Baby and the Flu
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If your infant has a fever, runny nose, and feels sick, do you need a doctor? Should you get your newborn a flu shot? Watch this for details on your baby and the flu.
Transcript: Your infant will generally make it clear if she's sick-but how do you know if she has the FLU? One great...
Your infant will generally make it clear if she's sick-but how do you know if she has the FLU? One great indicator of influenza is symptoms that crop up quickly and often severely. A baby who has the flu will demonstrate fever, a lethargic attitude, appear fatigued, and may have less interest in nursing. Generally, chills and respiratory symptoms-like a runny nose and dry cough-also accompany the flu virus. Many infants suffering from the flu will experience vomiting, diarrhea, and a fever above 101 degrees. Another tip-off that the flu is at play is if your baby gets sick during flu season; generally from October to March. If you've done your research and feel that your child DOES have influenza, the best treatment is rest and PLENTY of fluids. For a baby younger than four months, that just means regular nursing or bottle feeding, while an older infant can also have a little water. And if your baby is over six months old, you can introduce her to a little fruit juice. You may find that giving your baby child acetaminophen relieves some discomfort. For babies older than 6 months, ibuprofen is also effective. Of course, you should ALWAYS check in with the doctor before you give your baby medication, although you don't necessarily need to visit his or her office. Because there is NO medicine that kills the influenza virus, and because treatment is simple, a doctor may suggest that you wait. A. There are medications that can shorten the duration and severity of flu symptoms, B. but you have to be seen by a doctor to obtain this. If, however, your baby has a fever ABOVE 101 degrees, or if a fever lasts longer than three days, it's important to contact your pediatrician. Similarly, call the doctor if your baby doesn't start to feel at least a little better in three to five days. This is important because-while most bouts of flu heal harmlessly-the virus CAN lead to serious consequences, like pneumonia. In the future, help prevent the flu by keeping both your infant's and your own hands clean. Of course, you should also keep your baby away from someone you know is sick. But because contagious adults may not show any symptoms, exposure to the flu virus is still possible! For this reason, consider taking your infant to the doctor for a flu shot. In fact, the CDC recommends an annual flu shot for ALL healthy people over six months, so fight the flu by getting the whole family vaccinated!More »
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Babies can't always tell you what hurts. From bruises and bumps to head injuries and lead poisoning, you've got to learn how to react in an emergency. Take the quiz to learn what to watch out for and how to treat the pain.
Last Modified: 2015-06-19 | Tags »
As babies develop their motor skills, they are more prone to cuts, bumps and bruises. Watch our video on first aid for babies to help you take care of your little one.
Transcript: Cuts and bruises and bumps, oh my! When your baby suffers a mild injury, you'll want to be prepared to...
Cuts and bruises and bumps, oh my! When your baby suffers a mild injury, you'll want to be prepared to help. One of the most common baby "ouchies" is a standard cut or scrape, often acquired during a mild run-in with the ground. If your baby is bleeding from such an injury, use a clean towel and apply firm pressure to the area for a few minutes. At this point, you'll want to check for dirt, glass, or other debris that may be embedded in the cut. Remove such objects by flushing the area with cool running water, or by gently using tweezers. Now, wash the wound with warm water and soap and finish up by patting it dry. Small cuts and scrapes heal best with exposure to the air, so if your baby's injury is mild, it's not necessary to bandage. If a cut is deeper, apply an antiseptic ointment, then use an ordinary adhesive bandage to gently pull the edges of skin together. Change your baby's bandage daily-or whenever it gets wet-until a scab has formed on the wound. While cuts like this are common, babies are just as likely to be bothered by bruises-blame their active lifestyles and exploring personalities! Most black and blue marks are not painful and will heal on their own within a week or two. If you suspect that your baby is bothered by a bruise, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply it to the area for 5-10 minutes. Your baby may resist this treatment, so try icing the area during a relaxing activity, like nursing. If a tumble results in a more serious injury, like a "goose egg" on the head, the ice pack treatment is also effective. But because a blow to the head can be serious, do a thorough check for injuries, and then keep a watchful eye on your baby for the next 24 hours. It is probably a good idea just to give the pediatrician a call whenever there is a head injury. If you notice signs of a serious problem, like: A large, soft area on the scalp, blood showing in the whites of the eyes, vomiting, unusual eye movement, or prolonged crying or a change in mental status... call your pediatrician, then take your infant immediately to the emergency room. Meanwhile, the pain of a more mild injury may be eased at home by offering your baby infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Talk to your doctor before you try this treatment, and also make an immediate appointment if your baby has a wound that will not stop bleeding, or one that looks very deep and jagged. A doctor's appointment is also necessary if a bruise doesn't fade in two weeks, or doesn't stop hurting in a few DAYS. Acting immediately and cautiously like this is vital, and may well prevent any long-term damage to your child.More »
Last Modified: 2014-04-24 | Tags »
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Baby ear infections, or acute otisis media, might be common, but they are a pain! Learn how to spot the signs, and what you can do to help.
