Tips for Teaching Kids Good Oral Hygiene

From Business Health Trust dental provider Delta Dental of Washington.

Teaching a kid good oral hygiene is probably the last battle you want to take on at the end of a long day, especially when just getting them to bed can be a struggle. However, brushing and flossing is an extremely important part of children’s oral and overall health.

Start good habits at an early age and clean your baby’s teeth by wiping them with a soft cloth or brushing with a small soft toothbrush and water. This gets them used to establishing a tooth brushing routine. When children are around 18 months of age, they can be introduced to daily brushing by using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste, and encouraged to spit, but not rinse. By age 2, or when teeth start touching, kids should be introduced to flossing. Tip: Some parents find flossing sticks much easier to start with than traditional floss.

Here are three more tips for teaching a child good brushing and flossing habits:

Tip #1: Use Visuals

Flossing and brushing doesn’t automatically make sense to kids. To demonstrate the importance of flossing and good oral health, have your child watch as you dig your teeth into some chocolate. Next, brush and floss your teeth to demonstrate how well both activities remove leftover food particles. Once they’re thoroughly intrigued, break out a toothbrush with their favorite TV character on it or a dental flosser pick (little kids find these easier to handle) and try it out on their teeth.

Tip #2: Give Rewards

As a parent, you know how well positive reinforcement works on kids. They love when something fun waits for them at the end of a task. Why not use this same idea for your children’s oral health? Create a chart and give your child a gold star each day they brush or floss. At the end of the week, reward them with a fun activity or a small toy (not candy). They’ll consider it a fun game, but you’ll know that, secretly, they’re building solid habits and learning how to take care of their smile.

Tip #3: Create Activities

Activities are a great oral health motivator for kids of all ages! All you need is play dough, a large Duplo block, and some yarn. The block represents the teeth, the play dough represents food and gunk caught between teeth, and the yarn is the floss. Use the yarn just like dental floss to show your kids how easily it removes food from teeth. This is a great visual, and kids love jamming the dough in the blocks. Plus, not only do you teach your child how to floss, but you’ve found a way to occupy her for a solid ten minutes — win, win.

If you need help finding a pediatric or family dentist visit our find a dentist tool and use the drop-down tool to select the type of dentist you’re looking for.

Sign up for MySmile to access your dental benefits, get reminders, find your ID card and access the cost estimator for treatment planning.

COVID-19 Vaccine Partnership with Business Help Trust Continues March 10-11

After vaccinating 986 qualified members of the White Center community March 4-5, a partnership between local grocery stores and business organizations is bringing its COVID-19 vaccine clinic to Bellevue March 10-11.

Business Health Trust and its plan sponsor, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, along with QFC have announced that their ongoing partnership to bring more vaccine appointments to eligible individuals will continue this week at the T-Mobile offices in Bellevue.

“This week’s clinic is a great example of our business community working together on the urgent task of vaccination,” said Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber. “QFC’s donation of professional services at vaccination sites and scheduling support along with T-Mobile hosting the clinic site will make it possible for 900 people in King County to get their first dose of the vaccine this week.”

This partnership — which you can read more about in our post Business Health Trust Partnership Provides COVID-19 Vaccine to Diverse Population — is working together to distribute a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by mobilizing the business community like T-Mobile to provide space and volunteers to support the effort.

“Bringing the business community together to proactively support these efforts is key to helping us reopen safely,” said Sarai Childs, executive director for Business Health Trust. “As we continue to work to support more vaccine clinics, we are dedicated to helping bridge barriers such as language that arise. This clinic will have pharmacists and or other volunteers that speak Vietnamese, Khmer, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Tamil, Ukranian, and sign language.”

The clinic is reserved for eligible individuals, including:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • All people 50 and older in multi-generational households where two or more generations reside (such as an elder and grandchild)
  • High-risk health care workers in health care settings
  • High-risk first-responders
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • All other workers at risk in health care settings

Read more about the partnership in the article How an Army of Volunteers Helped Vaccinate Nearly 1,000 People in Two Days from The Stranger.

Health care worker withdrawing COVID-19 vaccine.

Business Health Trust Partnership Provides COVID-19 Vaccine to Diverse Population

Business Health Trust is among partners that are focusing on bringing the COVID-19 vaccine to diverse communities.

Throughout March, a partnership between local grocery stores and business organizations — including Business Health Trust and its plan sponsor, the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce — is offering the vaccine to eligible recipients at pop-up clinics in White Center and Factoria.

“The partners truly came together in an impactful way to vaccinate hundreds of eligible people in the White Center community,” Sarai Childs, Executive Director of Business Health Trust, said about the first clinic in White Center on March 4, 2021. “We are committed to doing our part to bring businesses together to help get people vaccinated in a way that brings equity and access to all.

