Online buy now, pay later (BNPL) offers can help you save money as you shop. It becomes easier with apps that help you do this. You buy something today and then split up the payments over some time. Essentially, you only have to pay it back in installments. These work the same as credit cards, usually minus the interest, as long as you make the payments on time.
So here are some of the top buy now, pay later apps you can use when you make your next big-ticket purchase.
Available on the Apple App Store, Android, and Google Play, Affirm is one of the most popular buy now, pay later apps. Its popularity is due to the wide range of payment options for all types of purchases, whether online or in-store. For example, for smaller everyday purchases, you can split your interest-free payments into four to be paid every two weeks. For big-ticket purchases, such as home appliances or furniture, you can pay through monthly installments spread over three, six, or 12 months. There are no hidden fees, and you can directly make automatic payments in the app. However, there will be soft credit checks, and interest rates can range from 0% to 36% APR, depending on the retailer.
Apple Pay Later
With Apple Pay Later, you can divide the payment of any of your purchases into four equal installments. Each installment will be due two weeks apart, with the first payment due immediately at checkout. For instance, if you’ve made a $700 purchase with Apple Pay Later, you’ll have to pay $175 at the checkout. The remaining three installments of $175 each can be paid every two weeks. You can do this with zero interest and zero fees. You can apply for Apple Pay later through the Apple Wallet.
There is no minimum credit score requirement yet, but Apple does a soft credit check during the application, and this app is available only for Apple devices.
Previously known as Quadpay, Zip is a great choice if you are looking for online buy now, pay later offers through this app. It is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play; Zip does not do hard credit checks but only soft credit checks during the application process. In addition, it doesn’t report to any major credit bureaus. So if you have low credit, Zip is a good option. Moreover, it is versatile since you can shop using this app wherever Visa is accepted. However, Zip does have interest rates on every payment based on a soft credit check. Also, you will be charged a $1 fee for every installment payment.
PayPal Pay in 4
If you make most of your purchases online, PayPal Pay in 4 must be your top choice for a buy now, pay later app. Although it is not available for in-store purchases, the app is directly integrated into the online checkout of several merchants and retailers. So the transactions are secure as well as fast. In addition, the payments you make later are free of interest without any hidden fees, even for late payments. Like most other apps, the payment schedule is standard: you pay the first installment at checkout and the rest of the three every two to six weeks. There will be a soft credit check during the application, but it won’t affect your credit profile. The only drawback is that this app is unavailable in select places such as Missouri, Nevada, and New Mexico.
Afterpay is a good option for those on a budget. It has an easy-to-use and intuitive interface that allows you to keep track of your purchases. Moreover, you can also plan for any payments you need to make in the future. The app lets you set up payment reminders so you don’t have to pay any penalties. It is quite convenient, as you can use it for in-store and online purchases across major retailers and brands. There is no interest on the payments; you can pay across four payments. The first is at checkout; the remaining payments are due every two to six weeks. In case you miss a payment, your account will be paused automatically.
When you want to earn rewards while saving on your purchases, Klara is the app for you. It allows you to earn one point for every $1 you spend with Klarna. It allows you to choose the stores where you want to redeem your rewards. Moreover, these rewards give you exclusive access to deals, discounts, and other perks. Available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, this app can be used for online and in-store purchases. It is directly integrated into the payment gateways of several major retailers. It works just like another buy now, pay later app, wherein you make the first interest-free payment at checkout. The rest of the three payments can be made every two weeks. In addition, longer-term payment options are offered on schedules ranging from 6 to 36 months. However, these have an APR ranging from 0% to 28.99%.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was enacted to provide relief to individuals and businesses as the world grappled with a healthcare emergency. This Act is an expansion of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) that was introduced under the CARES Act. Due to the complex nature of the policy, there has been a lot of confusion regarding who is eligible for the ERC payroll retention credit. The questions listed below may help determine your eligibility.
1- What businesses or employers are eligible for the ERC?
