When to spend and when to save: The scoop on health care products

By: Sep 16, 2013
health care products

From scales to thermometers, which health care products should you splurge on?

Some of those health care products that are declared by your mother and doctor to be a must-have can be expensive. But are they necessary?

Here are some of the health necessities that everyone needs with information on when to spend more or less. Learn what items you shouldn’t go cheap on and when to save your hard-earned money.

1. Thermometers

Your mother may have checked your temperature with an old school mercury and glass thermometer, which was difficult to read and risky to use. Today, thermometers are digital and can be read when applied to the ear or forehead. The under-the-tongue thermometers are less reliable, while the temporal artery or forehead thermometers provide the most accurate read. They are also extremely easy to use. For about $35, you can get an efficient thermometer that won’t break the bank.

2. Dental Floss

One of the most inexpensive ways to care for your teeth is to use dental floss. Dental floss shouldn’t cost you more than a couple of dollars. However, if you have tightly spaced teeth or old fillings that have expanded through the years, you may want to splurge an extra dollar or two and pick up the snag-resistant floss that won’t fray and get caught between your teeth. It’s worth the investment. Who wants to floss out the dental floss that gets caught between the teeth.

3. Scales

Bathroom scales can cost anywhere between $10 and $150, depending on how detailed you are about monitoring your weight. If you don’t need to know the readings at the 0.1-pound increment, than grab an inexpensive analog scale that uses a pointer needle to reflect the weight. Athletes and those serious about weight loss or management may choose a scale that is costly because the readings are highly accurate and detailed. Some scales in the $100 range even measure body-fat percentages.

4. Toothbrushes

Manual or power brushes? The choice is yours, according to the American Dental Association. Either kind works well to remove food particles and clean the teeth effectively. If you don’t have the money to spend on fancy power brushes, than stick to using a manual brush that doesn’t have hard or stiff bristles. Soft bristles actually clean the gum line more efficiently than those stiff bristles that make you bleed. Remember to replace your brush or bristle heads every three to four months as recommended by dentists.

5. Humidifiers

Mint-infused mists at a comfortable 80 degrees sound nice. But is it necessary? The short answer is no. A standard model humidifier usually has everything you need to keep moisture in the air. Considerations should be made when you have children or pets. Make sure the model is safe and doesn’t emit warm vapor due to burning risks if you have little kids. Since there is no data on the effectiveness of high mineral content in water used in the form of vapor, use your best judgment and select a model that suits your budget. Standard models run about $40.