Douglas V. Janis, DDS

Tooth Tips for Kids

tooth tips for kids

The moment you’ve been anxiously awaiting for has finally arrived! Your baby’s first tooth! The first of many– these tiny teeth are important and play a key role in your child’s overall development. Thus, we’ve put together a few simple tips to set your child up for oral health success!

Start Them Early!

Did you know that you can start an oral hygiene routine for your baby even before their first teeth erupt? We recommend caring for your baby’s gums by taking a soft and moistened washcloth and gently massage their gums twice a day to wash away any bacteria from the gums. When the first teeth arrive, you can use a small specialized baby toothbrush with soft bristles with a rice sized amount of toothpaste to gently brush the erupted teeth.

Do it Together!

The old saying “monkey see, monkey do” is true in this case! As toddlers, children often mimic their parents. Have your child sit with you while you both brush your teeth, so they are able to see a proper technique for brushing. Children typically do not have the dexterity to properly brush their own teeth until they can tie their own shoes, so keep a close eye on your little one to make sure they are brushing properly!

Visit the Dentist!

Your child should pay their first visit to the dentist when their first tooth erupts (or by their first birthday). Starting visits to the dentist while your child is young will familiarize them with their dentist and allow them to establish a routine. As a result, they will be less likely to experience any dental fears or anxieties!

Healthy teeth can be achieved by following these simple tips and a trustworthy dentist! If you have questions about your baby’s teeth, give our office a call @ St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661!

How to Prep Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist

How to Prep Your Child for a Trip to the Dentist


Taking your children for routine visits to the dentist is essential for maintaining and promoting good oral health. Loud noises, unfamiliar people with scary masks prodding and poking weird looking tools into their mouths… From a child’s point of view, visiting the dentist can be quite daunting. Luckily for you, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can help prep your child for their next trip to the dentist:

• Read to your child: Take advantage of reading! Reading to your child about dentists or the tooth fairy is a great way to help them look at dentistry in a more fun and positive light. In fact, we recommend reading dental inspired stories right before heading on out the door. If there are no stories you can find about dentistry, use your imagination and make up your own! (Our go-to is letting them know that the dentist is the tooth fairy’s BFF!)

• Explain the importance of strong and healthy teeth: It’s no secret that children easily retain information (Raise your hand if you accidentally slipped and said something you shouldn’t have, only for them to repeat it like a parrot?! Oops!) Emphasize the importance of teeth and the role they play in the grand scheme of things. Highlight the fact that visiting the dentist ensures that their teeth will remain strong enough to chew the foods they love to eat (list their favorite foods).

• Set your child up for success: Similar to our last tip, children pick up on social cues (i.e. if you’re worried about the dentist, they will be too!). Avoid showing your child any kind of anxiety or fear you may have yourself. We also recommend positive reinforcement, like taking them to their favorite restaurant or getting some ice cream after the trip to the dentist, so they begin to associate the dentist with only positive things.

Next time you’re taking your child to the dentist, think of these tips to help ease not only their nerves, but yours too. Take the next step in keeping your child’s teeth in tip-top shape by giving us a call today at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661!

The 4-1-1 on Children And Cavities


the 411 on children and cavities

Let’s face it. The only thing worse than being told that you have a cavity is hearing that your child has one. Suddenly, you get filled with guilt. Is it my fault? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this? First, let’s take a few steps back and delve into how exactly cavities occur.

Cavities are formed from bacteria that, when left on the teeth, turns into plaque that leads to tooth decay. This type of decay is often formed due to the lack of proper oral hygiene after consuming food or drinks that are high in sugars and starches. If left untreated, cavities can lead to more severe damage that may result in tooth loss.

Depending on the stage of the cavity, your child may not express any symptoms at all. However as the cavity progresses, the soft tissues of the tooth will begin to decay, which is when your child will begin to experience more prevalent symptoms. Toothaches, abnormal sensitivity, and visible holes or discoloration, are the most common signs.

• Toothaches
– Toothaches are often the first sign that your child may be dealing with a cavity. They often consist of a sharp, constant, pain that accelerates when pressure is applied—so keep an eye out!
• Tooth sensitivity
– Another strong indicator that your child has a cavity is tooth sensitivity. This can be ignited when your child consumes something hot, cold, sweet, or even sour!
• Visible holes or discoloration
– One of the easiest, most apparent signs that your child has a cavity is a visible hole or tooth discoloration. Often times, an early cavity will leave a white spot on the tooth. However, as the cavity worsens, a visible hole will form.

As cliché as it may sound, the best way to prevent your child from getting a cavity is to take preemptive measures, such as practicing proper brushing and flossing techniques and taking regular visits to the dentist for dental cleanings.

Think your child has a cavity? Give us a call at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661 so your child can get back to showing off their happy, healthy, smile.

Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween


5 Dental Tips to Keep Your Teeth Intact This Halloween


Halloween is a time for fun, tricks, and best of all TREATS! It can be hard to avoid sweet temptations, especially with the amount of leftover candy that accumulates after the big day. While eating candy on Halloween is perfectly fine, it is important to have a game plan in order to not go overboard. Your teeth will thank you later.