To be eligible for the Employee Retention Credits, the organization must be carrying on business in 2020 and meet either of the following criteria
2- How is a ‘significant decline’ in gross receipts defined?
3- Who can the business claim ERC for?
Small employers can claim ERC on all employee wages. For others, this credit can only be claimed on the salaries paid to employees for not working.
In addition, wages paid to certain related parties and owners are limited, and family members such as children, siblings, parents, and grandparents are ineligible for this credit. This is also detailed by the IRS under their FAQ section, according to which the following entities are ineligible for ERC-
4- How is a ‘small employer’ defined under the ERC policy?
To gain retention credits under the 2020 ERC rules, a ‘small employer’ was defined as having 100 or fewer full-time equivalents (FTE) on your payroll. Under 2021 ERC, this definition was extended to include up to 500 FTEs. The comparison in both scenarios is 2019 employment.
In any case, a full-time employee is defined as an employee who, on average, works at least 30 hours per week or at least 130 hours of service during a particular month.
5- What are the wages eligible for ERC?
Qualified wages under this rule include gross wages and employer health costs. For 2020, the qualified wages were capped at $10,000 per year per employee, and this cap was extended under the 2021 rules to $10,000 per quarter per employee.
Additionally, wages that were used to claim ERC could not be used for other credits such as Research & Development Credit (Section 41), Work Opportunity Tax Credit (Section 51), Employer Wage Credit for Active Duty Members (Section 45P), Indian Employment Credit (Section 45A), Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave (Section 45S), and Empowerment Zone Employment Credit (Section 1396).
6- How much ERC can be earned per year (2020 and 2021)?
According to the rules for ERC in 2020, the credit amount was 50% for qualified wages up to $10,000 for the entire year. The maximum credit employers earned during this time was $5,000 per employee.
With the cap increase in 2021, the credit amount rose to 70% of qualified wages up to $10,000 each quarter. However, this credit only applied to the first two quarters of the year that ended on June 30, 2021. Thus, according to this rule, employers qualified for up to $14,000 credit per employee.
7- How is ERC claimed?
The ERC should not be considered an income tax credit. Rather, it is a payroll tax credit that directly reflects on Form 941. For individuals who still have not claimed the ERC tax credit in 2023, it can be claimed retroactively in the form of a refund from the IRS by filling out Form 941-X (Modified Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Returns or Request for Refund) for the applicable period. This form records your qualified earnings and accompanying credits for each calendar quarter that you qualify for.
8- How to claim credit for payroll retention?
The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is a tax credit for companies that lost income in 2020-2021 due to a public health emergency. Under this rule, eligible employers can get up to $7,000 for each employee per quarter for four quarters, bringing it to $28,000 per employee. The credits may be claimed by reducing employment tax contributions by the projected credit amount.
The initial date for the ERTC retroactive period was January 1, 2022, but was pushed back to October 1, 2021. Although it offers multiple benefits to organizations, only a few companies applied for these credits. However, those who did not apply for credit earlier can claim a retroactive refund now. This applies for up to three years after the initial filing date.
When it comes to investing your money in a term deposit, choosing the right bank can make all the difference. It is important first to explore the top banks that offer the best term deposit rates, allowing you to maximize your savings and earn attractive yields. Look at established banks that offer competitive rates, low minimum deposits, and additional perks, and start small with six-month deposit terms and comparing rates. Learning about each bank’s perks can be beneficial.
TAB has come a long way in establishing itself as a trusted banking organization. What started in truck stops is now one of the most frequented full-service online banks. TAB Bank has several banking products to offer, including a handful of accounts that will bring you high-yield interest. However, its competitive CD yields come at a minimum deposit of $1000. It might seem like a pricier affair as compared to banks that have no minimum deposit. However, it is still a low minimum asking, especially when you take into consideration the APY of 4.76%.
