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The Health Wire

Beyond providing basic medical care coverage, your Aldine ISD benefits have a lot to offer to keep you and your family healthy, happy and fit. Here's the latest news from our health care providers and partners. Check back often.

Focus of the Month : The whole truth about whole grains

Whole grains have important nutrients, and you may benefit from by including them in your meals. But finding them in the grocery store and using them in your kitchen can be confusing. Learn more about whole grains and how you can get more of them into your diet, including a recipe for a breakfast built around whole grain oats. [Versión en español]

Keeping a healthy mouth

Older adults face a unique set of challenges when it comes to maintaining their oral health. Not only are they at increased risk for tooth decay and dental plaque, but other health conditions may complicate their oral health. Knowing more can help you take good care of your teeth and mouth as you grow older. [Versión en español]

Get smart about wisdom teeth

If wisdom teeth do not grow in healthy and in the right position, they can cause pain, infection and tooth crowding. Seeing a dentist regularly can ensure any problems they might cause are addressed before  becoming serious. Learn more about wisdom teeth. [Versión en español]

Thinking differently about treating pain

If you’re worried about the side effects of medication for pain relief, there are several alternative methods with less risk that may be able to help you. From choices focused on strength and flexibility to cognitive behavioral therapy, you can read more about your options in English or Spanish

Act to avoid knee pain

You can start taking steps now to reduce your risk for knee pain later in life. From finding better shoes to focusing your exercise, these tips can help you think ahead. Plus, use this recipe for grilled chicken to kickstart a plan to eat healthier this summer.

Skin cancer can affect anyone, and early detection can make a big difference.

That’s why it’s important to know how to spot the different kinds of skin cancer. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for when it comes to skin cancer, reading this could save your life.

The time to quit tobacco is now

If you quit tobacco, you will be greatly improving your overall health. You’ll also be reducing your risk of being one of the 50,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. And you’ll be making the air safer for those around you. See why this is the year to really call it quits.

Showing yourself compassion

This is the time of year where a little kindness goes a long way, and that includes being kind to  yourself. It is important to remember that you’re doing your best, and that is always good enough. Show yourself compassion.

The link between oral health and diabetes

Did you know having diabetes can make you more susceptible to oral health problems? And that having oral health concerns can make it harder to manage your blood sugar? Learn how you can break the cycle with good oral health.

Put an end to bad breath

Bad breath can be annoying, embarrassing and even a sign of something more serious. Find out what causes the offending oral odor, how you can freshen your breath and when you should see a doctor.

Meal planning to save money and eat better

Meal planning is a step-by-step process that can help you make healthier choices, save time at the grocery store, and even reduce how much food you waste. If you want to eat healthier without spending more on food, meal planning is a great way to do it. Begin with our guide that shows you how it’s done. Then, see one of our favorite recipes to get started with your menu making.

Emotional empowerment for better health

Taking care of emotional health can be as important as taking care of your body. But sometimes a serious diagnosis or a life change can make committing to healthier choices seem daunting. With AbleTo, a personal team helps you get the support you need to take control of your health. The program benefits those working through life changes including loss or new parenting to managing conditions like heart problems and depression. Through weekly videoconferencing or phone sessions, experts will guide you through a personalized program to help overcome difficult emotions, understand options, and stay on track for a better life.

A roadmap to good health.

Filling out an Aetna health assessment is the perfect first step to a healthier life. All you have to do is take a few minutes to answer a handful of questions about how you live, and you’ll learn what your specific risks are and what you can do to be healthier. See how a health assessment can put you on the path to better living.

Snack your way to a healthier smile

Your toothbrush isn’t your only defense against tooth decay. Maintaining a healthier diet can also keep your smile bright. Sugar and starches can pose a big threat to your pearly whites. Plaque bacteria feed on these, creating acid that can harm the enamel of your teeth. Limiting sweets and starchy foods and replacing them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will help you fight tooth decay. Drinking lots of water after meals and snacks can also flush your mouth of remaining food and acids. So keep a full cup or bottle nearby to help keep your oral health in check. 

