FOR YOUR HEALTH – Maternal Health And Dental Health: How They’re Linked

(NAPSI)—Every step of the way, women, especially mothers, have a lot to juggle. While trying to conceive, being pregnant, raising children and going through menopause, their to-do lists are long. One important task which may not be the first to come to mind is maintaining good oral health.

“Oral health plays a role in all stages of life and it pops up often for mothers,” said Kyle Dosch, DDS, a licensed dentist who serves as Delta Dental of Washington’s dental director. “Demonstrating and teaching the importance of good oral health habits is critical to the overall health and well-being of you and your family.”

Pre-pregnancy

There is evidence to suggest a correlation between oral health and fertility. Women with periodontal disease took nearly seven months to conceive, whereas women without periodontal disease took only five months, on average.

Early Pregnancy

Many expectant mothers experience morning sickness and, as bothersome as it is to go through, it can also have negative effects on a woman’s oral health, particularly her teeth. Stomach acid can weaken tooth enamel, leading to greater risk for cavities. Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with water after vomiting to help wash away the acid. Choosing healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables, which can help clean bacteria off teeth, as well as plenty of water, are best for when pregnancy cravings kick in.

During Pregnancy: What To Do When You’re Brushing For Two

Up to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease. Periodontitis has been linked with having a negative effect on pregnancy, inducing premature birth or low birth weight of the baby. Regular dentist check-ups, brushing and flossing can help prevent this.

Postpartum

Mothers with tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their babies by doing such things as cleaning pacifiers in their own mouth. Rinsing with clean water is a safer way for mom to keep an eye on a baby’s oral health.

Motherhood

Children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities or oral health problems are three times more likely to have cavities. This can be due to poor education on oral health or from sharing drinks and utensils. This can transfer cavity-causing bacteria from a mom’s mouth to a child’s. Taking time to brush and floss each day together can help keep mom and kids on track for their oral health goals.

Perimenopause And Menopause

Teeth and gums are highly susceptible to hormonal changes which take place before and during menopause. Because of these hormonal changes, a woman’s body can have a harder time fighting off minor infections and maintaining a healthy balance between useful and harmful bacteria within the mouth and on the gums. These hormonal changes can also cause increased sensitivity for teeth.

Visiting the dentist regularly will help keep these risks at bay.

Learn More

For further information about your oral health, visit Delta Dental of Washington’s blog at www.deltadentalwa.com/blog.

LIFE ON THE PLAINS: A pictorial look at The Plains

Water St. looking north. Notice the row of tenement buildings on the right. Those were built on the river bank, and were supported by stilts. They were removed in the 1960s and 1970s. (photo courtesy of E. Roger Hallee)

by Roland D. Hallee

Water St. looking south. Beginning with Poissonnier’s Market in right foreground. The Maine Theater marquis can be seen in the middle of the photo. On the left is a home that is still there today. (photo courtesy of E. Roger Hallee)

The Hose 3 substation of the Waterville Fire Department was located across the street from the Second Baptist Church. The building remains, but is now a residence. (photo courtesy of E. Roger Hallee)

The Grove St. playground in the 1950s. The tenement building in the background, burned several years ago and is no longer there. (photo courtesy of E. Roger Hallee)

REVIEW POTPOURRI: Vivid memories of our first TV

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Vivid memories of our first TV

I have vivid 1950s memories of some very engaging shows that were syndicated to the five channels that came in on the television sets in East Vassalboro (I should add that we were the last family in the village to get a TV set – a bulky used Philco which my grandmother Annabelle Ingraham Cates purchased for $30 from our local repairman, Richard Dowe, who was based in South China, and it arrived in early November 1959. For myself, it was the equivalent of the Second Coming, heaven on earth.).

Upon arrival, the usual sibling spat; I wanted us to watch the Three Stooges, then part of the nightly Mighty 90 show, hosted by Maine country and western singer Ken McKenzie, from 5 to 6:30 p.m., on the Portland CBS affiliate WGAN, channel 13 Mondays through Fridays. The others were screaming for Popeye on the Portland NBC affiliate WCSH, channel 6. For some very mysterious reason, I got my way and the other siblings, previously unacquainted with the Three Stooges, were roaring with laughter and forgot all about Popeye.

In addition to the Three Stooges’ 20 minute episodes, the show would feature other 1930s-40s Columbia Screen Gems shorts starring such comedians as Hugh Herbert, Leon Errol, Andy Clyde. etc., each evening, interspersed with Cowboy Ken chatting with the children gathered in the studio.