Ally Bank is one of the best places to invest in a term deposit and get a decent interest rate out of your trouble. It is a full-service bank that can help you with all your banking needs. This includes opening deposit accounts, money market and savings accounts, and high-yield checking accounts. With a minimum deposit of $0, you stand to gain an APY of 3.50% over a six-month term. Other benefits of forming a CD alliance with Ally Bank include zero monthly maintenance fees, loyalty rewards for renewing the CD, and a guaranteed highest rate if you manage to fund your CD within ten days of opening the account.
Sallie Mae Bank
Sallie Mae is among some of the best CD rate providers in the country. Its rates are considered highly competitive when you compare them to some other top online banks. Plus, with no hefty monthly fees, you are the sole earner of whatever the account holds. But you do have to keep in mind the minimum deposit requirement that comes with starting a six-month term plan with Sallie Mae. The $2500 minimum deposit comes with a host of terms, most of which might work out in your favor. People also prefer Sallie Mae’s CDs since they automatically renew on maturity. However, if you want to opt out of the 4.0% APY plan, you can alert the organization or do so in the provided grace period of 10 days.
There is a reason for Synchrony Bank’s CDs being one of the best in the country, and that is not just the attractive APY percentage. The bank allows you to start your CD account with no minimum deposit clause. To add to the cream, you are free to withdraw your interest earnings without being penalized for it. Nor do you have to wait for the term maturity to withdraw your interests. With a 5% APY Synchrony Bank provides one of the best interest rates on a six-month term deposit available via any online bank. And if you manage to fund your CD within 15 days of opening, you might be able to lock in an even higher APY rate.
If you are more interested in making your money work for you instead of working for money, the TIAA CD rates are a great option to do just that. Their term deposit rates are some of the best available in the market. However, they require a minimum deposit, which might not make them the right choice for everyone looking to venture down the CD path. Their six-month term deposit rate is set firmly at 4.0% APY and increases with the term. Their competitive rates are a perfect fit for long-term savings plans. You want to measure the pros and cons against the minimum deposit requirement of $1000 before concluding.
The 3.30% APY being offered by Capital One might not seem like much of a gain, but when you add the other perks to the picture, it is a catch. Capital One is especially a great choice for people that are just starting on their CD journey and want to do so without being burdened by deposit requirements. Even for the low deposit amount, the bank’s APY rates are respectable and can let you save and earn without pressure. It is a great option for pursuing savings goals and has a range of term lengths if you want to consider any other term plans.
CIT is another bank that will let you reap the fruit of its high-term deposit APY with a minimum deposit of $1000. The bank has a range of term plans to offer to people looking forward to making their savings work for them. It has the trifecta that makes any CD attractive, high-yield plan, no-monthly maintenance, and upgrades available. Although, you might be charged a penalty of anywhere between three to six months of interest for early withdrawal. But before you head out, remember that CIT does not have any offline outlets available, and all the work and management you want to do will have to be done online. This might not make CIT Bank an ideal choice for independent seniors that aren’t well versed with the Internet and technology.
Health insurance is one of the best ways to be prepared for unexpected health emergencies and expenses. Although the jargon and technicalities may seem confusing at times, it is important to prepare yourself mentally and read through all terms before making a big decision, such as finalizing your insurance provider and agreeing to their conditions. To make this process easier for you, here are six things you must know before buying health insurance:
The waiting period is the time where one cannot raise a claim against the health insurance plan. Generally, insurance providers have a 30-day waiting period, during which they may not accept claims. This period may be even longer for pre-existing conditions, maternity benefits, and certain other ailments, and will differ from company to company.
Coinsurance and copay
Coinsurance is the percentage of the claim that is borne by the policyholder. Copay is a flat fee paid every time you receive a health care service. When shopping for health insurance, it is important to find the right percentage of premium and coverage, as a lower monthly premium could mean higher out-of-pocket costs, and vice versa. Checking these details and choosing a policy carefully could significantly lower your healthcare costs over time.
