Monday, January 31, 2011

Dental Health for Young Children #1

Those of you who were able to tune into WLDY’s talk-line show last Friday had the opportunity to learn a great deal about how to care for the teeth of young children. Dr. Nilesh Thakker, a dentist with the Marshfield Dental Center in Ladysmith and dental hygienist Paula Alexander were my guests on Talk Line. They shared helpful information about the oral health of young children. In the next few weeks in Bringing Up Baby, I hope to share the topics that they covered.
It is always useful to start at the very beginning. In our discussion about the teeth of young children, this means starting before pregnancy. When women care for themselves by eating nutritious foods, by taking care of their teeth by flossing and brushing, and by visiting the dentist regularly to insure no decay is occurring, they will insure that when they become pregnant, their child will have the very best start to life — and to healthy teeth — that they can provide.
Paula dispelled some common myths about pregnancy and tooth loss. It is not true that you lose a tooth for every pregnancy, nor is it true that the fetus takes the calcium from your teeth. This is false. The fetus receives nutrients including calcium from the foods the mother eats. Tooth loss is not due to pregnancy, but occurs because of tooth decay, plaque, and gum disease that started a long time before pregnancy. However during pregnancy, hormone changes can exacerbate some dental problems.
Both for the mother’s health and the newborn’s health, it is important for pregnant mothers to take good care of their teeth. Research links gum disease to premature birth and low birth weight. At any age, it is important to care for one’s teeth!
This Friday, the first Friday of February is Give Kids a Smile Day. Dentists are offering services to young children for free at various locations. In our area, you can go to the Chippewa Valley Technical College for a free check-up for your young child. You can meet Dr. Thakker there!
In the next few weeks we will continue our discussion on dental health, starting a discussion about what age you should start taking your child to the dentist and what to expect in those first visits.
Up through the ground, creep, creep, creep.
The sleepy little groundhog peek,peek,peeks
If he sees his shadow
and the sun is bright.
He jumps down his hole
and is out of sight.
Up through the ground, creep,creep, creep.
The sleepy little groundhog peek,peek,peeks
If there is no shadow
and the clouds hide the sun
He jumps out of his hole
and he’s ready for fun.

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