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Artist uses her child’s teeth to create art performance


A Fine Art student is set to appear alongside comedian Richard Herring as part of a London performance and noise art festival, and she has used her child’s milk teeth as inspiration for her own art piece performance. Masters student Natalie Ramus, 32, decided to explore the way her child’s teeth were formed inside her own body and she is set to perform to the Tempting Failure festival crowd at Hackney Showrooms on July 28th.

Natalie has called the piece Teeth (of) My Children and she spoke to Walesonline about the performance, saying that she is ‘fascinated with not only the unravelling body, but also the body as a system of processes and also production.’ She explained that her performance explores how the baby teeth are formed inside her own body and how they then grew inside her child’s body. Natalie added that she is ‘interested in exploring this material through performative action, which will hopefully raise a dialogue surrounding the materiality of the body and also the body as a site of creation.’

Natalie, who comes from Nelson, Caerphilly, is mum to four children aged between six and twelve. Her solo performance will be filmed so that it can be assessed as part of her master’s degree.


Bristol child has sixteen milk teeth extracted due to decay


A four-year-old child from Bristol has had sixteen of her twenty milk teeth extracted because they were decaying; the girl, whose name has not been disclosed, was visiting the Charlotte Keel Centre in Easton for the first time when the extent of the problem was revealed. Her mother explained that she was initially concerned about the child having trouble eating but was aware that her teeth were not in a good state.

According to the Bristol Post, after examining her teeth, the dentist revealed that all but four of her baby teeth would have to be taken out because they were so badly decayed. The child was then referred to Bristol Dental Hospital for the treatment under general anaesthetic.

The case study is part of a council report which reveals that children living in deprived areas are more likely to suffer tooth decay and require fillings. The worst ward in Bristol is Ashley, with 127 out of 1,000 children being given fillings, despite the fact that the report labelled the problem ‘entirely preventable.’

The issue is due to be discussed at Bristol Health and Wellbeing Board this week.


Early taste for sugar could ruin children’s teeth in later life


According to a leading dentist at the Royal College of Surgeons parents are passing on a sweet tooth to their children when they are just babies and this could lead to life-long problems with tooth decay. Dr John Walsh, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the RCSI said that parents should not put sugary drinks in bottles because it could cause cavities in baby teeth.

Dr Walsh said ‘From the very start the child is getting a taste for sugar and it is perpetuated by them starting on supposed vitamin drinks in belief it is doing them good. They have a high sugar content, even those that are supposed to be ‘baby-kind’. Speaking at the ‘Current Controversies in Dental Practice’ hosted by the RCSI, Dr Walsh said that constantly bombarding children’s teeth with acidic products will lead to cavities and he added that children should only be given sweet products at mealtimes as this allows the saliva to neutralise acid and protect the teeth. He also advised ‘it is better to give them all at once rather than dividing them out.’

As well as swapping acidic treats for savoury snacks, Dr Walsh said that it would become difficult to wean children off sugar if they are exposed to it at a young age, for a prolonged period of time. Dr Walsh said ‘We still have a strong taste for sugar and it is difficult to overcome it. The promotion of drinks plays a major part in it. Parents are trying to be kind to their children but they are storing up problems for them.’

Wakefield boy grows two sets of teeth


An eight year old boy from Wakefield has earned the nickname ‘Jaws’ from his friends after developing a second row of teeth as his baby teeth did not fall out when they were supposed to. Zak Brown suffers with a condition called ‘paediatric shark teeth’, where the milk teeth do not fall out before the adult teeth start to come through.

Zak’s mum, Claire, 38, said that she first thought her sons teeth looked ‘really odd’ when the permanent teeth started to come through behind the baby ones. Although it might look strange, Zak has no problems eating and he is not in pain, he did however complain to his mother that his siblings were making money from the tooth fairy, whereas he was getting nothing. ‘He was gutted’ Claire explains, ‘He would try and wiggle his teeth to make them come out. He’s got used to it now.’