Summary of benefits
Visit your insurance provider’s website for details about their various plans and the services they cover. Compare these benefits with other plans to find the right one for you and your family. You may find key differences in plans in areas like physical therapy, fertility treatments, and mental healthcare, so be sure to factor this in when making a decision.
Your family’s healthcare needs
Consider the amount and type of treatment you and your family members have received over the past. Some of these conditions may require regular intervention, making them a recurring expense. Weigh these needs against the list of benefits offered by your insurance provider. This may help you make a more informed decision, and reduce your bills in the future.
Health Plan Networks
When looking for a new health insurance plan, it is key to look for one with a larger network. This is because there is a significant difference in costs when one goes to an within-network provider, as opposed to one outside the network, as the insurance agency has already negotiated lower prices. If you already have a doctor you would like to continue seeing, ask them if they accept your new insurance plan.
Opting for a plan with a larger directory will give you more flexibility and more options to choose from, and switch between doctors if needed. Avoid opting for healthcare plans that do not have any local in-network doctors.
Comparing available insurance plans
Generally, there are four managed healthcare plan types to choose from – Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Exclusive Provider Organization (EPO), and Point of Service Plan (POS). The main differences between these plans lie in their network coverage, requirement of referrals, and the cost.
You have the least amount of flexibility here, and must choose between in-network providers, except for emergencies. It generally requires referrals and has low out-of-pocket costs.
While there is more flexibility with these plans, staying within the network leads to lower treatment costs. Out-of-pocket expenses for such plans are generally high.
With an EPO plan, you can directly choose between the in-network providers, without having to work with a primary care physician. Out-of-pocket expenses for these services are lower than PPO.
With a POS plan, you are required to visit a primary care physician and get a referral from them, before you can visit a specialist. Although referrals are mandatory, this allows you to have access to more provider options, and a primary care physician to navigate all your healthcare needs.
How to choose your health insurance policy?
When buying health insurance, the federal health insurance ‘Medicare’ is perhaps the most popular option. It has two coverage options: Traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B, and Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Those looking for additional coverage may also opt in for Medigap.
Part A of this insurance plan covers inpatient care in a hospital, skilled nursing facility care, nursing home care, hospice care, and home health care. Part B covers necessary, as well as preventive services like clinical research, ambulance services, durable equipment, in-patient care, outpatient care and partial hospitalization for mental health services, and limited outpatient prescriptions. These plans require the payment of a deductible and coinsurance, which is usually 20% of the cost of the approved service.
Part C or Medicare Advantage is rolled out by a private company and may offer extra benefits like vision, hearing, and dental services. It also sets a limit on what you will have to pay out of pocket each year for covered services, making it a more attractive option for many.
Anyone can join these plans during these enrollment periods.
Initial Enrollment Period
You can join a plan when you first become eligible for it.
Open Enrollment Period
You can join, switch, or drop a plan between October 15 – December 7 each year. Coverage for the new plan begins on January 1.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
Those enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan may choose to switch to another, or go back to the Original Medicare Plan between January 1 – March 31 every year.
A credit card allows one to make purchases and pay later to the bank or lending institute covering immediate costs. Many variables, including salary and debt, come into play when applying for a credit card. But credit cards come with some terms and conditions, and using them carelessly or defaulting on repayments may lead to a bad credit score. Therefore, here are some common credit card mistakes one can avoid.
Not reviewing billing statements
Before making credit card payments, one’s advised to run through the billing statements. Confirming the accuracy of the transactions on one’s billing cycle can help detect fraudulent transactions. One can review the statement monthly and report to the bank or the financial institution in case of any suspicious activities.
Credit cards are convenient and can make one rely too much on them while shopping. One must remember that when one uses a credit card, one borrows from a financial institution that charges interest on the amount. It’s a type of loan that one is required to repay as per the terms. Losing track of where the money goes is a common mistake cardholders make. This allows the payments to be settled in full within the same billing cycle to avoid overspending.
