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Since 1949, the American Dental Association has sponsored National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness for healthier teeth at home. We spoke with Dr. Scott Goldman of Northwest Chicago to compile a list of best oral hygiene practices at home with your child to ensure their brightest and healthiest smiles!
- Start early! Wipe off gums with a damp cloth after your infant has fed. Milk is sweet and this preventative measure can help your child’s teeth.
- Teach them to brush: “Parents should make brushing into a part of the daily routine, morning and night, two times a day,” says Dr. Goldman.
- Get creative in the bathroom: Use a timer that makes noise to encourage two minute brushing.
- Use a mild flavored, non-fluoride toothpaste until they are old enough to learn to spit it out.
- Stand behind them as they brush to help them learn properly.
- Never allow your child to sleep with a bottle in their mouth. If they need as a comfort measure to get to sleep, remove it as soon as they’ve fallen asleep.
- Choose nutritious snacks in place of snacks high in sugar.
- Do not allow your child to snack throughout the day; children who have scheduled eating times tend to get less cavities.
Follow these tips in addition to early childhood dental visits to prevent tooth decay and painful procedures. If you’d like to read how to prepare your child for their first dental visit, go here.
Dr. Scott Goldman attended the University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign for his undergraduate studies and the University of Illinois at Chicago for dental school. Following dental school, he completed a two year post-graduate specialty training program at the University of Illinois at Chicago pediatric dental program. His practice is limited to the treatment of infants, children, teens and those with special needs. In his spare time, Dr. Goldman is an avid hockey player and enjoys spending time with his wife and son.