Cough Medicine and Your Child’s Teeth

It’s the middle of winter which means it’s peak cold and flu season. No matter how hard you try to protect your kids from these annual illnesses, they still seem to somehow catch them. While having a child with a cold instead of the flu is less of a headache and concern, the discomfort experienced by your child from the uncomfortable symptoms of congestion, coughing, running nose and sore throat can temporarily make your child’s life nonetheless miserable.

You want to reduce and shorten the duration of your child’s cold symptoms. Some of the first things you grab from your arsenal are cough syrup and throat lozenges. While your child may not like the taste of the cough syrup, he or she has no problem with the throat lozenge. Even if these medications don’t immediately soothe the coughing and sore throat symptoms, at least the lozenges have a tolerable taste and are reminiscent of hard candy. It is typical that sore throat symptoms get worse in the evening before bed time and you don’t think twice about letting your child suck on a lozenge as they drift off to sleep (granted your child is old enough and won’t choke on the lozenge).

The Effects of Cough Medicine on Teeth

While you and your child are hopefully fast asleep, little do either of you know what is going inside your child’s mouth as he or she sucks on a lozenge.

Though both cough syrup and throat lozenges contain medicine to help treat and soothe their respective cold symptoms, both contain high levels of sugar. Lozenges are the worst of the two as they slowly break down inside the mouth instead of getting swallowed in one little gulp.

Throat lozenges, also commonly called cough drops are similar to hard candy in how they can increase one’s risk of tooth decay. It isn’t advisable for children to regularly consume hard candies just like the intake of stick candy should be limited. Hard candies and throat lozenges have an unique way of causing potential damage to one’s teeth because of their slow to dissolve nature.

Cavities are formed when debris and sugar accumulate on the surface of the teeth. The enzymes in saliva interact with the sugar and bacteria to produce a film that creates plaque and eats away at the tooth enamel. The damage of this reaction on one’s teeth will be less if the teeth are promptly brushed or the mouth is rinsed with water. Since throat lozenges take time to fully dissolve and they are often taken at night as the child is going to bed, the sugars of the lozenges have all night to harden into plaque and eat away at the layers of tooth enamel.

Cough syrup and the sugar that is in it can also damage teeth if the teeth aren’t brushed and the mouth rinsed out. Many times cough syrup is taken after children brush their teeth. To lower the risk of damage to your child’s teeth, consider having your child take the cough syrup first and then follow up with teeth brushing.

Cough medicine can be useful in helping to relieve and alleviate the discomfort of cold symptoms. They can also, however, cause subtle, unnoticeable damage to the teeth in the form of cavities. To minimize the risk of tooth decay from the sugar found in cold medicine, consider avoiding the use of cough drops at night and brushing one’s teeth and rinsing the mouth out thoroughly after using a cough drop or ingesting cough syrup.

Besides proper, daily oral hygiene routines, regular dental appointments every six months is also necessary for healthy teeth and gums for your child. If it has been longer than six months since your child saw their pediatric dentist, contact them today to schedule an appointment.

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How to Predict the Outcome of a Soccer Match

There are some people who are very good at predicting the outcome of sporting events. Professional gamblers can do it and can make a good living from it. Team managers to some extent need to do this in order to plan a team’s season, knowing which games to focus on and which ones to leave more to hope. Some sports journalists also have the knack of getting it right more often than not. To some it may seem like guess work or going on gut feeling but there is a science to sport and if you know what factors are important you too can be successful at predicting match results.

League position

The first and most obvious thing to look at when deciding who’s most likely to win a game is the relative position of the teams in the league table. If there are a number of places separating the two teams then the higher team is most often going to win and if the teams are close together then a draw is the probable result. You can do this by rule of thumb or it is possible to be more methodical by going back through the records and quantifying just how much of an advantage the league position is. Over the last five years in the English Premier League for example, when the two teams are within 6 places a draw is on average the most likely result. Different leagues will vary depending on how competitive they are and it will also vary at different points in the season. League position is less effective a predictor at the start of the season when there aren’t enough results to make a reliable prediction; and also at the end of the season when teams (particularly the more successful ones) are tired!

Home or away

The next most important factor to consider is whether a team is playing at home or away. In some leagues away victories are relatively rare. The main reason for this is the influence of the crowd. For teams that have a long way to travel and few supporting fans the opposition stadium can be a hostile environment. Also (although of course it shouldn’t happen) the crowd can have an influence on the referee. Refereeing is full of marginal decisions, and the presence of a large crowd of jeering supporters can effect the referee’s judgement. This effect of ‘home bias’ by referees has been scientifically tested by analyzing match videos, and has been shown to be a genuine phenomena – not just a frustration in the minds of the disappointed away fans! Because of this home advantage teams will often have two configurations: one for home and one for away. Away teams will often be more cautious and play a defensive mid-fielder in place of one of the strikers, making an away victory even less likely. It’s easy to quantify the home advantage in a league by adding up all the home wins over a season and comparing it with the number of away wins. The ratio is typically around 2 to 1 in favor of the home team.

