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A new study will expose healthy adult volunteers to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus that causes cold-like symptoms in adults. Better understanding of how adults develop RSV infection and immune system responses to infection will assist researchers in developing and testing future antivirals and vaccines to combat the virus. The research is being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Education about flossing is important and we need to be clear about the benefits regular dental flossing can have. Alongside dentist visits and brushing twice a day the message of proper cleaning technique needs to be learn and practice by everyone.

Cleaning between your teeth is a critical part of good oral hygiene as it helps to prevent gum disease by helping to remove plaque from these areas. Flossing is a key part of your daily dental care habits that helps you maintain your oral health care.  Studies show that in addition to problems inside the mouth, in recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease, poor pregnancy outcomes and even dementia.

A National Institutes of Health-supported study provides some of the first clues about the impact of sustained calorie restriction in adults. Results from a two-year clinical trial show calorie restriction in normal-weight and moderately overweight people failed to have some metabolic effects found in laboratory animal studies. However, researchers found calorie restriction modified risk factors for age-related diseases and influenced indicators associated with longer life span, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin resistance. The study was reported in the September, 2015 issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

Question: My son is one and I do not have dental insurance on him yet.   I am planing on taking him to see the dentist in the next few weeks.  I would like to know about how many times does a baby need to go to the dentist a year?  I see the dentist once a year for my dental check up and cleaning.  Would that be the same for my son?

Answer: Well it is advise that you should see your dentist at least twice a year. That would be the same for a child unless advise by the dentist to come in more or less then twice a year. I would advise buying a low cost dental insurance plan like an HMO to cover for the basic dental needs.

More than half of Asian Americans and nearly half of Hispanic Americans with diabetes are undiagnosed, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Their results were published Sept. 8 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association (link is external).

Additionally, prevalence of diabetes for all American adults went up, from nearly 10 percent to over 12 percent between 1988 and 2012. Diabetes prevalence – how common the condition is – also went up in every age, sex, level of education, income and racial/ethnic subgroup. One bright spot: The proportion of people with diabetes that was undiagnosed decreased 23 percent between 1988-1994 and 2011-2012. The statistics account for age differences across the surveys.

Question: My son is thirteen and I was told by his dentist that I should be looking into getting him braces.  He has a big over bite that the dentist said I should have fixed. I do have dental insurance though my job but it really does not cover much for braces only $200.00 a year so that is not much at all.   I am wanting a dental insurance plan that covers more for the cost of braces that I could buy just for my son. Is there anything like that I could get for him?

Answer: You may want to review our dental HMO insurance plans that have set cost for braces which you may want to review and see if that way is more affordable for you. Either that or review our dental discount plans that will save you 20 percent off the cost of any type of braces. This should work out to more then just $200.00 and both plan types have no waiting periods for braces.

More intensive management of high blood pressure, below a commonly recommended blood pressure target, significantly reduces rates of cardiovascular disease, and lowers risk of death in a group of adults 50 years and older with high blood pressure. This is according to the initial results of a landmark clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health called the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT). The intervention in this trial, which carefully adjusts the amount or type of blood pressure medication to achieve a target systolic pressure of 120 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), reduced rates of cardiovascular events, such as heart attack and heart failure, as well as stroke, by almost a third and the risk of death by almost a quarter, as compared to the target systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg.

Question: My wife and I have a one year old daughter and she already has ten teeth some on the top and bottom.   We have yet to take her to see the dentist though she is listed on our family dental insurance plan. When should we take our daughter to see a dentist?  Do we wait until all her baby teeth come in?

Answer:  It is advise that a baby should see a dentist by their first birth day or when they cut their first tooth whichever comes first. Since you already have dental insurance on your daughter why not take her in as soon as possible since she has cut more then just a few teeth already.

Eating a healthy diet and getting exercise have been shown in earlier studies to protect against AMD, a leading cause of vision loss among people age 50 and older. Findings from this latest study, conducted by a team of investigators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, suggest that genetic and lifestyle factors may contribute to AMD in a synergistic way. The findings were published online in the journal Ophthalmology.

Question: I am self employed, and do not have dental insurance currently. I am wondering if a buying a family dental plan is really worth it or not.  I have two teeth that are starting to bother me and would like to see a dentist.  My wife and son are okay, but I would like for them to go in for a dental check up. The few dental discount plans I have reviewed do not seem like they are really saving you money when a crown still can cost up to $300–$400 that does not seem like a big saving to me.

I have looked at a few dental insurance plans as well, but with the waiting periods and cost of those plans being much higher, they too do not seem like I would be saving anything by buying them.  So what should I be looking for to help me with my dental cost?

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Six new grants from the National Institutes of Health will support researchers to develop new computational approaches for searching among millions of genomic variants to find those that make a difference in disease susceptibility or in other traits. The awards are for three years each, and total approximately $13 million, pending the availability of funds. They are administered by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) and the National Cancer Institute, both parts of NIH.

In a prior post we talked about how not all younger children can go to a general or family dentist and when buying a dental insurance plan you want to make sure it provides coverages for Pediatric dentist.   PPO plans may be the best choice for this. As they have a broader range of in network providers and in most cases provide benefits for out side network providers. This is helpful when having to go to a Pediatric dentist.

However, PPO plans are not a plan type you buy for short term use as they normally come with waiting periods.  Therefore you want to buy a PPO plan in order to be prepared for your babies future dental care needs.  Read plan terms and conditions carefully before buying any dental insurance so you will be able to pick the best plan for you and your family

National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues identified a previously unappreciated role for the soft palate during research to better understand how influenza (flu) viruses acquire the ability to move efficiently between people. In studies using ferrets, the team collected evidence that this patch of mucous-coated soft tissue separating the mouth from the nasal cavity is a key site for the emergence of flu viruses with a heightened ability to spread through the air. The finding could aid efforts to define the properties governing flu virus transmissibility and predict which viruses are most likely to spark pandemics.

Question: My 13 year old needs to have braces. I been told this by our family dentist.  Right now I been paying cash for our family dental care needs since all we normally have going on is our twice a year check ups and cleaning’s.  If I get dental insurance will it help to cover braces?

Answer: We do provide many plan options for orthodontic services.  I would suggest reviewing either our HMO dental insurance plans and or our dental discount plan for saving on braces.  We do have some PPO plans that provide limited benefits for orthodontic services but they would have a year waiting period before benefits would be effective for braces.

The National Institutes of Health announced its second wave of grants to support the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, bringing the NIH investment to $85 million in fiscal year 2015.

When buying a dental insurance plan, many insurance plans do provide some limited benefits/coverage for orthodontics services.  However it is important to read the plans terms and conditions with regards to orthodontics  coverages. Some may only cover orthodontics services for children under the age of 19 where as others have restrictive maximum limitations per year and life time pay out.

Accelerating Medicines Partnership expands reach, potential of type 2 diabetes engine. Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) have expanded a recently launched online library, called a knowledge portal, which allows open-access searching of human genetic and clinical information on type 2 diabetes. Individual data will remain confidential.  The portal (link is external) includes information from several major international networks, collected from decades of research.

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