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It’s Never Too Soon to Begin Proper Dental Hygiene

Dr. Bernice Teplitsky, DDS, PC, the owner of Wrigleyville Dental, has been in the dental field for 15 years and a dentist for six years. She recalls, “When my grandmother was a dentist in the Soviet Union, her version of children’s dentistry was drastically different than mine—children didn’t go to the dentist twice a year for a cleaning or checkups. My grandmother only saw her patients if something was really, really wrong. To make matters worse, most families didn’t have the luxury of owning a toothbrush or just didn’t think it was important. My own mother didn’t use her first toothbrush until first grade, and even then she didn’t know how to use it properly. Baby teeth were considered unimportant and most children were never taught how to take care of their teeth.”

Today, Teplitsky is a member of the American Dental Association, International Association of Oral Medicine and Toxicology and the Academy of General Dentistry, and sits on the board of the Holistic Dental Association. According to her, dentistry is changing, with more dentists focusing on preventive care, even in the early stages of life.

Teplitsky explains that while baby teeth are temporary, they have a big biological effect on permanent teeth. “Those ‘adult’ teeth tend to come in in a similar condition as the baby teeth that fell out before them,” she says. “Part of this has to do with natural development, but part of it has to do with adopting dental habits early. If the parent never impresses the importance of good dental care upon the child, they will never develop the habit of brushing and flossing their teeth.” She also notes, “The kids I treat often ask me, ‘Do I have to brush all of my teeth?’ to which I always reply, ‘You don’t have to brush all of them, just the ones you want to keep.’”

Wrigleyville Dental is located at 3256 N. Ashland, in Chicago. For more information, call 773-975-6666 or visit Wrigleyville Dental.





Teplitsky’s Dental Tips for Parents
Your child’s first trip to the dentist should be at around 1 year old or within six months after their first tooth.
• Wipe your baby’s teeth with wet gauze moistened with water after each feeding. This will keep the milk and sugar from remaining on their teeth and causing decay.
• Don’t let your child brush their own teeth until they are capable of tying their own shoes. Until then, they simply don’t have the coordination to do it well.
• Ask your child’s dentist how to properly floss and brush their teeth. That will be music to their ears.
• Be patient. It takes a while to develop good brushing habits, so start early.