Around Christmas, Santa Claus would answer letters from kids around the state; I wrote one and heard my name mentioned on the air, which led to feeling on cloud nine for at least a week.

One of the sponsors of the show was our own Farrington’s Clothing Outlet right here in South China and a very busy store during those years.

The last half hour was given over to an action show, one of five such series rotating weekly. They included the following: The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, starring British actor William Russell. The Adventures of Casey Jones, with Alan Hale Jr., later better known as the Skipper on Gilligan’s Island.

The Rough Riders, with Kent Taylor, Jan Merlin and Peter Whitney, itself a very gripping western dealing with three men who rode throughout the post-Civil War West dispensing justice to outlaws. I remember one episode in which Highway Patrol star Broderick Crawford did a guest appearance as a very evil murderer. Ivanhoe, starring Roger Moore, later, of course, 007 (James Bond) after Sean Connery.

The Buccaneers with Robert Shaw, who would later achieve even greater fame during the early ‘70s in the film classics, The Sting and Jaws.

Some more memories in the following weeks.

SCORES & OUTDOORS: The elusive pileated woodpecker, not to be confused with ivory-billed

pileated woodpecker (left), ivory-billed woodpecker (right)

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

You catch a fast-moving, swooping bird navigate through the thick forest of trees. It looks more like a shadow. What was that? It lands on the trunk of a nearby tree, and begins a slow, rolling whacking sound against the bark of that dead tree. You look closer, it’s a pileated woodpecker.

Although very common in the eastern United States, it can sometimes be quite elusive. You don’t generally see them often, because they prefer the protection of dense deciduous or coniferous forests.

The pileated woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus, lives in Canada from British Columbia east to Nova Scotia. It can be found in most areas of the eastern United States, and west from Washington state south to California and east to Idaho and North Dakota.

Their numbers have increased from 1966 to 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding popultion of 1.9 million with 67 percent living in the U.S. and 33 percent in Canada.

The reason for the subject of this bird this week is the numerous photos that readers have been sending to this newspaper.

I have seen several of these birds around camp, and even saw one, once, sitting on an apple tree stump in my backyard, in the middle of Waterville.

The pileated woodpecker is one of the biggest forest birds on the continent. It is close in size to the crow.

They drill distinctive rectangular-shaped holes in rotten wood to get at carpenter ants and other insects. They are loud with whinnying calls. They also drum on dead trees. There flight is undulated (a bounding motion) as opposed to other birds straight flight paths.

Besides carpenter ants, pileated woodpeckers like woodboring beetle larvae, termites and other insects such as flies, spruce budworm, caterpillars, cockroaches and grasshoppers. They will also eat wild fruits and nuts. However, ants comprise 40 percent of their diet. Occasionally, you will find a pileated woodpecker at backyard feeders for seeds or suet.

Building a nest is quite a construction project that can last up to six weeks. The male begins excavating the nest cavity and does most of the work. The entrance hole is oblong rather than the circular shape of most woodpecker holes. For the finishing touches, the bird climbs all the way into the hole and chips away at it from the inside. The female begins to contribute as the nest nears completion. The cavity depth can be from 10 to 24 inches.

Of course, then you have the disagreement on how to pronounce the name. Well, in actuality, it can be pronounced two ways. You can use he soft “i” as in pill-ee-ated, or the hard “i” in pile-ee-ated. So, now we should have no more arguments about that subject.

Many people, though, confuse the pileated woodpecker with the ivory-billed woodpecker. The ivory-billed woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America, other than the imperial woodpecker of Mexico, which is feared to be extinct. The pileated is the second largest. Because of habitat destruction and, to a lesser extent, hunting, the numbers of ivory-billed woodpeckers, Campephilus principalis, have dwindled to the point where it is uncertain whether any remain, though there have been reports that they have been seen again, in Florida and Arkansas, although nothing has been substantiated. According to various sources, including the Cornell University Lab on Ornithology, almost no forests today can maintain an ivory-billed woodpecker population. Ivory-billed woodpeckers were most prominent in the southeastern U.S.

So, if you see that large woodpecker in Maine woods, you are most probably seeing a pileated woodpecker.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Which Boston Red Sox player holds the club record for intentional walks, Wade Boggs, Carl Yastrzemski, or David Ortiz?

Answer can be found here.

FINANCIAL FOCUS – 529 plan: underused but valuable

submitted by Sasha Fitzpatrick

In just a few weeks, students will be heading off to college – and parents will be getting out their checkbooks. Without a college-bound student in your home right now, you might not be thinking much about tuition and other higher education expenses, but if you have young children, these costs may eventually be of concern – so how should you prepare for them?