Healthy smiles begin at home

Start teaching your kids early to set up a lifetime of good dental habits. At first, you’ll need to brush your child’s teeth for him or her—until at least the age of three. You should also begin taking your child to a pediatric dentist once the first tooth appears. The first appointment should take place no later than your child’s first birthday. The dentist can show you how to protect and maintain your little one’s dental health. Finally, set a good example. Show your child what good dental hygiene looks like, and your baby will follow your lead.

Go tobacco free for oral health

Using tobacco in any form is bad for your health—particularly your mouth. Of course there are the obvious signs, like receding gums, chronic bad breath, and stained or loose teeth. Tobacco use is one of the biggest risk factors for gum disease and oral cancer. Nearly 10,000 people in the US die from oral cancer each year. Overall, smoking is the top cause of preventable disease and death in the country. If you use tobacco, it’s not too late to make a change. Within minutes of quitting, your body begins to heal, so take action today.

Helping children cope

Disasters like the recent hurricanes can be traumatic for everyone. Even experiencing a disaster only through the media can cause emotional and stressful reactions.  If events like Harvey are this distressing for adults, how scary must they be to children? Children often look to adults to learn how they should respond. Be open and honest, but try not to alarm or panic them. Children’s reactions vary depending on their age and the situation, but some standard tips apply. Be present, listen, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional help if you need it. 

Healthy weight, healthy mouth

Obesity and tooth decay are two of the biggest concerns for kids today, each affecting about 1 in 5 children.  While the two conditions aren’t directly connected, they have one thing in common: nutrition. Some simple steps can help your children learn good eating habits. Try to eat balanced meals, including at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Limit snacks. Avoid sugary sodas and juices. And of course, practice good dental hygiene, brushing teeth at least twice a day. By teaching your child healthy eating habits, you can help keep their weight down and their smile bright. 

Think before you post

Love it or hate it, social media is a reality of modern life. Studies have shown that when used positively, it can lower your heart rate, reduce stress, and spread happiness. But we’ve all heard at least one horror story of a careless post gone wrong. That’s why it’s important to make smart decisions online. Before you post, ask yourself—is this something I want my boss to read? My ex? My grandmother? Have I included any identifying information that could put me or my kids in danger? Am I violating someone else’s privacy? Once something is online, you no longer control it. Be sure that post is something you can live with. 

Overcoming dental anxiety

Have you been putting off a trip to the dentist? You’re not alone—as many as 1 in 5 Americans avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or fear. Reasons can range from fear of pain and shots to worry about loss of control and personal space.  So what can you do? First, speak with your dentist. Ask questions about your treatment and make sure your concerns are understood. Next, work with your dentist to make a plan. Finally, speak up if you feel uncomfortable during your exam. Let your dentist know if you need to take a break. 

Healthy gums. Healthy heart.

Did you know that gum disease could increase your risk of heart disease? Studies show that heart health could be linked to oral care. If you have experienced swollen gums, loose teeth, or bleed when brushing your teeth, you could be showing early signs of gum disease. The good news is that finding your way to healthier oral hygiene is simple – work on getting into the habit of flossing regularly, brushing your teeth twice a day, and visiting the dentist regularly. In addition to helping out your mouth, it could help your heart!

Protecting your loved ones starts at home

For many of us, getting older comes with sight, balance or health issues—making falls in the home that much scarier. But did you know a few simple steps could make your home much safer? Extra railings, properly lit stairs and walkways, and nonslip surfaces can help prevent accidents and injuries. Learn about the little things you can do to make home a safer place to live for everyone, inside and out.

Brushing—are you doing it right?

You’ve probably heard it all before: for the healthiest smile, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day. But is your brushing technique really getting the job done? Start with a soft bristled brush that is comfortable to hold and reaches your entire mouth. Next, brush all surfaces of your teeth using a gentle, circular motion—let the tips of the bristles do the cleaning. Finally, brush the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks and your tongue. This makes your whole mouth feel cleaner and keeps your breath fresh.

Whether you smoke or not, oral cancer can strike at any age. Surprising isn’t it? Get the facts about mouth and throat cancer and how to recognize the signs.