Transcript: Listen up! Ear infections are LITERALLY a pain, and they're also the most common illness among infants....
Listen up! Ear infections are LITERALLY a pain, and they're also the most common illness among infants. If your baby is suffering from acute otisis media, more commonly known as an ear infection, he or she won't be shy about letting you know it! You may notice that your little one has suddenly become irritable, or is perhaps not as interested in eating. And sometimes, a mild fever or diarrhea may accompany an infection. So, if your baby is also tugging at those little ears, or if you notice a yellowish fluid draining from them, an ear infection is likely the cause. Painful infections like this occur when fluid builds up behind your baby's eardrum. Usually, fluid in this area is removed by the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the nose and throat. But when a child's Eustachian tube is blocked-often because of a cold or sinus infection-the fluid remains, and can become infected with bacteria. If you suspect that your child has an ear infection, schedule an appointment with the pediatrician, who will assess the severity of the infection, and may suggest putting your child on an antibiotic. But keep in mind that some 80% of ear infections clear up WITHOUT treatment, so your pediatrician may also recommend a "wait and see" approach. Whatever course of action you follow, you can help ease the pain of an earache by offering a dose of infant acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Applying a warm compass or ear drops to the infected ear may help, too. Remember that ear infections are rarely serious, but they CAN lead to complications like a ruptured eardrum or long-term hearing loss. Therefore, ALWAYS follow-up with your child's pediatrician post-infection-he or she will be "all ears" to any new developments!More »
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Even newborn babies can grow small pimples and show signs of acne. No need to worry, though-- it's not serious condition. Watch this video to learn about baby acne and it treatment.
Transcript: If you assumed your child wouldn't experience acne for AT LEAST another decade, then you might be surprised...
If you assumed your child wouldn't experience acne for AT LEAST another decade, then you might be surprised if pimples appear on your newborn's skin! In fact, baby acne is a common condition, affecting about 20% of newborns. It can often crop up within several weeks of birth; traditionally manifesting around 3 weeks of age. And male babies are more often affected than female babies. Just like adult acne, the baby variety is usually centered on the face-namely the cheeks, chin and forehead. And, like its grown-up counterpart, baby acne tends to APPEAR as small whiteheads surrounded by reddish, irritated-looking skin. Generally, an infant's "acne" looks much worse when he of she is crying or fussy, due to increased blood flow to the skin. But WHY do infants get acne? Babies usually develop neonatal acne because of stimulation of the baby's oil glands by lingering maternal hormones post-delivery. These hormones cross the placenta INTO your baby and after delivery, they cause the oil glands on the skin to form bumps that look like pimples. If, however, your baby's skin looks less pimply and more rashy or scaly, the condition may NOT be acne at all. Instead your baby may have another skin condition like cradle cap or eczema. And if your baby was born with tiny white bumps on his or her face, you're not necessarily dealing with acne, either. Those white bumps are most likely milia, a condition that occurs when dead skin gets trapped in miniscule pockets on your baby's skin. Like acne, milia is harmless, and will usually clear up on its own. But milia aside, if your infant has acne, a doctor's visit isn't usually necessary. Instead, patience is key, as the problem generally clears up WITHOUT treatment in just a few weeks. Knowing this, it's important NOT to put lotions or oils on your baby's acne, which can further irritate the condition. Instead, wash your baby's face once a day with warm water, and gently pat it dry. With this type of TLC, your little one should be looking forward to clearer skin in the very near future!More »
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Is your baby coughing or sneezing? She may have a cold. Here's help for treating a baby's cold with traditional medicines and easy home remedies.