It’s never too soon to start saving and investing. Unfortunately, many people think that they have a lot of “catching up” to do. In fact, nearly half of Americans say they don’t feel like they’re saving enough to cover future education expenses, according to a 2022 survey conducted by financial services firm Edward Jones with Morning Consult, a global research company.

Of course, it’s not always easy to set aside money for college when you’re already dealing with the high cost of living, and, at the same time, trying to save and invest for retirement. Still, even if you can only devote relatively modest amounts for your children’s education, these contributions can add up over time. But where should you put your money?

Personal savings accounts are the top vehicle Americans are using for their education funding strategies, according to the Edward Jones/Morning Consult survey. But there are other options, one of which is a 529 plan, which may offer more attractive features, including the following:

Possible tax benefits – If you invest in a 529 education savings plan, your earnings can grow federally income tax-free, provided the money is used for qualified education expenses. (Withdrawals not used for these expenses will generally incur taxes and penalties on investment earnings.) If you invest in your own state’s 529 plan, you may receive state tax benefits, too, depending on the state.

Flexibility in naming the beneficiary – As the owner of the 529 plan, you can name anyone you want as the beneficiary. You can also change the beneficiary. If your eldest child foregoes college, you can name a younger sibling or another eligible relative.
Support for non-college programs – Even if your children don’t want to go to college, it doesn’t mean they’re uninterested in any type of postsecondary education or training. And a 529 plan can pay for qualified expenses at trade or vocational schools, including apprenticeship programs registered with the U.S. Department of Labor.

Payment of student loans – A 529 plan can help pay off federal or private student loans, within limits.

Keep in mind that state-by-state tax treatment varies for different uses of 529 plans, so you’ll want to consult with your tax professional before putting a plan in place.

Despite these and other benefits, 529 plans are greatly under-utilized. Only about 40% of Americans even recognize the 529 plan as an education savings tool, and only 13 percent are actually using it, again according to the Edward Jones/Morning Consult study.

But as the cost of college and other postsecondary programs continues to rise, it will become even more important for parents to find effective ways to save for their children’s future education expenses. So, consider how a 529 plan can help you and your family. And the sooner you get started, the better.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

Investors should understand the risks involved of owning investments. The value of investments fluctuates and investors can lose some or all of their principal.

GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: Stay in touch with customers

Growing your businessby Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

Sure, you see your customers all the time. You see them when you do their landscaping or when they come into your restaurant for a meal, or when they come in for their monthly spa treatment, or when they call you to set up the annual snow removal arrangements. I know that you see that at those times, but what about the rest of the time?

It is always important to stay in touch with your customers even when you are not actually providing them services or products.

Whether you own a hardware store, or a dry cleaning business, or a restaurant, it is important to stay in front of your customers, even when you are not in front of them.

Now, I am not suggesting anything as obnoxious as calling them up once in a while, nobody wants to make that call or especially, to receive that call.

But there are many other ways to stay in touch with your customers. What we call “soft touches”

First of all, there is always advertising in local newspapers like this one. The rates are very economical; and the readership is local enough so that if you are a local small business, you are advertising to your customer base. Advertising locally is a very good way to stay in front of your customers.

The monthly newsletter is one of the best ways to stay in front of your current customers, but even better, it is a way to reach out to new potential customers. By using inexpensive software like Constant Contact, you can easily compile a list of your customers, as well as some target customers.

Create an attractive template and then send one out once a month. It does not have to be long. In fact, it should not be too long. The newsletter can be made up of a message from you, the owner, some tips about your product or service.

If you are a landscaper you can provide some short seasonal tips on what has to be done to your lawn at this time of the year. If you own a restaurant, you can give out some recipes, or better yet, highlight some new tempting dishes you are offering this month.

The newsletter can also provide some special discount coupons to urge your customers to use your services during that month. You can also provide a little humor: a tasteful anecdote or joke and maybe even a quiz or trivia question. The key is to make the newsletter pleasant and attractive enough that people will look forward to receiving and opening in when it shows up in their email box.

One of the keys to s successful newsletter is to have an ever growing list of current and potential customers. With your current customers ask them to sign up for your newsletters. Offer them incentives like “Valuable Special Discounts” just for signing up. Don’t push, be subtle and friendly about it, make it fun and appealing. Put a sign up email address in your advertising if you advertise, put it on your flyers and your invoices.

The more people who consistently open and read your newsletter the more potential customers your will have. And that’s a perfect way to stay in touch and, yes, to grow your business.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Peanuts Deliver Good Food Fast

Peanuts deliver a plethora of health benefits and this delicious ramen dish incorporates both peanuts and peanut butter.

