosis!

What causes bad breath?

· Not enough water in your body, dehydration.
· Gum or tooth problems/ disease
· Intestinal/ stomach disorders, yeast infection
· Use of medications
· Stress

Remedies for Bad Breath (Halitosis)

1. Water – yes, water! Many people suffer from chronic dehydration because they don’t drink drink the 8-12 glasses of water a day that the body needs. This common form of dehydration causes much common bad breath. You can improve your breath – and give a big lift to your health – simply by drinking enough water.

2. Recently eaten food that hasn’t been brushed out can quickly smell bad. The “cure” then is to simply brush or floss. For gum disease and decay you must visit your dentist. And for improved oral hygiene, put a few drops of Oil of Oregano on your toothbrush or to swish it in your mouth as a mouthwash. Did you know that Oil of Oregano is antibacterial/ anti viral/ anti fungus and anti parasite? It seeks out these health impediments everywhere in the body. At the first signs of infection, Oil of Oregano is your great first line of defense.

3. For disturbed digestion you should see your doctor. But for mild problems such as GERD and acid reflux, take probiotics in the form acidophilus or kefir. For worse stomach problems try ¼ cup of Aloe vera before breakfast. Do this for at least 3 weeks. For my friend Peter this completely healed his stomach ulcer! Most GERD are related to the H pylori, which is a bacteria found in meats that haven’t been thoroughly cooked. If you like your meat rare, take Oil of Oregano on a regular basis as a preventive measure.

3. When you are under too much stress your digestive system doesn’t circulate enough oxygen (the energy goes into a fight or flight mode). This makes your digestive tract a breeding ground for the wrong bacteria – and for bad breath as well. Be sure to introduce deep, relaxed breathing throughout your busy day.

4. Eat raw parsley, chew on anise seed or cardamom, nutmeg or fennel – they’re natural breath fresheners that don’t just mask odors, but actually freshen the breath.

5. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and whole grains; avoid white flour products like white bread and pastas, as well as sugared juices and sodas.

5. You may have an undetected yeast infection. Find out for yourself by performing a simple self-test for yeast/candida overgrowth.

6. Chew your food well and do not drink fluids with your food. Take no food two hours before bedtime and try to not take food for 12 hours after dinner.

7. Eliminate as often as you can. Try to have three bowel movements a day. If you need some help, try 4 ounces of prune juice with 4 ounces of magnesium citrate. (My R.N. friend Marie calls this “The Bomb”.) For more help try 2000 mg. of vitamin C with electrolytes every hour. Do this for 4 hours or more, until you start to have loose stools. (This also works well for headaches and boosts your immune system.

8. Drink at least 2 cups of kefir a day. This helps your intestinal flora regain its natural balance of bacteria.

Remember – fresh, clean breath is a reflection of good health, and health is an ongoing process. Stick with it! Follow my suggestions, and keep a log of what you do and the effects you see. This simple tracking process can help you pinpoint what is truly effective. You will be inspired by your own success!

Warmly, Pieternel van Giersbergen.

Post Nasal Drip and Nasal Sinus Congestion Will Transform a Case of ‘Normal’ Breath Into Bad Breath and ‘Bad’ Breath into Horrib

Post Nasal Drip and Nasal Sinus Congestion Will Transform a Case of ‘Normal’ Breath Into Bad Breath and ‘Bad’ Breath into Horrib