Transcript: Most children average between five and ten colds a year, so it's smart to learn how to spot and soothe...
Most children average between five and ten colds a year, so it's smart to learn how to spot and soothe one! Often, an infant with a cold will get sick gradually, experiencing one new sickly symptom at a time. Cold symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and a runny nose with mucous ranging from thin and clear to thick and yellow. While a low-grade fever may accompany a cold, this symptom is usually short-lasting, and resolves on its own. To speed up the healing process, allow your child to get plenty of rest and lots of fluids. For infants younger than four months, this means breast milk or formula, while an infant over six months can also have juice. In addition to these remedies, cold-related congestion may be eased by putting a humidifier or vaporizer in your baby's room. Cool mist is best. A congested baby may also find relief if you elevate her head slightly while she sleeps. To do it, place a few towels or a slim pillow between the mattress and the crib springs. And because an infant can't blow her nose, you may want to use a rubber bulb syringe to clear out her nasal passages. This technique involves gently squirting saline drops up your baby's nostrils to loosen mucous... then with the bulb squeezed, re-insert it slightly into the nostril and let go of the bulb to aspirate all the mucous and saline. The syringe method is particularly effective if your baby is too stuffed-up to breathe comfortably or to nurse. While all of this can ease cold symptoms, one thing that DOESN'T help is cold medicine. Not only are these medications ineffective in children younger than six, they may make symptoms WORSE, and in fact, are considered potentially dangerous when used as combined symptom preparations. If you feel you MUST give your baby medicine, talk to her doctor about babyacetaminophen or ibuprofen. Still, a doctor's visit probably isn't necessary unless your baby has a fever above 101 degrees or hasn't improved within a week. While there is no foolproof way to cut out colds in the future, it CAN help to ask people to wash their hands before playing with your baby, and to remember to wash your hands as well! Additionally, while this might sound obvious, try to avoid contact with sick people. And breastfeed! Breastfed babies get sick less often than their formula fed peers because of the antibodies passed from you to your infant.More »
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Can your baby still get lead poisoning in this day and age? Find out more about lead poisoning in babies and kids by watching this video.
Transcript: Lead poisoning isn't a new concern, but it IS a complicated one. Lead, a metal found in trace amounts...
Lead poisoning isn't a new concern, but it IS a complicated one. Lead, a metal found in trace amounts in the Earth's crust, has historically been used in a number of household products. From paint to plumbing and water pipes to pottery to pencils, lead was once everywhere in the United States-until 1978. That was when the U.S. government formally banned the use of lead in house paint, as well as mandating the removal of lead in gasoline, and banned its use in children's toys. So, why were all these precautionary measures taken? Studies had begun to show that lead in a child's body could result in impaired hearing, stunted growth, anemia, and kidney damage. And with respect to cognitive function lead exposure was linked to learning disabilities, lowered IQ, and behavioral problems. Although lead has been removed from production of consumer goods and infrastructure, it has a long shelf life, and it is STILL possible for a baby to be exposed. An infant can get lead in his or her body by breathing lead dust, or by eating contaminated paint chips or dirt. A child who has a history of eating these things, a behavior called pica, should be suspected of having lead poisoning. Other sources of lead include: house paint, plumbing and water pipes, soil, older brass faucets or keys, old-fashioned pencils and dated furniture or toys. In other words, if your house was constructed before 1980, your child is much more likely to run into lead. Even the newest house, however, may be near a freeway or industrial center. The lead fumes emitted from these locations often result in contaminated soil. And if older water pipes are in use in your municipality, then the lead could be in the tap water. If you are concerned about this, you can send a sample from your faucet to test the levels of lead and other chemicals to make sure that your water is safe. It is a recommendation by the AAP that all children in the United States be screened for lead, and that most have a blood test to do so, at least once. In most cases, even an infant whose blood says that there has been some lead exposure won't require treatment. The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued policy statements on the management of children exposed to lead. Instead, the doctor will discuss possible sources of contamination, and will work on helping you remove them. This is effective because the body slowly eliminates accumulated lead once exposure ceases. To ensure that your infant is not exposed to the metal again, consider paying a professional to run a lead test. It's important to let an expert engage in this task, and NOT to trust in unreliable do-it-yourself testing kits. Consult with a professional, who may make suggestions such as: purchasing a certified lead-removal water filter. Taking these measures may sound simple, but they really work! In fact, since the late '70s, the percentage of Americans with significant lead in their blood has dropped from 78% to a mere 2%! So if you have any concerns, talk to your pediatrician!More »
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A baby's head is surprisingly hard, but a bump can cause a concussion or other serious injury. Find out which baby head injuries are minor -- and which need immediate medical attention.
