Douglas V. Janis, DDS

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!

How You Can Prepare Your Child for the Dentist

Happy Visit, Happy KidTrips to the dentist can sometimes be an intimidating task for a child. However, as soon as you start seeing little teeth erupt in your child’s mouth (or by his or her first birthday at the latest), you should plan a trip to see us! Regular dental visits ensure that your child’s teeth will be well maintained and healthy. Caring for baby teeth is just as important as caring for adult teeth.

Follow our tips below to best prepare your child for a trip to the dentist!

Be a Good Role Model

If you present a good attitude about the dentist, your child will pick up on that and they will feel calmer when it’s their turn to go to the dentist. By contrast, if your child senses that you have anxiety or fears about the dentist, they will pick up on that and may feel similarly.

Know When to Bring Your Child In

The first trip to the dentist should be when their first tooth comes in, or on their first birthday – whichever comes first. Even if your child is older and you still haven’t set up a visit, it’s never too late! Regular trips to the dentist will help your child’s teeth stay healthy for life.

Make Caring for Your Teeth Fun

Taking care of teeth can be an enjoyable experience. Make brushing teeth a game with your child, or brush to a song and have a dance party! If your child associates positive experiences with teeth brushing, they will be more likely to participate in brushing and taking care of their teeth throughout their life.

You can definitely take steps to ensure that your child has a comfortable dental experience. Just follow these tips, and your child will have a great dental experience, as well as get a jumpstart on their oral health! Give us a call, and we can get your child all set up at our office.

Toothbrushing Tips for Toddlers

Little girl brushing her teeth

As a parent, you play a key role in your child’s oral health. It is important to practice proper oral hygiene while your child is still young. If you have a toddler, you know that brushing your child’s teeth can be tough. The trick is finding a way to make brushing their teeth enjoyable rather than a task. Below are tips and tricks for winning over even the most stubborn of kids.

Sing a Song
Make it fun! Play a short song while you brush your toddler’s teeth. By showing them that brushing their teeth can be fun, they will be less reluctant to brush. Even better, make up a fun dance to go alone with your tooth-brushing song!

Let them Pick the Brush and Paste
Get your child excited about brushing their teeth by letting them pick out their own toothbrush and tasty toothpaste. Having these in their favorite color or superhero will make them excited to use them.

Play a Game
If your child does not like singing songs, try playing a game with them as you brush their teeth. Try a game of Simon Says- Simon says brush in circles, Simon says brush back and forth.

Practice Makes Perfect
Let you child practice brushing teeth on their favorite stuffed animal or toy. Show them proper brushing technique by having them watch you brush.

Teaching your toddler proper oral health habits while they are young will set them up for healthy teeth in the future. For more tips or to schedule an appointment, call St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661.

Teens and TMJ

Teen holding her jaw in pain

Our practice is proud to offer teens a comfortable and trusting dental home where they can be assured that the doctors and staff understand their unique needs.Our doctors are trained to look at facial growth, tooth placement and relationships with the jaw, the need for braces, nutritional counseling, hygiene aids, preventive procedures and behavior modifications. With that said, we are always sure to screen your teen for TMJ.

What is TMJ you may ask?

TMJ disorders are muscular AND skeletal issues related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the joint that connects the bottom jaw to the skull. TMJ disorders (also called temporomandibular disorders, or TMD) can cause discomfort in the head, neck, jaw or face; problems chewing or biting; popping or clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth; and, occasionally, a jaw that can be locked open or locked shut. TMJ disorders can affect kids of any age, but are much more common in teens, especially girls.

Everyone has experienced some soreness or tightness in the jaw from time to time. Thankfully, they usually go away on their own within a day or so. However, occasionally this mysterious pain becomes worse – making it hard for your teen to smile, chew, or talk. When kids have symptoms like these, they’re likely to have developed a TMJ disorder, which may require treatment.

Causes of Teen TMJ

Often times your teen is under a lot of stress with school and extracurricular activities. This may lead them to grind or clench their teeth while sleeping – a huge factor in TMJ disorders. TMJ disorders also are more common in teens with other dental problems (like a bad bite), joint problems (like arthritis), muscle problems, or a history of trauma to the jaw or face (commonly seen in aggressive contact sports)!

What to do next?

If you think your child may be experiencing TMJ symptoms, call our office today at St. Charles Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661! Often times, we can advise you on some simple steps that you can do at home to alleviate pain and symptoms before the pain progresses.