Post Nasal Drip and Nasal Sinus Congestion Will Transform a Case of ‘Normal’ Breath into BAD Breath and ‘Bad’ Breath into Horrible Breath!
Bad breath is very closely related to post nasal drip, excess mucus, sinus problems, your tonsils, and tonsiloliths.
In my book “The Bad Breath Bible” I discuss how the bacteria which causes bad breath and sour/bitter/metallic tastes are anaerobic, meaning they live without oxygen. The bacteria’s goal in life is to break down the proteins in foods that we eat. However, under certain conditions, they will also start to break down the proteins found in post nasal drip.
Therefore, those people who suffer from post nasal drip, sinus problems, and other such ailments are more prone to bad breath and lousy tastes in their mouth. The anaerobic bacteria uses the post nasal drip mucus as a food source and starts to extract sulfur compounds from the amino acids that make up the proteins found in all this excess mucus.
Scientifically, the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath “love” the amino acids Cysteine and Methionine. These amino acids are the building blocks of the proteins that are found in post nasal drip, and can even be found in dairy foods. In fact, most people notice that when they drink too much milk or eat too much cheese, they end up with more mucous or phlegm in their throat. This is a natural reaction for many people and unfortunately, ends up causing more bad breath and a lousy taste in your mouth.
If you still have your tonsils, you may be harboring a higher number of the bacteria which can lead to an “interesting” and very often misunderstood phenomenon, called TONSILOLITHS. Literally translated, they are “tonsil stones” produced by the conglomeration of post nasal drip mucus draining down the back of the throat, and the volatile sulfur compounds created by the bacteria. These bacteria easily end up in the “nooks and crannies” of the tonsils every time one swallows. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard from my patients who asked their dentist what these objects were, and more often than not the answer was ‘food particles’. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
What can you do if you suffer from post nasal drip, excess mucus, and sinus congestion? There are essentially only a few different routes that you can take:
1. Use medication and or drugs to dry up the sinuses and prevent post nasal drip mucus buildup – all the while being careful to avoid a dry mouth, a likely side-effect of virtually all antihistamines. Dry mouth is the most common initiator of bad breath because it mimics an anaerobic environment, perfect for the “bugs” to pump out volatile sulfur compounds. You should be careful about using any antihistamine too frequently – many are habit forming!
2. Use TheraBreath Nasal Sinus Formula. I recommend squeezing 3-4 drops into each nostril and then lightly inhaling to move the potent formula through the sinuses twice daily. Most people can finally experience that fresh breath and taste feeling after the formula effectively eliminates the production of sulfur compounds created by the reaction of post nasal drip and the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria.
3. For chronic post nasal drip and sinus problems, many patients will find relief by using the HydroPulse®. This is an amazingly effective nasal-sinus irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist to flush the sinuses. It works even better when you add just 2-3 drops of AktivOxigen serum into the trough before each use.
4. Minimize the amount of post nasal drip in your throat and sinuses, and eliminate the #1 side effect of excess mucus (bad breath!) by using oxygenating oral care products, such as TheraBreath, TheraBreath PLUS, AktivOxigen, PerioTherapy, and TheraBrite.
Medication and drugs MAY help prevent post nasal drip, but at what cost?
There are dozens of different over-the counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines you can use to help relieve congestion and dry up post nasal drip symptoms. Some of them are very good at what they claim… but mostly they are TOO GOOD! They create an extremely dry mouth, which exacerbates bad breath. Even in cases where the dry mouth side effect is minimal, when you stop taking that medication the problem comes back, and almost always with a vengeance! This is because in some cases, your body will actually develop a resistance to any antihistamines or nasal decongestants, especially nasal sprays. You must be careful, because many sprays are habit forming – but NOT TheraBreath formulas!
Suffice it to say, using over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines should NOT be an option that you pursue. Instead, I suggest using a nasal-irrigator such as the HydroPulse® to flush your sinuses free from post nasal drip mucus.
Nasal irrigation is probably the most effective method of eliminating post nasal drip and helping to control sinus infections. The HydroPulse Sinus Irrigator is an FDA registered device supported by over 37 published medical reports. The unique pulsatile irrigation of the HydroPulse helps to restore ciliary function and relieve post nasal drip. A short period of regular use can stimulate the cilia, which are the tiny hair-like fibers in the nasal sinus passages, to restore their natural protective “sweeping & cleansing” action. When you feel a sinus condition come on, or feel that you have persistent post nasal drip and excess mucus, consistent daily use for 10 days should result in a clearing of the condition. For best results, I recommend a combination of this easy-to-use home instrument with an oxygenating solution such as AktivOxigen serum.
Tips on how to stop bad breath associated with post nasal drip:
For people who don’t really have sinus problems, just “off and on” or seasonal post nasal drip, then an alternative (and better) solution might be to minimize the amount of excess mucus in the back of the throat and more importantly to make sure you neutralize the odor caused by this excess mucus.
There are three key formulas that most of my patients find extremely effective at neutralizing the odor caused by post nasal drip:
1. Nasal Sinus Drops – which are highly effective at cleaning the sinuses (a very hard to reach area) of the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath.
2. AktivOxigen Tablets – which can be added to an unflavored oral rinse that you can actually swallow. The solution gets deeper down in the throat than just regular rinsing, and will actually help break down post nasal drip congestion and excess mucus in the throat.
3. Extinguisher Spray – an extremely popular nozzle applicator spray that is very efficient in reaching the back of the throat and tonsils. These are common problem areas for people who suffer from post nasal drip and excess mucus in the throat.
I’ve been here for the last 10 years to help patients prevent bad breath, sinus congestion, and lousy tastes, and I’ll be here for many more years to come.