Making only minimal necessary payments
One may prevent late fees and penalties by paying only the minimum monthly amount, ensuring good standing. But continuing to do so for months can lead to payment delays and accrued interest, which in the long run can pile up. The best way to avoid this is to create a payment plan and manage monthly finances. This will allow one to make timely payments and avoid piling up on more payment obligations.
Ignoring introductory 0% APR offers
Some credit card issuers offer introductory 0% APR deals. An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) deal offers the cardholder no interest on new purchases or debt transfers for a predetermined period. Using this deal can help one to save significantly on bigger purchases. Since these deals are usually offered to new cardholders, one may miss out on excellent savings by simply being unaware of them. One can find out the start and end date of the initial 0% APR deal and its conditions before opting for it.
Missing a payment
FICO estimates that one’s credit card score dips by 17 to 83 points if one misses a payment for 30 days. Missing payments for 90 days or more can lead to one’s score decreasing by 27 to 133 points. Late payments add on the interest charge and significantly affect one’s credit score, which is detrimental to one’s financial standing in the long run. One way of dealing with this is to automate the regular monthly bills or set reminders a couple of days before the due date.
Carrying a balance
Carrying a small balance from month to month instead of paying everything off does not necessarily give one’s credit score a boost. Any revolving debt may accrue interest. To reduce the negative impact that high balances might have on one’s credit score, borrowers are advised to maintain their revolving debt below 30% of their available credit.
Taking cash advances
A cash advance is a cash withdrawal from one’s credit card account. Borrowing money from one’s credit card comes with fees and withdrawal restrictions. While this is a useful credit card feature in emergencies, it’s best to avoid cash advances for ordinary purchases. Unlike credit on one’s card, cash advances accrue interest right after withdrawal. So, in addition to the hefty interest, one is also likely to pay a withdrawal charge or fees. Overall, cash advances are costly affairs. One can instead consider a personal loan, borrowing from family or friends, collateral loan, or salary advance.
Applying for too many credit cards too quickly
Each time one applies for a new credit card, one faces a hard inquiry into one’s credit history. Lenders who see multiple credit card requests can view a cardholder as risky and deny future applications. It’s best to keep a gap of at least six months before applying for a new credit card.
Adding on to the late fees
If one expects a late payment, one’s advised to contact the credit card company immediately. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently stated that a late fee might cost up to $30 the first time and up to $41 afterward. Sometimes, the financial institution may alter one’s due date or offer financial hardship programs. Opting for a debt management plan can eliminate fees or reduce interest rates for a short while.
Maxing out the credit card
Using up all of the allotted credit can lower one’s credit score. The credit rate is influenced by the credit usage rate, which is the number of times one uses a credit card. One can contact the issuer and get a credit boost if one routinely maxes out the credit limit but has no defaulting history.
Closing a credit card
The average credit history of a cardholder is impacted when one closes a credit card. Closing the oldest card can drop one’s credit age by the number of years between the oldest and the second oldest card. That said, one can close a credit card under some valid circumstances. For example, if one sees that the card’s advantages don’t justify the annual fees of a credit card, it’s best to forgo the card and opt for a more beneficial one.
Choosing a health insurance plan and the provider is complicated, as the industry is saturated with many options. Therefore, it is essential to conduct extensive research to find the best Medicare Advantage plan. Also, a clear understanding of the requirements makes it easier to narrow down the options. For some, the importance lies with the network of doctors under the insurance provider; for others, it might be the cost and procedure coverage the plan promises.
The deductibles and premium costs associated with the plan can impact your decision. So while you are at it, find out different cost-related aspects like out-of-pocket expenses, yearly coverage limits, deductibles, and copayments, all of which could affect your financials.
Medicare plans cover expenses made in the doctor’s office, hospitals, and health care centers. The main medicare coverage is done under Part A or Part B. However, if you have a medicare advantage plan, you stand to gain more. These plans provide all the coverage an original Medicare plan will provide, along with additional coverage options. Some plans might even offer coverage for dental, vision, and hearing treatments.