1. Wait until a few days before Halloween to buy the candy!
One of the hardest parts of this time of year can be waiting until the day of Halloween to indulge in candy. You might find yourself sneaking into that bag of candy you bought ahead of time. Save some for the trick-or-treaters! To avoid the temptation, try buying the candy the day before Halloween, out of sight out of mind!

2. Eat Halloween treats shortly after mealtime.
When you are going to eat candy, get your fix with or shortly after a meal. According to the ADA, saliva production increases during meals. This can help cancel out the acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles. Eating candy post mealtime will help reduce the residue that causes tooth decay.

3. Avoid hard and or sticky candies.
Hard and sticky candies are the worst Halloween offenders. Hard and sticky candies can remain in your mouth for longer periods of time. How long a sugary treat stays in your mouth effects your oral health. The sticker the candy, the longer it will take for your saliva to wash away the sticky residue.

4. Brush twice a day.
It is extra important to make sure you’re brushing twice a day while consuming sugary treats, but this should be a rule of thumb you follow every day! Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes to ensure your teeth are taken care of.

5. Drink more water:
It’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water, especially when you are eating sugar. Fluoridated water helps fight cavities and prevent tooth decay!

While oral health should be taken seriously, you should always remember to have fun. Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions about how to have a healthy Halloween!

3 Tips on Keeping Your Toddler’s Teeth Healthy

There are a variety of ways to ensure that your toddler is taking the best care of their teeth and oral hygiene, starting with you. Taking the time to instill healthy habits at the earliest age possible will set your child’s smile up for success.

1. Start Early: The early bird catches the worm and, in this case, practicing oral hygiene early can prevent a numerous amount of issues. A child’s permanent teeth start developing around the age of six, but gum disease and decay can be preventable before the permanent teeth come in.

2. Create Healthy Habits: It’s important for parents to instill healthy dental hygiene habits within their children by practicing it together. When you incorporate brushing twice a day and flossing daily within your child’s routine, it will carry on throughout their adulthood. During these impressionable times it’s important for parents to encourage their kids to have a habit of brushing their teeth twice a day for two minutes, whether it is by incorporating a fun game, special toothpaste or bribery, as long as it gets the job done. Children mirror their parent’s behavior and attitude towards specific actions so make sure you are giving them a positive attitude to mirror.

3. Refrain From Giving Sugar: There are a variety of snacks and juices for toddlers that contain way too much sugar that can cause tooth decay. By refraining from giving these items as an option for your young children, you will save them from early exposure to decay and future dental health issues. Introducing healthier alternatives at the earlier stages of a child’s life can avert unhealthy eating habits as well as taking care of their baby and permanent teeth.

For more information on how to schedule your child’s next appointment call St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661.

Tips for an A+ Smile

A healthy school lunch will not only give your child the energy they need throughout their school day, it will keep their teeth healthy too! Below are some examples of healthy foods that will keep your kid smiling all day long!

PB&J’s! While a popular choice, often times sugary jellies and nut butters are not great for kid’s teeth. Try switching to a natural peanut butter, and a preserve or fruit jam (aim for 5grams or sugar or less per serving). Use whole wheat bread as a healthy alternative too!

Cheese Please! Cheese is high in calcium which is probably one of the most important nutrients for your teeth. It is absorbed by tooth enamel and help block bacteria growth. Without calcium, your kid’s teeth could be in big trouble! Cheese also has protein, which is not only important for the growth and development of children, it also keeps their muscles strong and healthy making for a stronger smile.

Snack-Attack! Apples are great to munch on, they are high in water which help to dilute the sugars they contain. When you are chewing, the saliva production helps protect against tooth decay, pairing this with a low sugar nut butter makes an excellent snack! Edamame beans are also a great option, they are rich in calcium and are fun to eat too! Just make sure to get a salt free version to avoid too much sodium.

We want water! Although it seems simple, water is MUST. Often times we give our kids way to much juice and not enough water, and studies have shown that juice is just as bad for you as soda! Kids should be drinking 5-10 glasses of water each day, so encourage them to hydrate by sending them to school with a reusable water bottle they can keep filling up.

If you have any questions about what types of smile friendly foods your child should be eating, feel free to call our office today!

3 Tips That Will Make the Tooth Fairy Proud

Often times it can be difficult to encourage your child to take their dental health seriously. Luckily, the legend of the tooth fairy is a great way to not only mark the loss of your child’s tooth, but also get the conversation started about good oral hygiene.

Here are some tooth fairy approved tips to get your child excited about good oral hygiene:

1. Plaque is the tooth fairy’s enemy!

Tell your child that plaque is the tooth fairy’s enemy, and that she visits children who have little to no plaque on their teeth. Brushing twice daily bans germs from your mouth, and defeats plaque making them a tooth saving hero!

2. Encourage visits to the tooth fairy’s “friend the dentist”.

Tell your children that the tooth fairy and your dentist are good friends. Every time your child visits the dentist, the tooth fairy knows and will be undoubtedly proud! If you can, let the dentist in on the story so they can play along!

