Medicine: Emotions and Teeth

If a child gnaws on his rattle or chews his doll, if he crams his mouth with building blocks or paper, don't let him choke, but otherwise leave him alone. The mouth is an "important organ of investigation." Such was the advice Psychiatrist Alexander Reid Martin gave to dentists and public health specialists at a meeting on child dentistry in Manhattan last week. Parents who keep snatching things from their children's mouths not only prevent infants from exercising their jaws, but also cramp the development of personality, for a child's first "satisfactions and pleasures, his first hungers and frustrations" are centred...

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