Zak is now on the waiting list to have his baby teeth extracted so that he can start orthodontic treatment, although his mum said that ‘there is now a good two or three year wait to see the orthodontist. We have been told we can go private if we chose but I imagine that may cost a lot of money. It is something I’d like to sort out sooner rather than later.’

Heidi Klum admits The Tooth Fairy costs her a fortune


Supermodel Heidi Klum has admitted in an interview with People magazine that she spends a ‘small fortune’ on her children when their baby teeth fall out, after she got it wrong from the start. The mother-of-four was asked about her children at an Operation Shower event for military mothers, and she talked about planning life around the kids, as well as handing over cash as The Tooth Fairy, when their milk teeth started to come out.

Klum, 40, told the publication, ‘Teeth are falling out, [but] the [kids] don’t mind it because they get money. I messed it up with the very first tooth that came out – I gave 20 dollars.’ The Project Runway host has four children; Leni, 9, Henry, 8, Johan, 7, and Lou, 4, which means that the cost of paying for the teeth certainly starts to add up. She went on to say ‘I had no idea. I thought 20 bucks was the right thing to do with the first tooth, but now with four kids and all of these teeth that are coming, it’s another small fortune.’

As well as keeping up with their dental health, the supermodel has to balance her career with family life; she added ‘I have to schedule and plan my life really well [so] that I have enough off days with my family. The weekends, for example, don’t work and I’m always home at the end of the day to have dinner and bath and bedtime.’

Helen Flanagan’s ‘obsessive’ dental hygiene leads to problems with her teeth


I’m A Celebrity contestant Helen Flanagan has admitted that she brushes her teeth more often than necessary and was surprised to find that this is actually doing more harm than good. Due to her smoking, the former Coronation Street actress is said to be ‘obsessed’ with keeping her teeth clean so that they don’t become yellow from the nicotine – apparently she brushes up to ten times a day, according to The Sun newspaper.

The 22-year-old always carries a toothbrush and toothpaste with her wherever she goes but does not attend regular dental appointments due to fear of the dentist; she tweeted last week ‘Just been to the dentist I dragged myself there been avoiding it for ages as I get too scared can’t bear it. And because im obsessed with brushing my teeth its made them too sensitive as I’ve attacked my enamel and I’ve still got two baby teeth. (sic)’

A source confirmed the news, telling The Sun; ‘Helen is paranoid. She is always scrubbing away – sometimes up to ten times a day. She was stunned to be told she’s causing more harm than good.’

The enamel on our teeth can be damaged by tooth paste that contains harsh abrasives – as many whitening products do – and Helen could be causing irreversible problems if she brushes too soon after eating as well – this is when the enamel is most vulnerable and can easily be worn down with over-brushing. To improve the shade of teeth, professional teeth whitening or dental veneers could be carried out which are far more effective than over-brushing.


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Children in Lincolnshire are not getting dental treatment early enough


According to a new poll taken in May this year, more than three quarters of parents in Lincolnshire do not take their children to the dentist until they are at least one year old; 8% of those asked admitted that they didn’t even make an appointment until their child was over four years old.

Additionally, 12% of parents said that they did not consider the health of baby teeth to be as important as that of the adult teeth, and a massive 62% revealed that they did not even start brushing their child’s teeth until they reached one year of age.

The poll, undertaken by UK Denplan – a leading dental payment plan specialist – said that the results were in line with the amount of tooth decay present in children under the age of five. Deputy chief dental officer for the company Dr Henry Clover said that the statistics made for shocking reading and were almost certainly related to the increase in tooth decay among children in the area, describing the problem as ‘a contributing factor.’

Dr Clover went on to add that ‘the average age a child gains their first tooth is around six months old. Despite this being their first set of teeth, the development and importance of the baby teeth should not be overlooked.’ He also recommended that children visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth starts to appear, adding that dental teams can help with advice and information about how to look after the child’s teeth at home.