Transcript: Whether your baby bumps into the coffee table or takes a tumble down the stairs, knowing how to react...
Whether your baby bumps into the coffee table or takes a tumble down the stairs, knowing how to react to a head injury is CRUCIAL. IMMEDIATELY after a bump or a fall, you'll want to assess your baby for outward injuries. Check for limbs that may appear misshapen or for a wound that won't stop bleeding. Both clearly require an IMMEDIATE trip to the emergency room. Similarly, if your baby has been knocked unconscious, call 911 IMMEDIATELY. These responses are innate and somewhat obvious for apparent external injuries, but sometimes a bad bump or fall may hurt your infant INTERNALLY. Even if your baby SEEMS fine after an accident, it's vital to keep a very close eye on your child for the next 48 hours. It is also a very good idea to give your pediatrician a call to at least discuss the injury, and perhaps be seen. Ideally, you'd observe your awake, alert child for at least the next eight hours, watching for signs of a possible skull fracture. These may include, but are not limited to a large, soft spot on the scalp, blood in the whites of the eyes, and pink fluid draining from the nose or ears. Also keep an eye out for a concussion, which can have a more subtle set of hallmarks. Concussions may manifest as unusual eye movements, trouble tracking, frequent vomiting, and excessive lethargy. An older baby with a concussion may also experience confusion and problems with coordination and communication. But if your baby is injured at bedtime, you won't be able to immediately observe your child for these waking signs of distress. Therefore, it's a good idea to watch your infant by waking your baby twice a night for the two nights following the accident. You'll want to be sure you CAN wake him, and that he's as alert as a sleepy baby can be! Despite the fact that most skull fractures and concussions heal on their own, this cautious observation is still important. That's because a SECOND blow to the head while the first is still healing CAN be quite dangerous, potentially resulting in brain damage. For this reason, you'll want to restrict your baby's play for the next several weeks, continuing to keep an extra watchful eye on your little one. And remember, too, to trust your instincts! Even if your baby SEEMS fine after a serious accident, you may feel that something is "off." That's when it's time to seek out a doctor's professional reassurance!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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Infants can get urinary tract infections, whether you have a baby boy or a baby girl. Learn the two key signs of a UTI, and what you need to know about baby urinary tract infections.
Transcript: If you're concerned that your baby may have a urinary tract infection, or bladder infection, here are...
If you're concerned that your baby may have a urinary tract infection, or bladder infection, here are some basic facts that may help. The urinary tract makes, transports, stores, and ultimately expels urine. There are four distinct parts to the urinary tract: the kidneys, which are the organs that make urine; the ureters, which are the tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder; the bladder, where urine is stored until the body is ready to expel it; and the urethra, which is the tube that carries urine out of the body from the bladder. When bacteria get into urine, they can create inflammation and infection in any of these places. This type of infection is known as a urinary tract infection, or UTI. Different terms are sometimes used to refer to these infections, depending on where the symptoms occur. For example, when something is called a bladder infection, it usually is a UTI which has localized symptoms in the bladder. About 8% of girls and 2% of boys will have a UTI during their childhood. UTI's occur more frequently in girls because their urethra is a different shape and length than a boys' urethra, and because the opening where they expel their urine is closer to the rectum, a likely source of bacteria. Commonly, the bacteria is spread when the poop gets trapped in the folds of the vagina surrounding the urethra, and the bacteria work their way up the short urethra, and into the urinary tract, causing a UTI. Girls in diapers are especially prone to such infections. The most common symptom of a UTI in a baby is fever with no other obvious symptoms. Other signs that your baby may have a urinary tract infection include: crying or any other indication that urinating is painful, urine that is cloudy, bloody, or smells unusual, refusal to eat, or vomiting. Bladder infections, if left untreated can quickly lead to kidney infections, and in severe cases, to bloodstream infections, in infants under six months of age. Fortunately, the treatment for UTI's is relatively straightforward - a liquid antibiotic, like amoxicillin, for simple infections without fever. However, if there is a fever, your child will likely require a few days of hospitalization for IV antibiotics. Remember that if your doctor does prescribe an antibiotic that your baby needs to take the full course, all the doses the doctor prescribes, even if she seems to be feeling better. UTIs are common in babies, and it's important to identify them early so that they can be treated effectively. If you are concerned that your baby might have one, call your pediatrician immediately!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-29 | Tags »
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Infant medication is very different from adult medication. Learn about proper dosage, label reading and more.
