Even though cribs are a necessity for infants and toddlers, good, safe, affordable ones can be very hard to come by for needy families.
Eastman Institute for Oral Health social work and pediatric dentistry staff recently participated at a local event to help address that problem. Eighty-five cribs, mattresses and crib sheets were given to pre-screened families through participating prenatal and parenting outreach programs. During the annual Safe Crib and Car Seat Project distribution, pregnant women were given the opportunity to learn about child safety and other issues including oral health and breast feeding.
Social Worker Lenora A. Colaruotolo, Oral Health Project Counselor, Elise Linke-Judge, social work intern Shannon Congdon, and pediatric dentistry residents Drs. Rachale Cohen and Jamie Greenspoon were on hand to help these soon-to-be moms understand the critical importance of good oral health for themselves and their babies.
Along with providing hygiene products, educational materials, and referral information for families without a dental home, EIOH professionals counseled the women on how brushing, flossing, eating healthy foods, and getting dental checkups and treatment will help keep them and their baby healthy. They also learned how they can best take care of their baby’s gums and teeth, along with giving their baby healthy foods, and taking their baby to the dentist by his or her first birthday.
“Families were very appreciative, and asked good questions,” Colaruotolo said, “they have a sincere interest in giving their children the best possible start in life and a healthy smile.”