(NAPSI)—Life today often seems to be in overdrive, leading many Americans to make snack and meal decisions quickly without really thinking about the nutritional makeup of what they’re consuming—but it doesn’t have to be that way. 

 Think Twice

“Being mindful about what you eat each day can have a significant impact on so many aspects of your life. Food choices can influence your mood, energy level, cognition and memory, as well as your overall health and well-

being,” says Samara Sterling, Ph.D., director of research for The Peanut Institute. 

 Unfortunately, most “fast food” is overly processed and relies on sugar, salt and saturated fat to make it taste good in the moment, but it can end up having detrimental effects down the road and may even increase the risk for certain cancers. 

 Food As Medicine

Peanuts and peanut butter, on the other hand, are convenient and healthy superfood choices that satisfy immediate hunger while delivering lifelong benefits. 

 According to numerous research studies, regular consumption of peanuts has been shown to: reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk by 70%; reduce diabetes risk by 53% and cardiovascular disease risk by 13%; and aid memory, cognitive function and concentration. Daily consumption can even help reduce anxiety and depression.

“Peanuts deliver such a plethora of benefits. A single serving of peanuts, which is about a handful, is packed with 19 vitamins and minerals and contains seven grams of plant-based protein,” adds Sterling.

The Science

The benefits of plant-based protein are becoming more and more apparent. Research that compared nuts and legumes to animal protein showed higher intake from meat was associated with increased mortality risk. Another study found that replacing animal-based protein with plant-based protein can substantially lower the likelihood of developing diabetes. Finally, an interesting study of older adults found that faster walking speed was associated with a higher intake of plant protein, while slower walking speed was associated with greater animal protein intake. 

 To easily incorporate peanuts and peanut butter into a busy schedule, check out The Peanut Institute’s collection of simple yet tasty recipes.

Learn More

For other recipes and further information, visit www.peanutinstitute.com or follow The Peanut Institute on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

• The Peanut Institute is a non-profit organization supporting nutrition research and developing educational programs to encourage healthful lifestyles that include peanuts and peanut products. It pursues its mission through research programs, educational initiatives and the promotion of healthful lifestyles.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Some thoughts

by Debbie Walker

I found a few tidbits of information I thought you might be interested in:

You know those little gel packets we find in some prescriptions and other things needing to keep the moisture. Well …. They can be reused to keep moisture out of your papers or photographs. I won’t be throwing them away anymore.

Did you ever wish you had a knife sharpener and swear you are going to get one when you go out next? In the meantime you can turn a ceramic mug upside down and hone the knife with that. They have an unglazed ring under the ring. Hold the blade at a 45 degree angle against the ring and pull across a few times. It’s nice to have ways to just get us by.

I never heard of using cream of tartar, one of our best bleaching agents. It will lift stains from almost anything. Mix a few tablespoons with hot water or peroxide. Let me know what you think of it.

I keep thinking about all the people that visited me while in Maine. One of the neatest things was getting together as a small reunion of the “girls” from the neighborhood. They have been living fairly close but life got in the way of keeping up with each other so we had a reunion at the cottage. It was so nice to hear everyone catching up on each others lives, swapping phone numbers and making plans to stay connected. I was really pleased to watch the action.

This is for Roland and anyone else interested: One day at the cottage I heard noises just under the deck. I looked over the side and saw kittens. What’s wrong with their faces? Didn’t look anything like any other breed of kitten’s face. They went back under the deck. Later that afternoon this showed up at the flowerbed: hopefully I will get a picture added here for you all:

I am going to finish now so there will be room. I know what it is. Do you?

Thanks for reading. See you next week! Comment or questions to DebbieWalker@townline.org.

PLATTER PERSPECTIVE: Christina Rossetti

Christina Rosetti

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti (1830-1894) has in recent years become my favorite poet. She wrote with a spiritually transcendent perspective born out of her love of the Creator, of her involvement in the Anglican Church, of her fascination with nature and of her acute awareness that life in this world is very brief. Her favorite poets included Dante, Keats and Tennyson.

As a child, she dictated her first story to her mother before she learned to write.

Her life was plagued by bouts of depression, by loneliness as the youngest child and by the breakups of engagements to three different men.

Christina’s deep religious faith sparked her relief work on behalf of prostitutes, unwed mothers, women in prison and the rescue of young girls from sexual exploitation; she also opposed slavery and the use of animals in medical research.

