Crystal Lake, IL Dentist
77 E. Crystal Lake Avenue
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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September 29, 2017
Category: Holidays
Tags: Halloween Safety  


When purchasing costumes, masks, beards and wigs, look for flame-resistant fabrics such as nylon or polyester, or look for the label "Flame Resistant." Flame-resistant fabrics will resist burning and should extinguish quickly. To minimize the risk of contact with candles and other fire sources, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.

Purchase or make costumes that are light, bright and clearly visible to motorists.

For greater visibility during dusk and darkness, decorate or trim costumes with reflective tape that will glow in the beam of a car's headlights. Bags or sacks also should be light colored or decorated with reflective tape. Reflective tape is usually available in hardware, bicycle and sporting goods stores.

Children should carry flashlights to see and be seen.

Costumes should fit well and not drag on the ground to guard against trips and falls.

Children should wear well-fitting, sturdy shoes. Oversized high heels are not a good idea.

Tie hats and scarves securely to prevent them from slipping over children's eyes and obstructing vision.

If your child wears a mask, make sure it fits securely, provides adequate ventilation, and has eye holes large enough to allow full vision.

Swords, knives and similar costume accessories should be made of soft, flexible material.


Warn children not to eat any treats before an adult has examined them carefully for evidence of tampering.

Carefully examine any toys or novelty items received by trick-or-treaters under three years of age. Do not allow young children to have any items that are small enough to present a choking hazard or that have small parts or components that could separate during use and present a choking hazard.

Make a Candy Plan

The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Have a talk with your child about what the plan will be after the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and parcel it out slowly or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. Regardless of what you decide, the most important part is to establish the rules beforehand. It can be especially helpful for younger children to repeat the conversation a few times.

Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one's body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and dental health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.


Mark Your Calendar!
Saturday, September 30, 2017 (9am – 4pm)

Johnny Appleseed Festival Dancers

Johnny Appleseed Festival Dancers

Plans are being made for this year’s 25th Annual Johnny Appleseed Festival in Downtown Crystal Lake.  Mark your calendar for the last Saturday in September!

Did you know?  John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was a real-life historical figure whose wilderness adventures became larger-than-life legends.  He was known as a kind and gentle man who planted apple trees throughout the Midwest.  Meet and greet Johnny Appleseed himself, as he strolls the streets of downtown, telling his story throughout the day.

Crystal Lake’s largest one-day event brings families and the community together to celebrate Fall.

ARE YOU A CRAFTER?  The Craft Fair will be held in Ormsby Motors’ parking lot during the Johnny Appleseed Festival.  Dozens of vendors displaying beautiful and unique handmade items (everything from quilts to painted rocks to jewelry to fabric tote bags to crocheted items to holiday decorations to….well, you get the picture!).

NEW THIS YEAR!  Start your apple day at the Community Pancake Breakfast hosted by Bethany Lutheran Church.  Breakfast will be served from 7AM to 10AM on Saturday, September 30th at Bethany Lutheran Church, 76 E. Crystal Lake Avenue.

Ticket prices and information:
$5 adults
$3 children (ages 3-10)
Under 3 years old – free
$15 family
Pay at the door.  Each person attending the pancake breakfast will receive one FREE Johnny Appleseed Festival event ticket which can be used for games, activities, rides, and souvenirs at the Festival.

Proceeds from the pancake breakfast will benefit the Bethany Youth Group’s upcoming trip.

For generations, the Tooth Fairy has left a small gift for children who tuck fallen baby teeth under their pillows. This tradition can be a great time to teach kids more about taking care of their teeth. Here are some fun and inexpensive ways for families to welcome this Fairy.  

1. A receipt for your child’s tooth: Leave a hand written receipt in your child’s bedroom to mark the visit. Include your child’s name, the date, a description of the tooth and the reward, plus a note such as “Thank you for this lovely tooth! I can see that you are brushing every day. Keep up the good work!”

2. A tooth fairy dish: As an alternative to the under-the-pillow trick, help your child choose or create a special dish to hold teeth. Visit a thrift shop or housewares store to find one or paint your own at a ceramics studio.

3. A keepsake book: Turn a blank notebook into a lasting record of the Tooth Fairy’s visits. Have your child choose one and decorate it with your child’s name, hometown and any other details he or she wants the Tooth Fairy to know. Have your child write the Tooth Fairy a note every time he or she loses a tooth. When you leave your child’s gift, record the date and add a note from the Tooth Fairy.

4. A bright-smile calendar: Leave a brushing calendar in your child’s room as an extra gift from the Tooth Fairy. You can make it reusable by laminating it at an office-supply store and provide a colorful dry-erase marker for your child to record each time he or she brushes, flosses, or visits the dentist.

5. A Tooth Fairy “Smilestone” scrapbook page: Create an album of “smilestones” to memorialize the Tooth Fairy’s visits. Buy a small album, make one together with colored paper, stickers and other supplies, or add a scrapbook page to your baby book. Talk about the experience of losing a tooth and capture memories in the pages of the album. Leave it out in your child’s bedroom for the Tooth Fairy to enjoy and consider sharing with the dentist at your next checkup.

Mouth guards, also known as sports guards or athletic mouth protectors, are crucial pieces of equipment for any child participating in potentially injurious recreational or sporting activities.  Fitting snugly over the upper teeth, mouth guards protect the entire oral region from traumatic injury, preserving both the esthetic appearance and the health of the smile.  In addition, mouth guards are sometimes used to prevent tooth damage in children who grind (brux) their teeth at night.

