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

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By [email protected]
August 19, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

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.

By [email protected]
July 26, 2017
Category: Informational


  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. 
By [email protected]
July 13, 2017
Category: Children
Tags: Back to School  

Now that school is just about a month away from starting (High School District 155 starts one week earlier this year so their finals are before Winter Break!) and most college kids are off to school by mid-August, don't forget to CALL US TODAY to schedule you and your family! 

Also, those of you with Kindergarten, 2nd, or 6th Graders remember you need to have the Dental Examination form for your respective school according to Illinois State law completed by October 15th (most schools want the forms turned in before school starts).  We have extra forms here so don't worry if you forget to bring them to your child's appointment.

We wish you a wonderful summer filled with glorious sunsets and fabulous sun rises!  

By [email protected]
July 09, 2017
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged

Cancer treatments can affect all parts of your body, including your mouth.  Also your oral health can make a difference in how your cancer treatment proceeds.  An unhealthy mouth can increase the risk of developing oral adverse effects, often called side effects, to cancer therapies and can even interefere with treatment.   

Steps you can take to maintain a healthy mouth include: 

1) Brushing your teeth twice a day with flouride toothpaste.
2) Cleaning between your teeth every day with dental floss.
3) Stop the use of tobacco products
4) Rising your mouth after vomiting with one fourth teaspoon of baking soda in cup of warm water.  
5) Moistening dry mouth by drinking water, sucking on ice, chewing sugar free fum or sucking on sugar fee candies.  
6) Avoiding mouth rinses that contain alcohol.
7) Talk with your dentist about any problems you're having with your mouth during your treatment and give him/her the name and telephone number of the doctor treating your cancer.  Together they can help limit the oral problems that may arise during cancer treatment.  


By [email protected]
June 21, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Summer Time Tips  

Summer is HERE and we know your family’s schedule is about to change.  With children being out of school, hanging out at the house, and often on the go with fun summer activities, eating healthy and maintaining good oral hygiene can be a real struggle.  Here are a few tips and tricks to get you through those LONG summer days.  

1. Don’t Forget to Brush

Brushing and flossing twice a day is as important in the summer as it is any other time of the year.  But with summer vacations, camps, and long days at the pool, don’t be surprised if you have to remind your kids to brush and floss more than normal.  Their minds will be occupied on other “fun” activities.  Try and make brushing and flossing something fun or even reward them for remembering on their own.

2. Prevent Dental Emergencies

It wouldn’t be summer without lots of swimming, traveling, visiting the playground, or other outdoor activities.  While these are so much fun, they can unfortunately result in unexpected dental emergencies.  Below are some helpful ways to prevent and remedy a dental accident:

  • Make sure your kids follow the “pool rules.”  According to the Academy of General Dentistry, many of the summer emergencies dentists treat are pool related accidents. Running on slippery pool decks, diving into shallow waters, or bumping the pool ledge with their mouth causes many children to either chip or knock a tooth loose.
  • Know what to do yourself when a tooth is knocked out:  Getting to the dentist right away is important, but there are things you can do to help. 
    • Use cold packs to help reduce swelling and aid with pain, and gauze to stop any bleeding.  Be sure to pick the tooth up by the crown of the tooth, not the root. 
    • Gently rinse the tooth, being careful to not remove any tissue.
    • Place a lost permanent tooth back in the mouth, if your child is capable of holding it in their without swallowing it.  Otherwise, use saline or milk and a small container to keep it moist for the ride to the dentist.         

3. Stock up on Healthy Snacks

The easiest way parents can help children prevent tooth decay and cavities is to monitor their eating habits.  Start by investing in healthy snacks the next time you head to the grocery store.  While it’s easy to get caught up in the junk food isles, a good rule to follow is shopping the perimeter of the store since that is where the healthier food lies.  We understand it’s hard to limit snacking, BUT if you switch those bad, sugary foods out for fruits and veggies you are sure to feel better about your kids snacking all day.  As far as drinks go, we suggest ditching the sugary and acidic sodas, juices, and sport drinks, instead opting for good old H2O.

Cavity-causing organisms feed on sugar and turn it into acid, which attacks tooth enamel and causes tooth decay.  Sticky, chewy foods and candy can linger on teeth throughout the day creating the optimal environment for these organisms.  If children do happen to eat sugary snacks, they should brush and rinse with water as soon as they finish eating it.

4. Schedule that Summer Cleaning

Parents tend to wait to schedule dental checkups until right before school starts.  But to prevent dental problems over summer, book the kids in right when school ends.  This way the kids will have a clean bill of dental health for summer.  The last thing you want is a child suffering from a toothache while trying to enjoy your summer vacation.

5. Protect Your Toothbrush from Germs

While toothbrush covers are great for traveling, your toothbrush needs to “breathe”.  Allow your toothbrush to thoroughly dry before covering (a wet toothbrush promotes bacteria growth), and make sure that your toothbrush cover has holes in it for ventilation.






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