# Monday, March 26, 2007

How Dental Problems Can Affect Your Overall Health

Many Canadians overlook the importance that oral health plays in maintaining their health. However, dental problems are more than just a cosmetic problem. Cavities and gum disease, left untreated, can lead to more serious health issues, such as heart disease, respiratory disease, diabetes and in the case of pregnant women, underweight babies. Poor oral health has also been linked to sleeping problems. Children who suffer from certain oral problems are also at risk of behavior and developmental problems. If a person cannot chew their food properly, or has to avoid certain foods due to pain and discomfort, there is a risk of not getting the proper nutrition.

Gum disease is an inflammation of the gums. This can not only affect the teeth and gums, but the bone supporting the teeth. Plaque that is not removed by daily brushing and flossing can harden into tartar and contribute to gum infections. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease and strokes. Bacteria from plaque can travel from the mouth into the bloodstream, and has been linked to clogging of arteries, as well as damage to heart valves. It can also travel into the lungs, causing infections or aggravating existing lung conditions. People with diabetes are more at risk for contracting gum disease, which then puts them at greater risk for diabetic complications.

Women who are pregnant need to be vigilant about their oral health. Recent studies have indicated that gum disease in pregnant women raise the risk of premature babies with low birth weight, which in turn elevate the risk for later problems, including developmental complications, asthma, behavioral difficulties, and a higher risk of infant death.

If you are a smoker, you should be aware that smoking tobacco reduces blood flow to the gums. This means that your gums are not getting the oxygen and proper nutrients that they need to stay healthy. This increases your risk of bacterial infections. Smoking has also been linked to oral cancer. If you are a smoker, it is essential that you visit your dentist regularly.

Seniors are also high risk due to the fact that many are keeping their teeth longer. Seniors who still have their own teeth may have less access to dental services due to living on a fixed income, which may not make visiting their dentist regularly affordable. For those seniors residing in long-term care facilities, frailty, poor health and dependence on others make them especially vulnerable. Many minor dental problems may go unnoticed until they escalate and the senior is complaining of pain and discomfort. For those in poor health already, these infections may pose a serious health threat.

It is therefore recommended by Health Canada that Canadians visit their dentist regularly. Regular checkups and cleanings are the best way to prevent oral health problems, or stop minor problems from escalating into major health problems. For children, it is important to learn at an early age how to properly care for their teeth, and a dentist can spot potential problems that will affect them later in life.

Health Insurance Plans and Dental Coverage

For those who do not go to the dentist regularly because of the expense, dental coverage may be an affordable option. Coverage can be obtained with or without a medical questionnaire, depending on your needs.

HealthQuotes.ca offers FlexCare, which has provisions for DentalPlus. This comes with Core Benefits, and the option of either the Basic or Enhanced Plan. The Basic plan covers fillings, cleaning, scaling, examinations, polishing and certain extractions, with recall visits every 9 months. No medical questionnaire is needed, and acceptance is guaranteed. The Enhanced Plan is the same, with the added benefit of most extractions being covered, and recall visits every 6 months. The Enhanced Plan also has benefits that in the second year of coverage allow for oral surgery, periodontics and endodontics. Year three of your coverage allows for orthodontics, crowns, bridges and dentures.

FollowMe offers basic dental services, such as exams, cleanings, fillings, scaling, polishing, root planning, diagnostic and denture services. The Enhanced Plan offers endodontics and periodontics, and the Premiere Plan offers the same along with crowns, bridges, dentures and orthodontics.

You can compare Canadian personal health and dental insurance quotes online at your leisure, or speak to an experienced health insurance broker free of charge at 1-800-474-4474.
posted on Monday, March 26, 2007 6:18:35 PM (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #   
# Monday, March 19, 2007

Ordering Prescriptions Online

How Saving A Few Dollars May Affect Your Health

Online pharmacies have become a popular way for Canadians to purchase their prescriptions. They offer fast, cheap delivery, and sometimes do not require a prescription from your health care provider, and instead offer a consultation with their own "specialist". While there are legitimate websites that offer prescription medications, some are not licensed for Canada, which means they do not follow our strict federal guidelines for approved usage. Canada has strict FDA guidelines to ensure that prescription drugs available for purchase here are of high quality and are safe and effective to use.