“We are so grateful for the dedicated teams at QFC, Fred Meyer, Comcast, White Center CDA and Evergreen High School who have been working hard to make this a reality.”

Quality Food Centers (QFC) and Fred Meyer announced March 4 that they had received a limited supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and hoped to inoculate to 900 qualified patients at Evergreen High School in White Center March 4-5.

“QFC is dedicated to helping people live healthier lives, and it has never been more important as we help to vaccinate the public,” said QFC President Chris Albi. “That is why QFC, Fred Meyer and Kroger Health will be donating all professional services at vaccination sites.”

The location was chosen to serve the eligible population in the diverse White Center neighborhood, which has had one of the highest rates of COVID-19 incidence in King County and where fewer than half of residents age 65 or older have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

Working with the White Center Community Development Association (CDA), this vaccination site will offer materials and translation in five languages: Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese, Khmer and English.

QFC and Fred Meyer thanked the Seattle Chamber for partnering to locate a facility and provide logistical support.

“Today’s clinic is an exciting example of how we can work together to expand vaccine access in an inclusive way and get our whole community on the road to recovery,” said Rachel Smith, president and CEO of the Seattle Chamber. “We want to provide a model for future pop-ups in the region: businesses proactively thinking about the resources they can offer, organizations rooted in our communities bringing their expertise, and conveners like the Chamber bringing people together with the urgency this moment demands.”

The White Center clinic is reserved for residents in White Center and the immediately surrounding areas who are considered eligible including:

  • Anyone 65 and older
  • All people 50 and older in multi-generational households where two or more generations reside (such as an elder and grandchild)
  • High-risk health care workers in health care settings
  • High-risk first-responders
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • All other workers at risk in health care settings

More information is available on the White Center CDA Facebook page.

BHT Introduces New 401(k) Plan for Businesses that Dream Big

Offering a 401(k) plan can be costly and time-consuming – and when you’re growing a business, you need to manage your resources wisely. As your source for employee benefits, Business Health Trust is proud to expand on its solutions by introducing the EVOLVE 401(k) plan for small businesses that dream big.

More than insurance, Business Health Trust is a resource, offering small employers in Washington the information and tools they need to design and manage a competitive employee benefits program. EVOLVE is the ideal 401(k) solution for businesses that want to offer full-service retirement benefits and keep costs in check.

Learn more about the plan in our Q-and-A with ABD Retirement Services, the team of professionals who handle the details so you can stay focused on growing your business:

How can adding a 401(k) program help a small business grow and succeed?

Offering a 401(k) plan gives your business a competitive advantage to attract and retain quality employees. In addition, a retirement plan at work addresses one of the main financial wellness concerns employees have and can help you increase loyalty and productivity.

How is EVOLVE different from other 401(k) plans?

EVOLVE is specifically created to address the challenges small businesses face when deciding to offer a retirement plan, including:

  • Fee Transparency – EVOLVE has no hidden fees
  • Simplicity – EVOLVE offers plan options that minimize employer tasks
  • Liability Protection – EVOLVE offers investment oversight by an independent fiduciary limiting your liability for plan investments
  • Employee Focus – EVOLVE is designed to make saving and investing easy for employees

EVOLVE offers large plan features to small employers. It’s for businesses that dream big!

Is EVOLVE only for companies that don’t already have a 401(k) plan?

EVOLVE is for any employer, including those with an existing plan. Contact the EVOLVE team to compare your current plan with EVOLVE plan options. You will get unbiased guidance to evaluate your options.

How does EVOLVE make it easier for small businesses to set up a 401(k) plan that meets their budget while satisfying employees’ needs?

EVOLVE uses a simple questionnaire to gather essential data that will help you setup your plan. The EVOLVE team provides guidance to make sure the plan is a good fit to your business. The simplified plan types that are offered by EVOLVE are designed to reduce operational burden on the employer. The easy-to-use website and app combined with low-cost investments help employees use the plan effectively.

What resources are available to help employees wisely invest in their future?

EVOLVE focuses on what matters. The platform is designed to assist employees making the two major decisions required for successful retirement outcome:

  • How much should I have?
  • How should I invest what I’m saving?

The platform has web-based tools that will guide employees in making these two key decisions. Keeping it simple helps keep cost low while helping employees make the right decisions. The EVOLVE platform can also automate the employee decisions with automatic enrollment and annual adjustments.

Is EVOLVE suitable for employers with complex needs or on a fast growth track?

Yes. EVOLVE is a solution, not a one-size-fits-all package. The EVOLVE team has experience working with a range of clients from startsups to publicly traded global companies. Reach out to us for free consultation at info@businesshealthtrust.com.