Doctor removes patient’s teeth after she is admitted for leg surgery


Parents of a young hospital patient have made a complaint to the police after their daughter was admitted for leg surgery and came out of the operation with five of her teeth missing. Philip Morrison and Sonia McCrossan took their six-year-old daughter Sarah to the Sheffield Children’s Hospital to undergo treatment on her legs to make them stronger; she was scheduled for surgery to insert metal rods into them to combat a rare brittle bone disease that she developed in the womb.

As well as treating her legs, the surgeons decided to extract her baby teeth as they ‘posed a serious risk to Sarah’s airway’ and the Hospital maintains that her parents spoke to a clinician beforehand about this issue. Sarah’s parents, however, tell a different story and have informed the police about this incident; her father Philip described how his partner Sonia called in in ‘a very erratic state, crying and screaming’ after the surgery had been completed. He said ‘At that point I thought Sarah had died. I ran down to the recovery room where I first got a glimpse of Sarah with her mouth full of blood. The hospital is adamant that baby teeth were taken, but two of them were adult teeth; I know because I have the baby teeth at home.’

The family are now planning to move Sarah to another hospital, insisting that she won’t be attending any more appointments at the South Yorkshire facility, saying ‘Sarah has been going mad about the missing teeth. She keeps putting her tongue up there saying ‘they stole my teeth’.’

A spokesperson for the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust said ‘The care given to this patient was done in her best interest. We understand her parents have raised this as an issue with the police and we will keep them updated as we would with any incident.’

Five-year-old wins compensation after having 13 teeth pulled out


The mother of five-year-old Cameron Jackson said that her son is no longer keen to laugh or smile in public because ‘he’s scared that somebody’s going to say ‘why have you got no teeth?’, but hopefully a £9,000 pay-out from his dentist will put the smile back on his face.

Cameron went to a Leeds clinic in 2010 to have some rotten teeth removed aged just three, but his mother felt that the dentist should have spotted the decay earlier and saved her child some increasingly painful toothache. An out-of-court settlement was reached and the youngster will receive the money when he reaches the age of 18.

Dentist Dr Raymond Matloa did not admit liability for the loss of 13 milk teeth, despite the fact that Mrs Jackson maintains that she had always encouraged her son to brush his teeth and attended regular dental appointments. Cameron was on pain relief and according to his mother ‘would wake up screaming in the night’ as the toothache became more debilitating. Following the removal, Cameron’s condition has improved greatly and Mrs Jackson, 31, said that he was managing to adapt to life without teeth, commenting ‘Cameron’s doing really well and being very brave about the whole thing, which we’re very grateful for.’

The family’s Lawyer, Heather Williams, explained that the dentist was liable because ‘although it is baby teeth that Cameron has lost, it will still be a few years before his adult teeth come through.’

Child gets baby teeth banked for stem cells


Seven-year-old Becca Graham has become one of the first children in the UK to have her stem cells banked after getting two of her baby teeth extracted by her dentist father. Her parents decided to freeze Becca’s milk teeth so that she can benefit from medical advances in stem cell research in the future.

Mr Graham removed two wobbly baby teeth and collected the dental pulp –thought to be a great source for stem cells, which are often used to treat leukaemia and other diseases of the blood. He went on to explain that ‘There’s been an awful lot of research lately regarding stem cells and how to deliver them and use them to cure diseases; leukaemia, diabetes, and cancers. We had been looking for a way to store stem cells when Rebecca was born. We’d heard all about it and thought it was a good idea.’

Rebecca’s mother was also feeling positive about the decision, saying ‘I knew I wanted to keep her teeth to bank them because with the progress that science has made now, and the things that stem cells can do at the moment, who knows what it’s going to be like in 10 years, 20, or 30 thirty years.’

Despite the significance of her operation, it seems Becca is more concerned about how to deal with the tooth fairy, ‘I wrote a wee letter to her to explain and she sent me back £5,’ she explains.

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