Websites that offer prescriptions from companies that do not originate in Canada may offer prescription drugs that are not approved for sale here. These shipments run the risk of being seized at the Canadian border, leaving the consumer to pay for a purchase they will not receive. It is important to remember that if you choose to buy your prescriptions online that you choose a Canadian based company that is licensed to sell pharmaceuticals and that meets the regulatory requirements in your province. All therapeutic drugs that are approved for sale in Canada have an eight digit Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN means that the drug has been assessed by Health Canada, and is considered safe and effective when used in the prescribed manner.

Ordering prescription drugs from a company that doesn't require a written prescription from your own doctor poses certain health risks. You cannot be properly diagnosed simply by filling out a questionnaire online. Therefore, you may be prescribed a drug that is ineffective and/or potentially harmful. The only way to ensure that you are being properly diagnosed and treated is to consult with your physician, who is aware of your medical history and health issues. Under no circumstances is it recommended to use prescription drugs without the consent of your doctor. Consumers should be aware of any website offering a "miracle cure" for such problems as weight loss, baldness, or sexual enhancement. Many of these "miracle cures" offer no legitimate treatment, and may be potentially harmful. Even if these treatments do not require a prescription, they may interact with your current medications, or have unhealthy side effects.

So why are some prescriptions more expensive in Canada than other countries? The price of a prescription may depend on whether a generic version of the drug is available for sale. As with most consumer products, generic brands can be substantially cheaper to purchase than name brand products. The availability of generic brand prescriptions depends on the licensing agreements that the pharmaceutical companies have with the country in which they are selling their product. Currently in Canada the exclusive selling rights for brand-name prescription drugs has been increased from 5 years to 8 years. Therefore, your prescription may be available in the generic version somewhere else before it is available here.

Canadians who do not have employee benefits may want to consider purchasing health insurance coverage that covers prescription drug costs. HealthQuotes.ca offers a wide variety of health insurance plans that include prescription benefits. FlexCare offers either a Core Plan or you can choose one or more Stand-Along packages. Core Plans can be upgraded with Stand-Alones as your needs change. Blue Choice has 80% reimbursement for all eligible prescription medications, with no annual or lifetime maximums.

If you have health conditions then consider guaranteed issue health insurance, which is not medically underwritten (e.g. does not have health questions or exam). FollowMe from Manulife Financial is a guaranteed issue conversion plan that is especially ideal for people who have recently lost their employee benefits coverage.

posted on Monday, March 19, 2007 2:40:24 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
# Thursday, March 8, 2007

National Healthy Pregnancy Campaign

The Canadian Minister of Health, Tony Clement, has announced the launch of a 5 week campaign to raise awareness of health considerations for a healthy pregnancy. This 3 million dollar awareness campaign will focus around raising awareness in Canadian women about health issues regarding pregnancy.

The new Sensible Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy will offer Canadian expectant mothers the latest research and scientific guidance regarding health issues for delivering a healthy baby. This guide is offering information on behaviors that can have a negative impact on a pregnancy, as well as information regarding nutrition, emotional health and a pregnancy calendar.

If you are planning on starting a family, we recommend that you check your current health coverage to see whether or not it covers maternity issues and your new infant. As your family grows, so does your health insurance needs. FlexCare offers full coverage for expectant mothers, and newborns are automatically added to the same coverage, if the application is made within 30 days.

For more information on pregnancy and health issues, please visit http://www.womenshealthmatters.ca

posted on Thursday, March 8, 2007 3:02:04 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)  #   
RSS 2.0