Eastport Health Care and Calais Regional Hospital Join Forces to Give Newborns a “GREAT START” for Dental Health

Eastport Health Care Inc. and Calais Regional Hospital have joined together to co-sponsor a program called “Get a Great Start,” a newborn dental health program.  

The program began with Eastport Health Care dental hygienist Sue Drew who saw a need to link the newborn dental needs with the “ Maine, From the First Tooth” program. 

“Get a Great Start” is funded by a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation.  

Many hospitals do not provide any take home materials or education for newborn dental needs. “Get a Great Start” offers all newborns born at CRH take home materials for dental needs such as Spiffies Cleaning and Teething Tooth wipes, which naturally both soothes inflamed gums and protects teeth from being infected with cavity causing bacteria and also a finger brush. Newborn parents also get to take home a complete guide to baby teeth health, and a referral form to be brought to the dental office of the parents’ choice when the child is ready. 

In addition, Calais Regional Medical Services pediatricians, Ann Simmons, M.D. and David Walter, M.D. will provide the dental kits to all their newborn patients who were not born at CRH.

“Children’s teeth are meant to last for a lifetime, and a healthy smile is important to a child’s self-esteem,” Drew said. “With proper early care, a balanced diet and regular dental visits, their teeth can remain healthy and strong.”  

It has become more apparent over the last decade that early intervention is needed to make a difference.   Getting a great start from birth for dental needs is innovative and likely to dramatically reduce the incidences of teeth problems for children in Washington County.  

“We here at Eastport Health Care are pleased that we can be a part of this program,” EHC CEO Holly Gartmayer-DeYoung said. “This was a collaborative effort with Calais Regional Hospital to reach out to all parents of newborns to help make a difference in their children’s dental health.”

For more information on this program contact Sue Drew, RDH, at 853-6001.