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

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Posts for category: Informational

Strawberries, Apples, Celery, Onions, Sesame Seeds, Yoghurt, Cheese, Carrots, Salmon and Gum.  

10. Chewing gum

Whether or not this qualifies as food is debatable, and we would strongly advise against swallowing it. However, as many advertisements promise, chewing gum is indeed good for your teeth, provided it is sugar free. This is because chewing speeds up saliva production, which in turn helps rinse away harmful acids more effectively. As an added bonus, it makes your breath smell better.

9. Salmon

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for good oral health, as it effectively allows your body to better absorb calcium and put it to good use throughout your body. Salmon is packed full of both Vitamin D and calcium, making it an all-round superfood for helping to maintain healthy teeth and gums. 

8. Carrots

Carrots have been hailed a cavity fighting vegetable, as munching on sticks of crunchy, raw carrot acts as a natural toothbrush. The chewing action massages your gums, and this bright vegetable is high in plaque-attacking keratin as well as  Vitamin A, which is crucial for strengthening delicate tooth enamel. All-in-all it’s a good choice for an in-between-meal snack.

7. Cheese

Cheese is great for your teeth. Not only does it have high levels of phosphate and calcium, which naturally strengthen teeth and bones, but it also helps balance the pH level in your mouth, which means less harmful acid, more cleansing saliva and fewer cavities.

6. Yoghurt

Unsweetened natural yoghurt makes a great healthy breakfast or snack. For the benefit of your teeth, yoghurt contains both casein and calcium, which strengthen enamel and help repair it if it happens to be damaged.

5. Sesame seeds

Eating sesame seeds on their own, or baked into bread will help you in two ways. First of all, as you chew, they help to scrub plaque from your teeth and, secondly, they’re high in calcium. Just make sure any seeds caught between your teeth are removed as soon as possible.

4. Onions

Raw onion is incredibly healthy for you, and as an added bonus, the antibacterial sulphur compounds contained in an onion will kill the harmful bacteria on your teeth. But you might want to chew gum afterwards!

3. Celery

Celery gives your teeth a great workout. As you chew celery, it helps to clean your teeth and massages your gums in the process, while all that chewing will also produce plenty of saliva to neutralise bacteria.

2. Apples

Apples are highly acidic and you could be forgiven for thinking that would weaken the enamel on your teeth. However, the natural sugars contained within apples actually help neutralise harmful acids in the mouth. As well as this, chewing apples is another good mouth workout for saliva production, and they’re packed with vitamins to keep your gums healthy.

1. Strawberries

Strawberries are sweet, acidic and tend to stain things red, so how can they possibly be good for your teeth? Strawberries contain malic acid, which is actually a good natural whitener for enamel – eating strawberries will actually help keep your teeth free of stains. Just be mindful that strawberry seeds can get stuck between your teeth, so make sure you floss after eating them.

February is National Children's Health Month

Despite the fact that it’s almost entirely preventable, tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children.

Our mouths are full of bacteria that are both harmful and helpful. Throughout the day, a tug of war takesplace inside our mouths. 

On one team are dental plaque–sticky, colorless film of bacteria–plus foods and drinks that contain sugar or starch, which the bacteria use to produce acids. These acids begin to eat away at the tooth's hard outer surface, or enamel.

On the other team are the minerals in our saliva (such as calcium and phosphate)
plus fluoride from toothpaste, water, and other sources.  This team helps enamel repair itself by replacing minerals lost during an "acid attack."

Our teeth go through this natural process of losing minerals and regaining minerals
all day long. The repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals and become weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity.


We can help teeth win the tug of war and avoid cavities if we:

1) Use fluoride – it's a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing. You can get fluoride by drinking fluoridated water, brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse and your dentist can apply a fluoride gel or varnish to tooth surfaces.

