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Dentistry for babies.

Dentistry For Babies

There are some areas of dentistry that constantly change, and there are other things you simple cannot tell people often enough.

One subject I like to repeat is dentistry for babies, because each day a new crop of expectant mothers emerges across this country. Each woman who is responsible for a new life needs to know how to ensure the best possible dental future for her child. These modern women and their "bundles of joy" are living in a fortunate era -- with care and preparation, today's children should experience very few of the childhood dental problems of the past.

Dental care should begin during pregnancy. A healthy mother means a healthy child, and proper prenatal nutrition is just as essential to the formation of teeth as it is to the formation of muscles, bones and brain cells. Many obstetricians now recommend that their pregnant patients take vitamins with flouride added. It can be shown that children who had this added protection in the womb have fewer cavities (dental caries) than children who did not.

Contrary to what some people have believed for ages, a baby in the uterus does not rob the calcium from the mother's teeth. Women can suffer dental problems during or after pregnancy because of a lack of adequate dental care or from dietary deficiencies caused by poor eating habits that started before the pregnancy. Pregnant women should see the dentist regularly, even during pregnancy.

Because of high-quality and easily accessible fluoride mouth rinses, toothpastes, and water systems, today's children are not nearly as susceptible to cavities as in the past. They are, however, much more at risk for sugar damage because of our general affluence and the powerful pull of the enormous quantities of snack foods and sweetened breakfast cereals. Even with fluoride vitamins during pregnancy, fluoride in the water system, and decay-preventing toothpastes, parents should still insist on regular and proper home care of children's teeth. Trips to the dentist starting about age three are essential for keeping the teeth for a lifetime.

Dental health does not begin to matter with the adult teeth -- it matters from the start, with the very first little white bud that lights up a baby's grin, and even before. Let your dentist help you learn about dentistry for babies, and give your offspring a big head start. If you do, chances are excellent that they will still be grinning with their own teeth at their great-grandchildren.
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Author:Hall, H.D.
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1989
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Next Article:Facial deformities and dentistry.

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