4 Ways to Protect Your Eyes from COVID-19

From our wellness partners at VSP Vision Care Inc.

Although Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new disease and experts are still learning how it spreads, touching a surface or object that has any virus or germs on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or possibly eyes can lead to infection.

Business Health Trust wellness partners VSP Vision Care Inc. has teamed up with Dr. Jennifer Tsai, OD, to answer a few questions about ways to protect your eyes during this outbreak.

Is it safe to wear contacts?

Yes, as of now and the most sanitary option is daily contacts.

The cardinal rule for staying healthy is to wash your hands often. The eyes are an entry point for germs, including viruses which makes washing your hands immediately before handling contacts especially important. This will also help keep the silicone hydrogel clean and free of unwelcome particles, like skin oils, dust, and harmful bacteria. The American Optometric Association recommends that you scrub your hands carefully and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, followed by hand drying with unused paper towels. This should occur before every contact lens insertion and removal. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

How do you clean your glasses?

COVID-19 can live on hard surfaces for 1-3 days. To sanitize glasses, fill a spray bottle with 3/4 alcohol (70% ethyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol), 1/4 water, and 2-3 drops of dish soap. Apply the solution and wipe any part of the frames that touch your face. This solution is only recommended for glasses without anti-reflective coating and not plastic lenses, as the alcohol can strip off the coating.

For most frames, adding a drop of soap to the surface and rubbing with your fingers will do a substantial job of removing any bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands first (to remove any oil) and don’t forget the nose pads!

To dry, shake off excess water and wipe with a microfiber cloth. Be mindful that using your shirt or paper could scratch the lenses. Microfibers can sometimes leave particles so if you don’t have a cloth, use a compressed air duster instead (like the one for your keyboard).

Is it safe to wear eyelash extensions?

It’s currently unclear but why risk it? Bacteria can live on hair and lashes for short amounts of time. Stick to mascara for now and be sure to sanitize your brushes and applicators regularly.

How do you clean makeup applicators?

Easy! Fill a spray bottle with 3/4 rubbing alcohol and 1/4 water, then apply to any brushes before every application. You can also use gentle shampoo periodically. Simply squirt a bit into a cup of warm water, then soak your sponges in the bubbly solution. Squeeze and rinse until the water runs clear. For brushes, swirl the tips in the water and shampoo, then in the palm of your hand to work up a lather. Next, run the bristles under warm water until there is no more product. Finally, lay all your brushes and sponges flat on a clean cloth to dry. Voila!

This article was reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Tsai, OD. Dr. Tsai practices optometry in New York City.

Information received through VSP Vision Care channels is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your eye doctor, physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Woman meditating next to smart phone.

Find Health in the New Year with Self-Help Apps

Business Health Trust members enrolled in medical from Kaiser Permanente now have access to two powerful apps that can help build resilience, set goals, and maintain health and emotional well-being in everyday situations and throughout challenging times. Calm and MyStrength® are evidence-based apps that are hand-picked by Kaiser Permanente physicians and are easy to use and confidential.

Calm app

Calm uses meditation and mindfulness to help lower stress, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality. Key features include:

  • Guided meditations
  • Soothing bedtime tales for grown-ups
  • Exclusive music tracks to aid focus, relaxation, and sleep
  • Master classes taught by well-known experts

MyStrength app

This app offers personalized programs designed to support mental, emotional, and overall well-being. MyStrength offers a broad range of programs focusing on:

  • Managing depression
  • Controlling anxiety and reducing stress
  • Supporting new parents
  • Aiding drug, alcohol, and nicotine recovery
  • Practicing mindfulness and meditation

Members can get the Calm and myStrength apps and explore more self-care resources at kp.org/wa/mhw. Many of Kaiser Permanente’s mental health and emotional well-being tools are available to anyone. Only Kaiser Permanente members can access the Calm and myStrength apps at no cost.

Stay Up-to-Date on COVID-19 Vaccine with 2 Partner Webinars Next Week

The COVID-19 vaccine is all over the news, but many questions remain.

Our Business Health Trust partners are ready with answers to help you navigate the next normal of COVID-19 at the following free webinars:

Kaiser Permanente: COVID-19 Vaccine Update and Mental Health Resources

Thursday, December 17, 2020
3 – 4 p.m.

Learn about the scientific realities of coronaviruses and COVID-19, control measures, the human impact, and Kaiser Permanente’s response, including:

  • COVID-19 updates and trends — Insights on the current state of the pandemic, including treatment and testing
  • Emerging vaccine developments — Relevant information regarding the development, FDA review, and distribution of recently approved COVID-19 vaccines
  • Mental health resources

Speakers are Dr. Lisa Jackson, Senior Investigator and Internist, and Jessica Sandhu, Flu Campaign Manager.

