It's Not Too Late to Improve Your Diet (Guest Post)

The new year may be in full swing now, but it really isn't too late to do some things to improve your health in 2012.

Starting a healthy eating regime is something you can do at any time of the year. But with spring just around the corner and new beginnings galore around now, it seems as good a time as any.

The key to eating healthily is to still give yourself a treat every now and again. You're bound to despise your regime if it cuts out everything you love in the process. Don't have no chocolate whatsoever, just don't gorge on it when you have it. A little of what you love won't hurt you, it's more when you consume too much of it that it becomes a problem.

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Guest Post: Positive Habits Lead to Prolonged Dental Health

Their teeth may be little, but they’re still important. They need to be cared for and protected, first by you and then by them. It is worth the cost of getting your child dental insurance to cover the costs of preventative care. Your child will only get one set of permanent teeth, and he has to learn how to keep them safe and healthy.

Regular brushing is only the beginning of dental care. Your child should get in the habit of brushing teeth at least twice a day, if not three times a day. This starts by you physically brushing her teeth for her. It progresses to you supervising as he brushes them, and then they get to brush their pearly whites all on their own.

• Tip – Make brushing fun by letting your child choose a brush she adores.
• Tip – Electric toothbrushes actually are more effective, they’re not expensive, and kids get a kick out of them.

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How to Avoid Wasting Money on Routine Family Health Expenses

As families grow so to does the cost of covering everybody's medical expenses. Whilst people should never put off getting health related help when they (or a loved one) needs it, in the current economic climate many are now feeling as if they have to make the choice between getting adequate medical attention and saving money. The truth is it doesn't have to be like that, because often there are several ways families can save money on healthcare related bills without having to deny anyone access to the treatment they need.

Perhaps the most important method for saving money on healthcare is to have a good understanding of your families medical needs. This requires you figure out how much healthcare each member of your family uses on a yearly basis, with it being particularly important to note down any recurring costs for prolonged treatment and whether or not excessive use of preventative care is causing you to pay more than is necessary.

From there take the time to explore your insurances EOB (Explanation of Benefits) forms, to see if your plan is actually providing you adequate cover, if you find it isn't make sure to shop around and see if there is an option available to you that provides better savings for your families particular needs.

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Dental Care Insurance - Taking the Pain Out of Routine Treatments

It's almost that time of year again when I take the kids for our twice yearly routine dental appointments. Whilst they are safe in the knowledge that their teeth will be cared for and treated free of charge, courtesy of the NHS, my visits are always somewhat more stressful as I begin fretting about the cost of any treatment I might require.

Just a 30 second check-up alone costs me almost £20 in my surgery, whilst a white filling usually sets me back another £80 or so. 

(Aside: Of course, choosing a white filling is a little bit of a treat for me, and I know I could opt for a slightly cheaper mercury amalgam filling, but a few years ago I started to read about potential health problems linked to such fillings and I vowed then that whenever a filling needed replaced the white ones were the way to go. So, although I grumble about the cost, I am actually getting something I want for my money!)

My next appointment is still a week away, but this time around I've been noticing a few aches and pains in one particular tooth and have a feeling this trip is going to be an expensive one. In fact, having done a little research recently, it's made me start to think about the option of dental care insurance.

Even though I'm an NHS patient, for as little as a tenner a month I've discovered I could protect myself against the cost of future treatments. So in my case, for around the same cost of two routine visits and a replacement filling, I could be covered against all sorts of other treatments that I may discover are necessary.

And if I decided to "go private" rather than relying on the NHS, I could choose to pay extra for a higher level of care. There are even family options available - and I say that as a mum who a few years back couldn't get an emergency appointment for my daughter who had toothache at my local surgery. I ended up having to phone around lots of surgeries and changing dentist just so she could get her tooth seen to! If I'd had a private plan, that wouldn't have happened.

Anyway, off we'll all go next week to get our teeth checked. The children will leave with brightly polished free smiles and a sticker declaring they're super kids. I on the other hand will leave most likely with a hole in my purse where half an hour beforehand a £20 note languished!