It’s time to get screened

If you’re 50 or older, it’s time to schedule a colon cancer screening. It may not be something that we really like to talk about, but it’s better to have an awkward conversation than to miss finding a treatable cancer early. Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, and it affects both men and women. It also usually occurs in people over the age of 50. But because cancers take years to develop, a routine screening can pick up the early signs before they turn into cancer. So don’t let a curable cancer go unnoticed—schedule your screening today. 

It’s time to quit

Smoking, that is. If you’re a smoker, you already know how bad it is for your health. But did you know that you can start to see benefits from quitting within a day? It can be hard to overcome the nicotine addiction that keeps you coming back for more. Smoking has probably become part of your daily routine. But with commitment and a positive attitude, you can find a way to break the cycle. Keep in mind that cutting back on smoking has been shown not to help. Quitting completely is the only way you’ll be able to successfully eliminate this bad habit and make a major impact on your future health. 

Start good dental habits early

Are you staying on top of your little one’s dental health? It may not seem that important to care for teeth that are just going to fall out, but setting your child up with good dental habits now can help keep that smile glowing for years to come. For starters, set a good example! Show your child what good dental hygiene looks like, and your baby will follow your lead. Then find a supportive, patient dentist and make an appointment as soon as you can. Ideally, this would be within six months of the appearance of your child’s first tooth. Start things off well, and your kid will be all smiles!

You can take control of your heart health.

February is American Heart Month. It’s a good time to remind yourself of the risk factors that can contribute to heart disease and how to avoid or reduce their effects. Take a moment and read this bulletin that will: 

  • Educate you on heart disease
  • Teach you about the risk factors that you can control 
  • Show you how you can reduce your risk of heart disease 
  • And direct you to valuable resources to learn more about having a healthy heart.

Your heart’s health is in your hands. Take control and reduce your risk. 

Is it the flu or is it Lyme disease?

Lyme disease most commonly affects children, older adults and people who routinely spend time outdoors in areas where ticks live. The more you know about this potentially debilitating disease, the better. Best Doctors offers free, helpful information so you can be aware of what to look for and how to get treatment.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has dubbed September National Cholesterol Education Awareness month. Visit their site to find out how to avoid joining the 71 million Americans with untreated high cholesterol and learn to be heart healthy instead.  

No wonder one in three children is overweight or obese.

Did you know that the average child spends more than seven and a half hours a day in front of a screen? Or that one in four young children eats fast food most days? And only one in three gets the recommended minimum physical exercise they need each day to be healthy? Visit the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition to see what you can do to help turn these facts around.

Domestic violence affects one in four women. Which means it affects everyone in at least one in four families. The National Network to End Domestic Violence has named October Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Visit their website to learn more about the signs and what to do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Cancer is one of the most complex diseases in the world. The good news is, more people live full lives after treatment today than ever before. But misdiagnoses are also on the rise. That’s why a diagnosis review from Best Doctors can be so important. 

Get out of town.

The holiday travel season is here. Include these healthy tips in your planning so you’ll know how to prepare for a trip overseas, how to beat jet lag, even how to survive a family road trip.

Here’s another great reason to give up smoking.

Quitting smoking is one of the ways you can reduce your risk of diabetes. Learn about other ways you can lower your risk and find out why the American Diabetes Association thinks this issue is important enough to name November American Diabetes month.

Quit smoking, even if it’s only for a day.

November 17 is this year’s Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society’s annual campaign to help smokers get a start on quitting. It’s the kind of group effort that can lead to reducing cancer and helping people lead healthier lives.

And make sure the celebrations don’t get out of hand.

If you’re struggling with the responsible part of Drink Responsibly, remember, you’re never far from help with a drinking problem. Don’t ignore it because of a holiday party or celebration. Learn how to get things under control.

The RediMD telehealth service allows you to have a doctor’s appointment online or by phone, day or night to diagnose a health concern, recommend treatment or prescribe medications, for only $35. First time user code: aldineisd

For any benefits question or concern, including 24/7 Nurse Line access, where one call does it all.
Call us at 866-284-AISD (2473)