Who’s playing?

A key decider is the team announcement. When the line up of the teams is announced, usually twenty minutes before kick-off, this gives a big indication of how the game will go. The team sheet will tell you two things: firstly whether the manager is playing his best team (e.g. are there players out through injury? Or is he saving players for a more important match?). Secondly it will tell you the likely formations. If a team has no recognized striker then they are probably going to be playing a more defensive formation. However, if there are a number of strikers on the substitutes’ bench then it is likely the coach will be putting them on the pitch at a later stage in the game and thus is not settling for a draw. Also look out for players just coming back from injury. Such a player may have a good first game but performances may then dip as fitness becomes an issue. Typically it takes 5 games for a player to get back to full match fitness.

Who’s on a roll?

As with many sports, confidence is a huge factor. Teams can get into cycles where bad results leads to bad confidence which in turn leads to worse performances. The same is true when a team’s confidence spirals upwards. It is for this reason that teams tend to go through good and bad patches. When a team is on a winning streak there is a strong likelihood they will continue winning, even against better teams. Look out for runs in a team’s recent matches: e.g. how many games have they gone without a victory? Although they won’t often admit it players are acutely aware of these statistics and it does play on their minds. Other runs to look out for are:

  • Games without scoring a goal
  • Number of clean sheets (no goals against)
  • Consecutive away wins
  • Number of games unbeaten
  • Number of games played

This last point is an important one. Tiredness is an important factor in determining a team’s chances of winning. A player should normally be able to play 2 games a week but this is hard to sustain over a number of months, especially if there is a lot of traveling and the games are very competitive. A team that has not played for 7 days has a significant advantage over one which has played in the last 3 or 4 days.

Derbies and rivalries

Some matches have a special significance for supporters and players alike. Derby games, where the two teams are local to each other, can throw up unexpected results. Part of the reason for this is that the away supporters don’t have far to travel and so can be in the stadium in equal numbers to the home fans. This can create an unusually vibrant atmosphere which can make players more nervous and accident prone. The intense rivalry between such teams can produce special performances from some teams. This all makes it hard to predict the outcome of such games. There can be other team rivalries that one should also be aware of: for instance teams that have a history of victories over one another in important competitions; and teams that have an equal number of trophies.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – On the Sunny Side of the Street

Never in Manchester United history was so much owed by so many to so few as when substitutes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham in tandem together wrote soccer poetry with their feet in the Champions League final versus Bayern Munich in 1999. Indeed, the match against the German club was to become the pinnacle of Solskjaer’s long and illustrious footballing career.

Born in the small town of Kristiansund on February 26th 1973, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began his playing career with local club Clausenengen. Even though the Manchester United faithful hardly raised an eyebrow when he arrived in Manchester in 1996, it did not take long for the supporters to realise the club had unearthed a real find. A no-nonsense performer with a powerful work ethic, his drive and determination inspired his Old Trafford team-mates and put fear into opponents. Scoring several crucial goals for Manchester United during the 1996/97 campaign, Solskjaer finished as the club’s top scorer with 18 League goals in his very first season at The Theatre of Dreams.

Although the Norwegian striker had his soccer career cut short by injuries in 2007, he stayed with the Old Trafford club and eventually took over the reigns of the Manchester United Reserves the following year. As for the international stage, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his first appearance for Norway in a friendly against Jamaica in Kingston on 26 November 1995, and went on to collect a total of 67 senior caps for his native country. In honour of the loyal Manchester United stalwart, a fully deserved testimonial game was staged against Espanyol in front of an incredible 68,000 crowd at Old Trafford in August 2008.

After finding the back of the net on his Manchester United debut at home to Blackburn Rovers in August 1996, the Norway international proceeded to make a total of 366 outings for the Manchester Reds, scoring 126 goals. Indisputably, the highlight of Solskjaer’s footballing life came in the 1999 UEFA Champions League Final when he netted the winning goal against Bayern Munich in the last minute of the match, winning the coveted Treble for Manchester United.

In retrospect, the prodigious Norseman was no doubt one of the most significant footballing servants ever to pull on the famous red shirt in Manchester United history. Sir Alex Ferguson has without doubt had some notable success in the transfer market in the past, and the £1.5 million he paid Norwegian outfit Molde to sign Solskjaer seems like a complete bargain by today’s prices.

«We had to score some goals after the pressure we had. It’s unbelievable and it’s very difficult to describe how I feel just now. But if people still wonder why I stay at Manchester United they can see why. The team spirit, it is unbelievable.» – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer quote.

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