Bad Breath Treatment Steps; Know The Right Things to Do!

Bad Breath Treatment Steps; Know The Right Things to Do!

A bad breath can spoil something romantic going on with your loved one, so it is important to have it treated immediately. Bad breath of halitosis is can be prevented by exercising proper oral hygiene. This will include cleaning and brushing your teeth very regularly. Also, flossing will be very helpful in doing the same.

It may be very difficult to have your breath smelled by your seatmate, family, or even friends. But you can have it prevented, cured, or even make your own self test to know if you have it. Here are tips on how to test and cure bad breath:

1.) One of the simplest tests to know if you have bad breath is by licking your wrist. Have it dried for at least five seconds. As soon as it dries, smell it. How does it smell to you? That’s how you smell, rather your breath smells when you air it out.

2.) If you are sure that you have a bad odor in your mouth, you have to strengthen your oral hygiene. You don’t have to overdo it but make sure that you still do it regularly. Using some more oral hygienic materials like breath fresheners and mouth wash will also promote better smell inside your mouth.

The situation above is a mild cause of halitosis. There are worse cases of this oral condition that involves surmounting bad smell. This is characterized with a really bad odor that never goes away even if you brush your teeth all the time. Even minutes right after brushing, you will have that bad smell in your mouth. When this is what you are already experiencing, it is a must that you contact a reputed dental professional to help you solve the problem.

Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria that thrive around the mouth, especially in the posterior of the tongue. The tongue is composed of the anterior, which is the front most, and the posterior, which is the back part. Bacteria are often accumulated on the teeth, the tongue, and the mouth walls. The tongue is the most prevalent place for bacteria. You can also do a good self test if you have this condition through the tip below:

1.) Get a spoon, preferably a metal spoon to do the test. Scrape the posterior part of your tongue. Don’t worry if there is a whitey matter in the spoon after scraping. That is just normal and that is what the procedure is all about.

2.) Smell the white matter. If it has a very bad odor, then you are sure that you have oral bacteria living in your posterior that is causing the bad smell.

3.) Continue your regular oral hygiene but this time, using more efficient and proven mouth wash or deodorizer to take the bad odor away. The best time to use these materials is before bedtime.

4.) Use a tongue cleaner and do the cleaning right at the back of your tongue.

5.) Drink plenty of fluids but avoiding too much coffee and alcohol because these drinks
usually leave residues in the posterior of your tongue which will even worsen your case.

6.) Make it appoint to clean your teeth and mouth when you have eaten fish and meat. Dairy products must also be treated in the same way.

7.) Whenever you feel your mouth is a bit dry, chew sugar-free chewing gum. Doing so will increase the saliva production in your mouth, which is the natural cleanser and maintenance of your oral system.

8.) Fresh and fibrous foods will also help you maintain clean fresh breath so take them often.

9.) Seek the advice of a dental professional to permanently cure the oral condition you have.

Dental Plans – Good Business Sense

Dental Plans – Good Business Sense

The many Simpsons fans among us will remember with great poignancy the episode in which Homer becomes a bigwig in the Nuclear power plant’s union. Just like almost every other episode of the classic show, there are a multitude of brilliant moments that can be carried forward into every day life, creating great annoyance among our friends as we quote the cartoon characters ad nauseam. But there is a particular moment that holds sway over those of us with oral issues – the instant in which Homer, confused as he usually is, tries to remember why he shouldn’t make a deal with the devil, or in this case, his boss. With thoughts of his daughter’s urgent need for orthodontal work lying just beyond his reach, the words ‘dental plan!’ repeat over and over in his mind.