Are you planning to sign up for a prescription plan? Or do you already have an existing prescription coverage plan available? Does your insurer levy a fine to join a subscription plan at a later stage? Make sure you get the answers to these questions, as they are crucial to avoid any discrepancies or arguments in the future. If you are ever put on a prescription treatment plan, you might need your Medicare plan to provide some coverage, if not in full.
Choice of doctor
Another thing you want to take a look at when opting for Medicare plans is the in-network doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare centers and services. You will also want to check whether your doctors are covered under the Medicare plan. However, some Medicare Advantage plans offer certain out-of-network coverage options too.
One of the top Medicare providers in the country is Humana. The company offers a variety of healthcare plans with different price points that help users decide upon a plan based on their specific needs and budget. The company covers Private Fee-For-Service (PFFS), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Special Needs Plan (SNP) plans, and others that come with or without prescription coverage.
Two of its notable Medicare Advantage plans are:
With zero monthly premium and out-of-pocket expense coverage of up to $4,900, this plan is an excellent choice for you looking to add to your existing Medicare plans and for new insurance seekers alike. It covers vision and dental and may even include prescription treatments. Another benefit of the plan is the SilverSneakers® Fitness Program, a service the insurer provides at no additional charges.
Humana Honor PPO
This plan is designed in order to benefit the veterans. However, people that meet the plan’s eligibility criteria can also sign up for it. It provides annual out-of-pocket coverage of $6,700 with no monthly premium. The copay coverage is provided for doctor and specialist visits aside from hospital stays. The plan cover eye and dental treatment. It also gives you access to their SilverSneaker® Fitness Program and might provide free transportation for your doctor’s visit.
Medicare is a health insurance program issued by the government. The program covers people aged 65 or older, certain people with disabilities, and patients with end-stage renal diseases. It encompasses several plans and is divided into four parts with certain services – A, B, C, and D. Out of these, Part A is free for those who’ve paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years, but the others have to pay a premium.
Even though the program is helpful for many, some Medicare plans are complicated in terms of coverage. This makes it difficult to understand. They might cover various aspects of health care, but many conditions are not covered as well, some of which include:
Medicare plans may cover basic health care services and X-rays, but they have a limit of $1,500 annually. Medicare plans may not cover routine dental checkups and treatment of certain dental services. They also do not cover dentures and fillings. However, in the case of emergency hospitalization, patients can use Part A to pay off certain dental services.
Usually, all Medicare plans cover up to 90 days of hospitalization. The benefit period begins on the first inpatient day at a hospital or nursing facility and ends when inpatient care isn’t received for more than 60 days. Furthermore, if the patient suffers two or more accidents within 60 days, the Medicare plans cover the cost for only one of them.
Original Medicare plans do not cover the costs of cosmetic surgeries. However, if it is due to a deformity or injury, the patient can use Medicare plans to pay for certain health care services such as artificial limbs, artificial eyes, and replacement parts. Furthermore, breast cancer survivors can also employ Medicare to pay for a post-mastectomy breast prosthesis.
Health care received while overseas
In most cases, original Medicare plans do not include health care expenses incurred outside the country. However, the expenses can be paid for in rare and specific circumstances, which include the unavailability of the nearest US hospital close to the borders. In addition, certain plans may also cover healthcare services received on a ship in US territorial waters.
Medicare Advantage plans offered by private healthcare insurance companies cover the exclusions from parts A and B of Original Medicare. Some common examples of such plans are Health Maintenance Organization, preferred Provider Organization, Private Fee-For-Service Plans, and Special Needs Plans. For example, United Healthcare offers Part C Medicare Advantage with $0 copays, dental benefits, prescriptions, vision benefits, hearing benefits, and exclusive OTC credits. All private insurance providers who offer such plans with Original Part A and B benefits must follow the rules set by Medicare.
Making money online has never been easier! The ever-expanding online world is swamped with legit opportunities that’ll help add some extra bucks to your bank from the comfort of your home. And, the best part is that you don’t always need to have certain skills or qualifications to earn money. Don’t believe us? We’ve compiled a list of trustworthy websites that can help you make money online. Try them!