Seattle Chamber’s #WeGotThisWA Series: Update on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Thursday, December 17, 2020
11 a.m. to noon

Hear the latest on the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health – Seattle & King County. Francesca Holme, Flu Coordination Technical Specialist, will share the most recent COVID-19 data for King County and provide an update on the plans for vaccine rollout in the region.

The Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is the plan sponsor of Business Health Trust. Its ongoing #WeGotThisWA Webinar Series is designed to provide timely and accurate information and resources on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay Safe and Stay Open with Free Sanitizing Supply Kits for Small Businesses

Business Health Trust aims to be a resource to employers by providing affordable and comprehensive employee benefits. As our economy continues to open up, we want to ensure small businesses across our region have the supplies they need to keep their employees and customers healthy and safe this holiday season.

To support this goal, Business Health Trust has partnered with King County to offer Sanitizing Supply Kits at no cost to qualifying businesses in December. Each kit contains:

  • Hand sanitizer station with automatic dispenser and refill
  • Pump bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant approved by EPA to kill COVID-19
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Disposable masks
  • Posters and resources to promote employee safety

These will be provided on a first-come-first-served basis to businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Under 50 employees
  • Revenue is $2 million or below
  • Has a public-facing business where the primary service delivery is face-to-face in King County
  • Has experienced financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Has not received grant funds to purchase these items previously
  • Operates in the following industries
    • Retail and/or grocery
    • Tourism
    • Childcare facility
    • Personal services

To learn more, download the Stay Safe and Stay Open flyer. For additional resources, Business Health Trust has compiled a list of local PPE suppliers.

Get Fit at a Discount Through New Business Health Trust Partnership

Keeping members healthy and productive is our mission at Business Health Trust. In these uncertain and stressful times, that means we are continually adapting and enhancing our resources to better serve our employers and their employees.

As we head into a holiday season that is guaranteed to be like no other, Business Health Trust (BHT) wants to help motivate our members to make time for exercise through a new partnership with Fitness Together. With locations in Kirkland, Mercer Island and Madison Park, Fitness Together is offering the following services at a discounted rate to BHT members:

Personal Training (In-Person and Virtual)

One-on-one personal training with a certified personal trainer. Each session is tailored to your individual needs, taking into consideration medical history, movement history and goals. These sessions are offered virtually or at studio locations. BHT Member Cost: $75/session

Virtual Small-Group Training

30-minute virtual group classes led by degreed, certified trainers are offered several times per week. Join 10 to 15 other participants for a “boot camp”-style workout with exercise progressions to meet the needs and fitness levels of the group. BHT Member Cost: $10/session

Sign Up and Learn More

To sign up and for more information, please contact Steve Dempsey at stevedempsey@fitnesstogether.com or call 425-242-1782.

To share this resource, please download our flyer New Wellness Benefit from Fitness Together.

Learn more about Business Health Trust’s robust wellness benefits.

Virtual Care Appointment

BHT Introduces New Virtual Plus Plans Through Kaiser Permanente

With its focus on providing high-quality, affordable employee benefits, Business Health Trust is proud to announce the new Virtual Plus HMO plans available to members enrolled in medical through Kaiser Permanente.

Starting in 2021, the Business Health Trust Small-Group Program will include two new options that feature fully covered virtual care visits: Virtual Plus Silver and Virtual Plus Gold plans.

These unique plans are a good option for employees who want affordable care and the convenience of starting most care online. Available in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Kitsap and Thurston counties, the new Virtual Plus plans feature the following highlights:

  • Low monthly premiums.
  • No charge or referral needed for virtual care, first in-person primary care visit, and all preventive care.
  • Get virtual care through 24/7 Care Chat online messaging or nurse phone line, scheduled video visits and phone appointments, e-visits, or email for nonurgent questions.*
  • Virtual visits are with Kaiser Permanente doctors and clinicians — the same ones you’d find in our medical facilities.
  • Fill the first prescription for a new medication at an in-network pharmacy or mail order. Get most refills and maintenance medications through mail order. Delivery is free and usually takes 1 to 2 days.
  • Includes worldwide in-person emergency and urgent care coverage.
  • Care at Kaiser Permanente walk-in clinics is not considered urgent care and requires a referral in order to pay a lower out-of-pocket cost.

The Business Health Trust Small-Group Program is available to employers with up to 50 employees, offering scalable, competitive benefits for even the smallest companies. To learn more or to get a quote, contact info@businesshealthtrust.com or fill out our Request a Quote form.

*When appropriate and available.