As usual, animated shows have insightfully pointed a spotlight on an area of our lives that requires serious attention. There is little doubt that a healthy smile is an important part of general health, contributing as it does to both our physiological and psychological wellbeing – experts have noted a correlation between instances of what might seem like the fairly innocuous gum disease with occurrences of far more life threatening heart attacks – and yet businesses across America are coming short in their employee care by neglecting to look after this important aspect of employee health.

Needing to find ways to cut back on costs, corporate America is increasingly slicing dental plans from its list of priorities. And while there is little doubt that companies need to remain as lean as they can during tough times, employees are, without question, one of the most valuable resources that any business possesses. Study after study has proven that a happy worker is a productive worker, and an employee without something as apparently insignificant as a dental plan is not being treated with the respect that would optimize his or her output. This is particularly true of workers with young children or teenagers, who are particularly likely to require dental intervention.

The simple truth is that employers must find other ways to reduce costs – taking any action that ultimately results in lowered staff morale is not the answer. While a dental plan might not seem a powerful tool in a company’s arsenal against failure, the employees that avail of such a plan most certainly are. Providing employees with a good dental plan is undoubtedly a significant step towards corporate success.

Like Our Human Friends Can Us Dogs Have Allergies?

Like Our Human Friends Can Us Dogs Have Allergies?

Humor magazines have had fun with the way some dog owners resemble their dogs but, whether or not the dogs look like their owners, dogs do suffer many of the same illnesses. Dogs, just like humans, can become unhealthily obese from bad eating habits and not enough exercise. Dogs can also acquire diseases like diabetes, heart disease and gum diseases that cause dental problems and bad breath. Dogs can also, believe it or not, develop allergies.

Just like people, dogs get itchy skin and watery eyes from contact with things that they are allergic to. Other allergies can cause the dog to develop flu-like symptoms such as diarrhea and throwing up.

Dogs with allergies are not as uncommon as you may think; some experts, in fact, say that one out of every five dogs will have an allergic reaction to some substance.

If your dog has allergies the treatment is pretty much just a two-step procedure: 1) Get the dog to a veterinarian to determine what triggered the allergic reaction and 2) Do whatever is necessary to protect the dog from further exposure to whatever it was that caused the allergic reaction.

Following are descriptions of some of the most common allergies in dogs.

Flea allergies. No one will be surprised to hear that dogs get fleas or that the fleas torment the dog, but most people may not be aware that some dogs are actually allergic to flea bites. The problem is, when a flea bites a dog, it leaves behind a bit of it’s saliva in the bitten area. It’s this saliva that causes an allergic reaction in some dogs.

If your veterinarian determines that your dog is allergic to flea bites the obvious remedy is to get rid of all the fleas in and around your house. It will be hard work and you may want to bring in a professional exterminator and get all new bedding for your dog. Also, if fleas are a special health risk to your dog, you’ll need to keep it isolated from any other dog that may have fleas.

Food allergies. Food allergies are perhaps the easiest allergies to avoid. To have an allergic reaction to some food, your dog must eat the food and, as any good veterinarian will tell you, your dog should be eating nothing except its dog food. Table scraps for a dog should be considered toxic. Dogs may act like they love it when you feed them off your plate but sooner or later something they eat will either make them sick or trigger an allergic reaction. Remember that the food we humans eat contains preservatives, food coloring and artificial sweeteners; most of that stuff is harmless for most people but most of it can be really unhealthy for a dog.

Skin allergies. Dogs can suffer from dermatitis as an allergic reaction to the ordinary impurities in the air; impurities such as mold and dust; the technical term for this is “atopic dermatitis.” The dermatitis may show up as a rash that is visible on some dogs but are barely visible on others but, in most cases, you’ll see your dog biting and licking its paws, stomach or groin. It may be fleas or it may be an allergic skin rash — check it out!

Bacteria allergies. It is not common for a dog to be allergic to staphylococcus (staph) bacteria on its skin but when it happens it develops some dramatic symptoms such as hair loss, red blotches on the skin and possibly the development of pus pockets(pustules) filled with fluid. The staph bacteria itself is not rare — its virtually everywhere in some amount — but this type of reaction to it is, fortunately, very rare. Your dog is more likely to develop a bacterial allergy if it is in other ways unhealthy or if it has other serious allergies.