Transcript: A spoonful of sugar may work for Mary Poppins but there are better ways to make the medicine go down...
A spoonful of sugar may work for Mary Poppins but there are better ways to make the medicine go down for your baby. While no parent likes to think that their child may get sick, there are bound to be times when an infant requires medication. Before you dispense it though, it's vital that you have a detailed talk with your doctor or pharmacist, even if the medication is simply an over-the-counter variety. Learn when and how often you should give your infant the medication. Some medications need to be taken on a full stomach, while others should only be given to a hungry baby. Most importantly, ensure that you understand the correct doses to administer to your baby. Dosages for most medications are determined by weight, not age, so make sure you have the current measurement for your child. Even if you've given a particular drug to your child before, check back with your doctor. Your rapidly growing baby's needs may have changed. Once you know the correct dosage, measure it accurately using a instrument like an oral syringe. To do it, push the syringe's plunger down, and then put the tip into the medicine bottle. Pull back on the plunger until the liquid reaches the dosage mark prescribed by your doctor. Sometimes dosages come in ounces, and other times in millimeters, so make sure when you're measuring medication that you never try to convert the amounts in your head, as a mistake could result in a potentially deadly overdose. To administer the medicine, hold your baby in one arm, slightly elevated, and then place the dropper in the side of the mouth, gently squirting the medication between tongue and cheek. Never release the liquid directly into your baby's throat, as this may make your infant gag. If your baby tries to spit the medicine out, use your finger to pull his cheek open and leave it there until he swallows. Some doctors also recommend gently rubbing your baby's throat to encourage swallowing. Once your infant has taken the medication, check that the syringe is empty. If not, tap it lightly and administer the rest. If your infant actively resists medication, you may want to talk to your doctor about flavored varieties or dissolving strips. Or, if your baby is eating solids, you can ask if a tablet form is available. A tablet can be crushed and mixed into a little applesauce or yogurt. Never mix medication into a bottle of juice or milk, though. If your baby doesn't finish drinking, he won't receive the entire dose. Remember that you should never give your baby medication that has expired, or medicine formulated for adults, or that was prescribed for someone else. And always avoid aspirin, which, when your baby has a viral illness, has been shown to be associated with a potentially fatal disorder, Reye syndrome. If you have any questions or concerns about your baby's medication, always mention them to your doctor or pharmacist.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-02 | Tags »
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Dental Fluorosis can start from an early age. The initial signs are quite minimal, but they may result in white speckled teeth. Find out more about this here.
Transcript: Nobody likes yellow, stained teeth. But imagine obvious white specks on your teeth that can NEVER be...
