Q: What can new mothers living in poverty do about their dental health? Mary in Lake Worth
A: An important segment of the population, indeed! Without mothers, where would we be!?
Evidence suggests that most infants and young children acquire caries-causing bacteria from their mothers. Improving the oral health of expectant and new mothers and providing oral health counseling to promote healthy behaviors may reduce the transmission of such bacteria from mothers to infants and young children, thereby delaying the onset of caries.
Several communities in the USA have begun “Adopt-A-Mom” Programs where local dentists volunteer to adopt one mother in need after she has given birth, treating her dental issues for a two year period. The program was developed for mothers who have no dental insurance coverage and thus, limited access to dental care. Local endodontists volunteer their time and services to provide root canal therapy for children under the age of 18 that would have no choice but to have a permanent tooth extracted.
For more information, call the Dental Division of the County Health Department at 561-837-5557.
By: Dr. Mitchell Josephs