She often modeled for her brother, the poet/artist/leader of the pre-Raphaelite movement, Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) and, when he took ill, moved back into the family home to take care of him until he died. But her own reverent lifestyle was radically different from his hedonistic one and that of the artists he associated with.
Christina’s most famous book is the long story poem Goblin Market, a parable on good and evil in its depiction of two sisters and their struggles with temptation. It was the basis for an off-Broadway musical 30 years ago.

One poem, A Summer Wish, is a sublime example of her literary artistry:

Live all thy sweet life through,
Sweet Rose, dew-sprent,
Drop down thine evening dew
To gather it anew
When day is bright:
I fancy thou was meant
Chiefly to give delight.

Sing in the silent sky,
Glad soaring bird;
Sing out thy notes on high
To sunbeams straying by
Or passing cloud;
Heedless if thou art heard
Sing thy full song aloud.

Oh that it were with me
As with the flower;
Blooming on its own tree
For butterfly and bee
Its summer morns:
That I might bloom mine hour
A rose in spite of thorns.

Oh that thy work were done
As birds that soar
Rejoicing in the sun:
That when my time is run
And daylight to,
I so might rest once more
Cool with refreshing dew.

Christina was considered by many the heir apparent to Elizabeth Barrett Browning as England’s finest woman poet, upon the latter’s death in 1861. She developed breast cancer in 1893 and died December 29, 1894, at the age of 64.

VETERANS CORNER: VA campus in a turmoil

Veterans Administration facility at Togus. (Internet photo)

by Gary Kennedy

These past couple of years have been very problematic, depressing and a terrible weight on the shoulders of the American people. I personally have had a difficult time of it, but even more so for our veterans. My phone rings every day and most of the time it’s not for pleasant reasons. It’s usually because a veteran is in trouble.

I have given almost a half century trying to help veterans find peace either medically or emotionally. It hasn’t been easy but those who have given so much are worth every minute I can give.

The Veterans Administration has now been placed on time limits with vets. If you are allowed 20 minutes, then you have stolen five. The advent of the time limit with veteran interviews has service organizations doing the same thing. Walk through the corridor where all the service organizations are located and you will find five in a row have their doors closed, that’s all of them. Those hallways were busy with veterans and employees just two years ago. Strange but if you continue on you will find the store is open, the cafeteria is open and even the satellite Starbucks is open.

If you continue on you will see the door leading to the gym and swimming pool. Veteran access is denied even though they were built to service the veteran both for severely disabled veteran’s recreation and also for the much needed physical therapy that many vets including myself need to heal our bodies. Even though some of us were given letters from our V.A. doctors requesting the use of the gym and pool for medical reasons, we are denied. I hear this complaint often. One excuse is no life guard. Well, of course, to have a life guard you need to do some research and be willing to pay for that service. If MacDonald can pay $15-17 per hour why can’t VA? One of the problems is the administration is for the most part not veterans, are not in pain and don’t realize what their jobs entail. The pool and gym are isolated from administration and the medical theatre.

Recently, I saw a couple of guys going through the corridor that connects all building with gym bags over their shoulders. I followed in my wheelchair and they went to the gym. I later asked another about that access and he told me that administration was renting out the gym to employees for, I believe, $45. Two years we vets have been waiting to get back in the pool and gym, some of us with spinal injuries and this is what they do to us. How can I any longer look a vet in the eyes, allowing what I know, and say its Covid?

The V.A. campus is in turmoil and is a mess. Two years ago construction was to begin on the new building, “Community Living”. All the equipment and trailers full of supplies were delivered and dropped off on the lawn, what a mess. To look busy a small amount of tarring was done, staging put up but a minimal amount of work has been performed. I was told that the money wasn’t here. Four great construction months have gone by with almost nothing being built. Veterans and employees aren’t stupid. Don’t assume we are.

A couple of years ago we had great support from Washington, but now, nothing. Vets are being farmed out, bills aren’t being paid and veteran services have fallen by the wayside. The powers that be have let us down. They are too busy practicing judicial formats which they have no business doing. The vets are saying our country is falling apart and we who have seen the worse now fear even worse. These are feelings generated by vets regarding what they see and feel.

They are hurting and the enemy is at our back door. Vets know and feel these things. Some veterans are even being forced to pay bills which according to Optum they were not supposed to accrue. In my next column I will explain how and how much these bills we accrue from outside vendors are paid. Then you will understand what is happening and why.

Be patient my friends and fellow veterans, help is on the way. Stay safe and God Bless.

The views of the author of this column are not necessarily those of The Town Line newspaper, its staff and board of directors.