Douglas V. Janis, DDS

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 Geneva 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 Geneva 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 Geneva 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 Geneva 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 Geneva 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.

Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

 child holding toothbrush

A trip to the dentist can be a scary and daunting task for your child, with new smells and sights, and someone they don’t know looking at their teeth. The first visit to the dentist could set the precedent for how your child views the dentist in the future, so that’s why it’s important to follow these tips to ensure your child has a comfortable and relaxing experience.

Set the Tone

Your child will get as excited as you are for the dental visit, that’s why it’s important to convey emotions you would like your child to perceive – such as a calm and relaxed demeanor. If you have a dental phobia, try to hide it from your child as they could pick up on it and become unnecessarily scared of the dentist. It is also important to stress dental hygiene’s importance prior to the visit, such as brushing with your child and making it a fun activity by singing songs or making it a game!

Choosing a Dental Office

Choosing the right dental office for your child is important, because you want to make sure they will feel comfortable in the environment they’re in. Scope out dental offices around you – visit their website to take an online tour, or visit the dental office prior to bringing your child in. If you feel confident with the dental office, your child will pick up on that and will have a better visit. Consider visiting a pediatric dentist! Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of additional training in working with children, and most of their patients are children.

When Should I Bring My Child In?

Great question! We recommend that you bring your child as soon as their first tooth erupts, or on their first birthday – whichever comes first! Bringing your child in early will ensure that they receive proper dental care and starts your child on the path to a healthy smile.

If you have any addition questions, we would love to answer them – please call us at Geneva Office Phone Number (630) 232-6661!

Healthy Snacks for Healthy Smiles

Picture of a healthy snackAs a parent, juggling life can be a little hectic sometimes. With work, kids, back to school nights, sleepovers, and much more, finding time to pack healthy snacks is difficult. It can be tempting to throw a packaged snack in your little one’s lunch box to save some time in the morning, but more often than not, those pre-packaged snacks contain high amounts of sugar. Here are a few healthy snack suggestions that your child will love and that also promote a healthy smile.

Nuts

Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, which help to build a strong body. Chewing nuts promotes the production of saliva, which naturally washes away leftover debris on and in between your teeth, as well as acid buildup, which can lead to cavities. Nuts can be a great alternative to salty snacks, such as potato chips, that your kids crave!

Cheese

As we know, cheese is rich in calcium, which promotes strong teeth. What you might not know, is that cheese is also rich in a protein called casein, which strengthens tooth enamel and ultimately prevents cavities. Try adding a string cheese to your child’s lunch, which will provide them with calcium and casein, and are also simply fun to eat!

Apples

Apples are one of the best snacks to give your children. They are a very high fiber food, which also naturally clean your teeth as you chew them! The skin of the apple especially helps to scrub your teeth, gums, and tongue as you eat them. This helps to fight plaque buildup, and also helps remove surface stains. Since apples help scrub away plaque and residue from the back of the tongue, they also help to eliminate bad breath. If your children are craving something sweet in their lunches, try apple slices. We suggest leaving the skin on so that they may reap all of the benefits.

For more information on tooth-healthy foods for kids, please call us at (630) 232-6661.

Halloween Treats and Your Child’s Teeth

Halloween is almost upon us! And while we know that there will never be a time when you can avoid Halloween candy completely, there is a way to make sure all that sugar doesn’t hurt your little one’s teeth! In addition to brushing, flossing and dental visits, here is a run down of some of the best (and worst) candies for your teeth:

Picture of halloween candy in a pumpkin

Enjoy in Moderation:

Chewing Gum One of the safest candies for your child to enjoy is gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which naturally rinses the mouth and teeth and keeps plaque-causing bacteria under control. Whenever possible, choose all natural, sugar-free gum that has been approved by the ADA. Limiting the sugar intake from gum will lessen the amount of sugar that is left on your child’s teeth, which will lessen their chance of tooth decay and cavities.

Chocolate
Chocolate is a better choice than many candies for your teeth as it melts in the warmth of your mouth and therefore can be washed away easier.

Try to Avoid:

Hard Candy
Hard candies and lollipops linger in your child’s mouth, which can expose your child to the most dental damage out of all of the sweet treats. Not only is there a higher chance of cracking a tooth, but there is also a risk of prolonged acid attacks, which could lead to tooth decay. Whenever possible, swap out sugar filled hard candies for sugar free hard candies. If you can’t swap

out all of the sugar, try having your child take sips of water as they’re eating the hard candy. This way the water can help to prevent sugar and acid from sticking to the teeth and causing decay or cavities. Once they are done, make sure they follow up with a thorough teeth and tongue brushing to scrub away any remaining sugars!

Sticky Candies
While sticky candies, such as gummy worms or caramels, are one of our personal favorites, they have a tendency to stick to your child’s teeth. To reduce the risk of dental damage, enjoy just one piece at a time. If you can, work these soft, sticky candies into meal time so that between each piece, your child can have a piece of hard food to help dislodge sticky bits from your child’s teeth!

Do your best to combine these sweet treats with food and water to help reduce the risk of tooth decay and to keep your little one’s oral health in tip top shape! And please, always reach out to us at (630) 232-6661 with any questions you may have!