Nobody likes yellow, stained teeth. But imagine obvious white specks on your teeth that can NEVER be brushed away.Those specks may be a condition called FLUOROSIS, where fluoride mineralizes on the outer layer of your teeth, damaging the enamel surface. In mild cases, it's nothing more than a whitish spot making the rest of the tooth look yellower in comparison. In more severe cases, mottling of the enamel leads to black and brown stains, and cracking and pitting of the teeth, making them MORE susceptible overall to cavities and tooth decay. Fluorosis FIRST develops in CHILDREN, between the ages of 1 and 4. -- BEFORE permanent teeth come in. Fluoride exposure is MOST critical at this time because permanent teeth are still developing. While the amount of fluoride that's added to water by city municipalities IS NOT a problem, some communities have higher concentrations of naturally occurring fluoride, that CAN cause MILD to moderate cases of fluorosis. The fluoride in toothpastes IS NOT an issue if not swallowed in large amounts. Plus, most children's toothpastes are fluoride- free. Past the age of 8, however, additional fluorosis is not USUALLY a risk. The EFFECTS of fluorosis are IRREVERSIBLE and preventive measures would have to be taken when the child was very young. If you want to get rid of those pesky specks, though, you've got options. Bleaching or even abrasion can take care of mild cases. Abrasion finely sands off the outer layer of stained enamel, leaving you speck-free. If your case is more severe, abrasion will take off too much enamel, which is why composite bonding and porcelain veneers may be a better bet. In composite bonding, the enamel is treated or etched with a mild acid so a composite resin can be bonded on to the tooth surface. With veneers, a ceramic SHELL is placed over the front of the tooth. Both look good initially, but while bonding is less EXPENSIVE than veneers, it tends to discolor over time and is considered less permanent.For more ways to make your smile look amazing, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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There are conflicting opinions about fluoride. Watch our video for more information about its uses and advantages.
Transcript: You might be confused about whether adding fluoride to drinking water or dental hygiene products is a...
You might be confused about whether adding fluoride to drinking water or dental hygiene products is a good or bad thing. Well, you're NOT alone. Health care professionals, and even local politicians, have been arguing over fluoride's virtues and vices for decades. So what's the debate all about? Here's a quick run down of the different points of view in the great fluoride debate.First, exactly what IS fluoride and why is it used to promote oral health?Fluoride is an element that occurs naturally in many foods, soil and water. In our bodies it has the unique ability to attract calcium, a building block of bones and teeth. It helps keep teeth cavity-free by making the tooth surface harder by actually remineralizing tooth enamel as it goes through its life cycle.That's why manufacturers add fluoride to products like mouthwashes and toothpastes, and municipalities put fluoride in the local water supply. According to the American Dental Association, fluoridation of municipal water supplies has REDUCED Americans' f tooth decay rate by 50 to 60 PERCENT over the last 60 years. But OPPONENTS of fluoridation point out that those statistics are not as impressive as they might seem at first glance. Recent analysis shows that communities NOT using fluoridated water have still seen an 18 to 40 percent reduction in rates of tooth decay during the same time span. The reason? The increased use of fluoridated toothpastes and the popularity of bottled waters. Because of the increase in these supplemental fluoride sources, those arguing AGAINST adding fluoride to drinking water say that people may be consuming too MUCH fluoride. And opponents are particularly concerned that it will harm children.You see, while topical fluoride is MOST useful for stopping decay in ADULT teeth, for children, particularly those 8 or younger, too high a concentration of ingested fluoride can actually trigger a condition called FLUOROSIS. Mild cases of fluorosis cause whitish spots to form on the enamel, making the rest of the tooth look yellowed in comparison. In more severe cases, where fluoride mineralizes on the outer layer of the teeth, you can get ugly discoloration, cracking, and pitting of the enamel. Ironically, this cracking and pitting exposes the dentin, the soft layer underneath the enamel, making the teeth MORE susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Some experts also worry that fluoridated water is harmful for the ELDERLY, people with calcium and magnesium deficiencies, and people with certain kidney diseases. These folks MAY be more susceptible to a painful bone disease called SKELETALl FLUOROSIS. And others argue that there's no TRUE way to know for sure just how much fluoride is being put into their water supplies.To find out how much fluoride is in your tap water, you can contact your local or state health department, or your local water supplier. The World Health Organization set a general concentration guideline of 1.5 miligram of fluoride per liter in drinking water to avoid adverse effects. In AMERICA the guidelines are even lower, 1 part per million which is about the same as 1.0 milligram per liter. This guideline was reduced recently by the Dept of Health and Human Services to reflect the realities of the additional fluorides that are present in the population's food and water intake. So if you're worried that you're getting too much fluoride, talk to your dentist to evaluate your fluoride levels.For more information on how to keep your teeth healthy and shining, check out other videos in this series.More »
Last Modified: 2013-08-29 | Tags »
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