Most store-bought mouth guards cost fewer than ten dollars, making them a perfect investment for every parent.

How can mouth guards protect my child?

The majority of sporting organizations now require that participants routinely wear mouth guards.  Though mouth guards are primarily designed to protect the teeth, they can also vastly reduce the degree of force transmitted from a trauma impact point (jaw) to the central nervous system (base of the brain).  In this way, mouth guards help minimize the risk of traumatic brain injury, which is especially important for younger children.

Mouth guards also reduce the prevalence of the following injuries:

  • Cheek lesions
  • Concussions
  • Gum and soft tissue injuries
  • Jawbone fractures
  • Lip lesions
  • Neck injuries
  • Tongue lesions
  • Tooth fractures

What type of mouth guard should I purchase for my child?

Though there are literally thousands of mouth guard brands, most brands fall into three major categories: stock mouth guards, boil and bite mouth guards, and customized mouth guards.

Some points to consider when choosing a mouth guard include:

  • How much money is available to spend?
  • How often does the child play sports?
  • What kind of sport does the child play? (Basketball and baseball tend to cause the most oral injuries).

In light of these points, here is an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of mouth guard:

Stock mouth guards – These mouth guards can be bought directly off the shelf and immediately fitted into the child’s mouth.  The fit is universal (one-size-fits-all), meaning that that the mouth guard doesn’t adjust.  Stock mouth guards are very cheap, easy to fit, and quick to locate at sporting goods stores.  Dentists favor this type of mouth guard least, as it provides minimal protection, obstructs proper breathing and speaking, and tends to be uncomfortable.

Boil and bite mouth guards – These mouth guards are usually made from thermoplastic and are easily located at most sporting goods stores.  First, the thermoplastic must be immersed in hot water to make it pliable, and then it must be pressed on the child’s teeth to create a custom mold.  Boil and bite mouth guards are slightly more expensive than stock mouth guards, but tend to offer more protection, feel more comfortable in the mouth, and allow for easy speech production and breathing.

Customized mouth guards – These mouth guards offer the greatest degree of protection, and are custom-made by the dentist.  First, the dentist makes an impression of the child’s teeth using special material, and then the mouth guard is constructed over the mold.  Customized mouth guards are more expensive and take longer to fit, but are more comfortable, orthodontically correct, and fully approved by the dentist.

If you have questions or concerns about choosing a mouth guard for your child, please contact your dentist.


  1. Chomping on ice - this can chip away at fragile tooth enamel. It can also crack teeth already
    weakened from restoration work.
  2. Putting teeth through a temperature roller coaster - Eating hot and then cold foods won't damage
    teeth, but can cause sensitivity with this combo as the hot temp expands your tooth enamel and
    the cold temp contracts it. Keep in mind that a shooting or sharp pain while eating or drinking
    is a sign of a much greater problem such as a cracked tooth or advanced decay—this isn't
    something you should ignore.  
  3. Chewing pencils - This can cause stress fractures to your teeth
  4. Reaching for certain drinks – Sports drinks, soda and wine can stick to your teeth and
    erode enamel.
  5. Avoid sticky candies and dried fruit - These can not only dislodge fillings but they can
    get stuck in and around your teeth which makes them even more likely to cause decay.
  6. Aiming for the whitest smile - Over bleaching and over whitening can end up being
    quite damaging to our teeth. It can lead to enamel loss and therefore prompt permanent
    tooth sensitivity.
  7. Using your teeth to rip things open - It's tempting to use your teeth to nibble your nails,
    rip price tags off clothing, or open a bag of chips, but you're putting your teeth at risk.
    You can chip your teeth doing this.
  8. Not using proper tongue “posture” - By keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth,
    you'll discover that you don't clench as much. In fact, if your tongue rests properly it can
    help you relax your jaw
  9. Grinding at night – grinding and clenching your teeth can lead to serious misalignment
    of your teeth and even tooth lose. You may need to wear a mouth guard at night.
  10. Opting for the hardest tooth brush - the goal is to use a soft brush since a rough brush
    may prompt abrasion or damage your gums and can literally wear away at the tooth
    surface and destroy tooth enamel and gum tissue creating extreme tooth sensitivity.
  11. Chewing bubble gum - If you're a gum chewer always opt for a sugar-free variety
    and reap the benefits.  Your mouth will produce more saliva, a natural defense against
    the acid that eats away at tooth enamel.
  12. Brushing right after meals - our teeth are weakest immediately after eating, especially
    if the meal includes acidic foods and drinks. Since it can take 30 to 45 minutes for the
    saliva to re-mineralize and harden the tooth enamel again, wait a bit before brushing your teeth.
  13. Skipping the water - It's not just good for your overall health, but drinking plenty of
    water throughout the day helps your teeth stay hydrated too. We use 1.5 liters of saliva daily.
    Drinking plain old water is the simplest way to help replenish it. Tip: If you're going to drink
    water with lemon, rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards to try and wash away the acidity
    from your teeth.
  14. Daily Juicing - Juicing is an excellent way to load up on nutrients from fruits and vegetables,
    but freshly pressed juices are typically loaded with sugar which can lead to tooth decay and
    erosion. Try to stick to juices made mostly of vegetables, which contain less sugar
  15. Vaping - Despite the lack of tar, this popularized alternative to cigarette smoking still has
    incredibly harmful effects on the mouth as nicotine is a vasoconstrictor which, in short,
    restricts blood flow to the gums and can kill the gum tissue causing noticeable tissue and
    bone loss in the mouth and around the teeth. 

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