Your veterinarian will run some tests on your dog’s blood and will determine the nature of the bacteria and the most likely cure — most likely some antibiotic or an immune stimulant.
We all love our dogs and hate to see them sick or in pain. Whenever your dogs behavior becomes frantic or, at the other extreme, fatigued or when you notice anything abnormal in its behavior or physically, it is best to get your veterinarian involved as fast as possible.

Guide To Private Health And Dental Insurance In The UK

Guide To Private Health And Dental Insurance In The UK

Private health insurance used to be something taken out by the rich and famous. Thankfully, the prices of health insurance have dropped to a more affordable level, meaning that all of us can enjoy the peace of mind that private health insurance offers, no matter what our budget.

Private health insurance goes by many names – private medical insurance (PMI), hospital plan, health plan, health insurance and cash plans and they are, in one form or another designed to assist with costs related to your health.

You can also get specific forms of private health insurance such as dental insurance.

Private health insurance should not be confused with permanent health insurance, which is something completely unrelated to medical costs and which pays out an income if you become permanently ill.

Here we take a look at the private medical insurance sector and discuss the different types of cover available.

Why do I need private health insurance?

With NHS waiting lists growing all the time and the patient having little choice over what hospital he is seen at and at what time of day, more and more people are opting for private health insurance.

This removes the long and often anxious wait for an appointment and means that, in most cases, you can choose which hospital you are seen at as well as having an appointment time, often within a few days.

It gives you the peace of mind knowing that you will be seen and treated quickly at the best hospitals should you ever become unwell.

What is the difference between private medical insurance (PMI) and cash plans?

A typical PMI policy pays for the cost of medical treatment. Subject to a limit on which hospitals can be used and, in some cases, the type of medical treatment required, a PMI policy will pay the costs of your treatments and your stay in hospital.

However, you can get different levels of cover, so the more you pay, the more benefits you will get such as a wider choice of hospitals; more types of medical treatment will be covered etc.

Following referral by your GP, the insurance will pay consultants’ invoices for investigations, operations and necessary treatment. Normally, 100% of costs are met. The knock on effect means that as almost everything is covered, PMI can work out more expensive than basic health insurance such as cash plans.

Hospital cash plans – or just cash plans – are lower costs alternatives to PMI. Designed to complement the services provided by the NHS, they cover the costs of every day healthcare, such as dental and optical bills.

Additional features of some of the plans are payments towards the cost of consultations and treatments such as physiotherapy, chiropractic treatment and even ‘alternative’ treatments such as acupuncture and reflexology.

Cash plans pay towards the costs of everyday treatments, so it is expected that you will make several claims a years – every time you visit the dentist, optician or physiotherapist for example.

Why are cash plans cheaper?

Individual cash plan claims are lower – they do not pay the cost of treating specific illnesses, rather, bills are reimbursed up to an agreed limit or there is a fixed daily amount if they are hospitalised – which makes cash plan premiums lower.

Can I have a PMI policy and a cash plan?

Yes, many people who subscribe to PMI themselves or have PMI provided by their employers, supplement their PMI cover with a cash plan. This means all their healthcare needs, whether it be a trip to the dentist, or major surgery, are met.

What is ‘self-pay’?

An alternative to both PMI and cash plans is self-pay. You pay the bill for an operation as and when you need it, so there are no monthly premiums over many years. However, you should consider this option carefully – what would happen if you had the bad luck to be struck by a very serious illness? Could you afford the cost?

I’ve heard about a health insurance plan that offers you cheaper premiums the healthier the lifestyle you lead – is this right?

Yes! A new policy in the PMI market place calculates your premiums based on how healthy you are, so it is an incentive to keep healthy! This particular health insurer recognises and rewards healthy living so not only can you make significant savings on your premiums by walking the dog that bit more often or making sure that you have your five fruit and veg a day, but they help you to stay healthy through discounts with their health and wellbeing partners.

What other plans are there?

There are many new types of cash plans coming onto the market that deal with specific treatments or situations such as dental insurance.

What does dental insurance cover?

There are a small number of providers of dental insurance on and individual as well as a family basis and typically the plans offer cover for costs associated with maintenance (such as regular check-ups, x-rays and hygienist visits), emergency care and for if your teeth are damaged in an accident, and treatments (eg fillings, bridges and crowns).

Plus, some offer a lump sum payment should you be diagnosed with oral cancer as well as extended worldwide cover.