If you have a hard time trusting online survey sites, you likely haven’t tried Swagbucks. It is one of the most popular and legitimate websites that will pay you for everything from filling out surveys to watching videos to shopping online. You will receive your earnings in the form of gift cards from top retailers like Amazon and Walmart or cash back from PayPal.
Interested in taking up some freelance work? Consider creating an account on Upwork. It’s the world’s largest online marketplace to find great clients and grow your independent career. Regardless of what skill you have, be it writing, video editing, software development, graphic designing, or marketing, you can find work in no time.
If you’re looking for motivation to clean up your closet, then check out ThredUp. You can sell items you no longer wear or need for cash, such as jeans, shorts, tops, dresses, swimwear, shoes, handbags, and backpacks. Another great thing is that there is no shipping fee for sending them your package. Keep in mind that you will receive the payment only if your items are accepted.
Most of us have electronic waste lying around the house. So, why not make some money by selling them out? With Gazelle, you can trade your old Samsung, Pixel, OnePlus, iPhone, or any other phone, and even iPads and tablets for money. They will also cover your shipping costs. Gazelle pays via check, or they send you Amazon gift cards. Also, you can request a cash transfer to your PayPal account.
As the name suggests, Skillshare is where you share your skills and get paid for them. All you have to do is make quality videos on your topic of interest like crafts, film, fashion, cooking, or anything else you love to do. The platform will then compensate you for every minute of your video watched by their Premium students. The best teachers on Skillshare make more than $100,000 a year.
People often develop bad habits like biting their nails and overeating sweets without realizing the potential harm they can do to their teeth. These habits can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, and other severe dental problems that cause pain and discomfort. Here, we discuss a few such unhealthy habits that damage the teeth. By being aware of these habits and altering them, you can extend the longevity and health of your pearly whites.
Using the teeth as tools
Using your teeth as tools to open bottles, tear packages, or break hard nuts can cause significant damage. These actions can chip or crack the teeth, damage dental work, and cause jaw problems or gum bleeding. Always use the appropriate tools for these tasks and protect your teeth.
Biting the nails
Nail biting is a common habit associated with stress and anxiety. Besides damaging the nails, it can harm teeth. The constant pressure exerted on the teeth from nail biting can lead to tooth fractures, misalignment, and jaw problems. Finding alternative stress-relieving activities can help break this habit.
Using a toothbrush with hard bristles
A toothbrush with hard bristles may seem to provide more efficient cleaning, but long-term use can cause the enamel to erode and make the teeth more sensitive to damage. Gentle toothbrushes not only do the job of cleaning well but also support dental health.
Chewing ice and hard objects
Chewing on ice, pens, or hard candies can cause tiny cracks in the teeth, leading to significant problems over time. These habits can also damage existing dental work, like fillings or crowns. Avoid chewing on hard objects to protect your teeth from unnecessary harm.
Consuming acidic foods and drinks
Acidic foods and beverages like citrus fruits, sports drinks, energy drinks, vinegar, and carbonated drinks can weaken and erode the enamel, making the teeth more susceptible to decay and sensitivity. Rinse your mouth with water after consuming acidic foods and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to minimize the effects of the acid content.
Playing sports without mouth guards
Engaging in contact sports like ice hockey, football, lacrosse, or boxing without wearing a mouth guard puts your teeth at risk of injury. A sudden impact on the face can result in broken or knocked-out teeth. Wearing a properly-fitted guard can protect your teeth during such activities.
Irregular flossing is among the most unhealthy habits that damage the teeth. Brushing alone cannot reach the tight spaces where food particles and plaque accumulate. Flossing helps remove these substances, preventing tooth decay and gum disease. So, make it a habit to floss daily to maintain optimal oral hygiene.