3. Have the tooth fairy leave a fairy-sized letter for your kid
This is the time you can really praise your child for all their hard work taking care of their teeth. Have the tooth fairy compliment them with how impressed she was with the good shape that their tooth was in. This will inspire your child to keep up the good work, and they will aim to get another positive note from the tooth fairy in the future!

The most important notion behind the tooth fairy is starting the conversation about good oral hygiene with your children. Dental health can be hard for parents to discuss with their children. The tooth fairy not only is something relatable to children, but also it creates excitement surrounding good dental health. For more information about how to talk to your children about practicing good oral hygiene, call our office today!

Out with The Old, In with The New: Your Child’s Baby Teeth

We all remember that special moment of losing your very first tooth. The excitement and glee that builds up within you as you anticipate a visit from the tooth fairy! Now that you’re no longer the one anxiously awaiting your next visit from the tooth fairy, it’s time to keep an eye out on your children who are.

Children typically begin to lose their baby teeth when they reach five to six years of age, and typically lose their last baby tooth around 12 years of age. Baby teeth become loose and fall out as permanent adult teeth begin to dissolve the roots of the baby teeth. Losing baby teeth is an exciting time in your child’s life as they start to feel that they are turning into big kids.

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

As your child begins to feel their teeth ‘loosen’, encourage them to wiggle their tooth with their tongue. When the tooth is ready, it should fall out on its own with minimal discomfort and bleeding. Below, are a few things to keep in mind when your child is ready to lose their first tooth:

– Be sure that your child does not pull the tooth out before it is ready, it can cause the root to break and can lead to infection.
– When it is ready, remove the tooth with a clean finger or tissue.
– Once the tooth is removed, carefully rinse your child’s mouth with warm water to cleanse the area.
– The area may be sore for the first few days, so be sure to brush and floss gently around the area.
– Don’t forget about the Tooth Fairy! Your child will surely be expecting a visit from their fairy friend, and money under their pillow in the morning.

Now that your child has adult teeth, this is a great time to revisit the importance of brushing and flossing daily! It is also important to schedule regular dental visits to make sure that your child’s smile is both happy and healthy. If you find that you have questions about your child’s teeth, give our office a call at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661.

4 Snack Ideas for a Healthy Mouth

4 Healthy Snacks Good dental care for your children goes beyond just brushing and flossing. There is so much more you can do as a parent! Feeding them a good diet and providing healthy snack options can make a huge difference for maintaining a beautiful smile.

Foods that are low in fat and low in sugar are the kinds of snacks you want to focus on. Foods with high amounts of sugar and starchy foods like breads (which are high in carbohydrates, which break down into sugar) increase mouth bacteria that attack tooth enamel and demineralize teeth. These are some things to keep in mind when buying foods for your family.

Here are a few snack ideas that are good for your child’s teeth:
1. Low-fat yogurt with fruit. This is a perfect snack for your child. Let them pick out what flavor yogurt they want and fruit to make them feel like they made it themselves. It’s a good way to get them excited about their food.
2. Fresh Fruits. Fresh fruits are so easy to find, especially with all the local farmers markets available these days. Take your child with you and have them pick out their favorites – that way you know they will eat it when it comes to snack time.
3. Cheese and apples. This classic combo is a perfect snack for your little one. Cut them up ahead of time so it’s an easy grab and go.
4. Dips and Veggies. Whether you make your own dip or use hummus, this is a good way to show your child that they can have a tasty, but also healthy treat. Give them their favorite veggies, whole wheat pita triangles and let them snack away. This is a great alternative to chips and dips.

These are just 4 ideas among the many healthy snacks available for your child to eat. Starting your children on a healthy path by teaching them healthy habits now will be better for them in the long run. For more ideas on how to keep your child’s mouth healthy, contact our office today at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661!

Caring For Your Teething Baby

baby If you have noticed that your baby is irritable, drooling more than normal or has swollen gums, and is chewing on objects excessively, your baby may be teething. While some babies have no noticeable signs of teething, most babies show multiple symptoms. Read on for more information about caring for your teething baby.

What can I do for my teething baby?

Give your baby something cold to chew on such as a chilled rag or teething ring to help with discomfort by numbing the gums. Always be sure to give your baby things that will not be a choking hazard.

If Your Baby doesn’t Like Teething Rings

If your baby isn’t taking to a teething ring, you can try offering them chilled foods such as unsweetened applesauce or baby foods. These will have a similar effect of helping to numb your baby’s gums.

Keep them clean

Wipe your baby’s gums with a clean cloth after each meal to ensure that no bacteria irritate the gums further.

Rub, Rub, Rub

Use a clean finger to gently rub your baby’s gums. The soft pressure can help sooth aching gums.

Caring for Baby’s new teeth

As soon as the tooth fully erupts, you can start introducing your baby to tooth brushing. Use a soft bristled brush with water and gentle brushing motions. Starting your baby off early with brushing their teeth twice a day will help to develop good teeth-brushing habits. Once your baby has teeth that touch, you can start flossing their teeth.

Professional Care

It is important to take your baby to the dentist once their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday. By taking your child to the dentist while they are still young, they become familiar with the experience, leading to less anxiety for future dental visits. Call us today at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661 to get started on friendly, fun care!