Using excessive whitening products
Teeth whitening products can enhance your smile, but excessive or improper use can be dangerous. Research shows that these whitening products usually contain hydrogen peroxide, an ingredient that can weaken dentin—the protective layer of the teeth below the enamel. Consult a dentist before using products or practices to whiten your teeth at home.
Ignoring dental issues
Neglecting dental problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth sensitivity can worsen the condition over time. On the other hand, prompt dental care can prevent further damage to the teeth and gums.
Delaying or skipping dental check-ups
Regular check-ups are crucial for early detection and prevention of dental issues. Dentists can detect the early signs, provide professional cleanings to remove plaque and tartar, and offer personalized advice for maintaining healthy teeth. Delaying or skipping these appointments can worsen oral problems, and you would require extensive and costly treatments later on. Experts recommend check-ups and cleanings every six months.
Overconsuming staining foods and beverages
Frequently consuming deeply pigmented foods and beverages like coffee, tea, and berries can stain your teeth over time. Brushing or rinsing the mouth after consuming these items can minimize the staining effects. Additionally, professional teeth whitening treatments can help restore the natural brightness of your smile.
Snacking throughout the day, especially on sugary or starchy foods, exposes the teeth to a constant acid attack. Each time you eat, the bacteria in the mouth produce acid that damages tooth enamel. To avoid this, limit snacking on these items and opt for healthier options like fruits, vegetables, or nuts.
Using toothpicks incorrectly
Toothpicks can help dislodge food particles stuck between the teeth. But instead of forcefully prying or jabbing them between your molars, use gentle strokes. Interdental cleaners can also safely remove trapped debris.
Teeth grinding is the habitual grinding or clenching of the teeth, often during sleep or stress. The excessive force exerted on the teeth while grinding can affect the enamel, lead to jaw pain, and weaken the teeth gradually.
Thumb sucking is a common habit among infants and young children, as it provides them with comfort and security. However, prolonged thumb sucking can have adverse effects on dental health. The continuous pressure and suction on the thumb can cause misalignment of the teeth and jaw, leading to an open bite or an overbite. It can also affect teeth growth and speech development. If thumb sucking persists beyond the age when permanent teeth begin to erupt, parents should encourage their children to break the habit gradually to prevent long-term dental problems.
Anemia is caused by the lack of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) to carry sufficient oxygen to the tissues. This can be due to acute blood loss, the body’s inability to make RBCs, or the destruction of these cells. The condition can be managed by making changes in lifestyle and eating habits. Since proper food intake is crucial for alleviating anemia, let’s look at the recommended foods for those with this condition.
Foods to eat
Dark leafy greens like spinach
Kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, and dandelion greens are all great sources of nonheme iron, which is essential for healthy living. Swiss chard and collard, specifically, are also high in folate. Eating folate-rich foods is necessary to avoid folate deficiency anemia.
Organ meat like liver
Liver, heart, kidney, and beef tongue are some popular organ meat choices rich in iron. That said, it is essential to ensure that the meat is hygienic, sustainably sourced, and toxin-free.
Seafood like tuna
Seafood is known to be a good source of heme iron. Fish like tuna, mackerel, pompano, fresh perch, salmon, or even mahimahi are rich in heme iron. Those who articularly like shellfish can have oysters, clams, crabs, shrimps, and scallops, as these too are good sources of iron.
Studies show that molasses are rich in vitamin B6, magnesium, selenium, and calcium. All these are essential nutrients that help keep anemia symptoms at bay.
Beans are a preferred choice for getting protein and iron for vegetarians. They are easy to cook and can be stored in the pantry or freezer for several weeks or months. Kidney beans, chickpeas, pinto beans, peas, lima beans, black-eyed peas, black beans, and soybeans are some of the popular choices to add to one’s meal regimen.
Meat and poultry
It is essential to incorporate venison, lamb, and red meat into one’s meals to get heme iron. Those with anemia can also have chicken and other poultry options; however, they have less iron than other types of meats. One must make sure to include enough foods rich in vitamin C, as it helps in absorbing iron.