Keep an eye on how often and what your child eats. Foods and drinks containing sugar and starches cause repeated acid attacks on the teeth so they lose minerals and eventually develop cavities. Some tips are to limit between-meal snacks and save sugary foods/drinks for special occasions. Limit fruit juice and make sure your child doesn't eat/drink anything with sugar in it after bedtime tooth brushing.


3) Make sure your child brushes with fluoride toothpaste at least two times per day. Supervise young children when they brush (you brush their teeth first, then let them finish) and use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste. Encourage them to spit out the toothpaste rather than swallow it as consuming higher than recommended amounts of fluoride, during the teeth-forming years, may cause permanent teeth to develop white lines or flecks called dental flourosis. In children under age 2, we recommend that you do not use fluoride toothpaste.

4) Sealants are another good way to help avoid a cavity. They are a thin plastic coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, or molars, helping to prevent food and bacteria from getting stuck in the pits and grooves of the teeth.

5) Take your child to the dentist for regular cleanings and examinations. During these visits we will remove dental plaque, check for areas of early tooth decay, show you and your child how to thoroughly clean the teeth and apply fluoride if necessary.

According to an article in Newsweek this month, drinking sugary soda could raise the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists at Columbia University of New York studied rates of Alzheimer’s disease in older people and found a link between sugary drinks and the neurodegenerative condition that an estimated 5.7 million Americans currently deal with. However, more research is needed to prove whether Alzheimer’s is caused by these drinks. 

The team presented their findings at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2018 in Chicago on Monday. As there is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, researchers are racing to find ways to not only ease the symptoms such as memory loss and cognitive decline, but also prevent the condition from developing in the first place. 

Past studies indicate type 2 diabetes, which can be triggered by consuming excess sugar, is a risk factor for dementia.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers studied 2,226 elderly people who lived in New York City over the course of seven years. The researchers documented the food and drink the participants consumed that contained added sugar, including in soft drinks, fruit drinks and food. Of the total participants, some 429 developed Alzheimer’s disease.

The scientists found those who ate 30.3 grams of added sugar per day were 33 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s compared with those who consumed 5.8 grams per day.

They found similar patterns in those who drank a soda every other day, at 20 grams sugar on average, compared to those who consumed 1 can every 100 days; 23 grams of sugar per day in punch or fruit drinks compared with 0.4 grams; and 2.5 teaspoons of sugar added to food or drinks per day compared with no added sugar.

When all there categories were compared, drinking sugary soda was “significantly” associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer’s when compared to other sweetened products, the authors said.


For the most hygienic and effective cleaning, experts recommend starting fresh every three to four months or when you notice the bristles becoming frayed. In addition, you should consider getting a new toothbrush sooner if you have been sick, especially if the toothbrush is stored close to other toothbrushes.    


The synthetic mesh you use to get your body clean can also be a breeding ground for bacteria.  Hanging it to drip-dry will help, but you'll still want to swap in a fresh one every two months.  


Microbiologists have found that kitchen sponges can harbor 82 billion bacteria per cubic inch - and the strongest bugs survived even after the sponge was microwaved.  Toss and replace every one to two weeks.  Remember sponges can also be placed in dishwasher to help keep them clean and fresh.  

Artificial sweeteners are everywhere, but the jury is still out on whether these chemicals are harmless. Also called nonnutritive sweeteners, these can be synthetic, such as saccharin and aspartame, or naturally derived, such as stevia. 

However, recent medical studies suggest that these sweeteners may be contributing to chronic diabetes and cardiovascular diseases as well.

The key to these virtually calorie-free sweeteners is that they are not broken down during digestion into natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and galactose, which are then either used for energy or converted into fat.

Theoretically, these sweeteners should be a better choice than sugar for diabetics.  However, there is growing evidence over the past decade that these sweeteners can alter healthy metabolic processes in other ways, specifically in the gut.

Long-term use of these sweeteners has been associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. Sweeteners have also been shown to change brain activity associated with eating sweet foods. Researchers have hypothesized that this could lead diet soda drinkers to compensate for the lack of pleasure they now derive from the drink by increasing their consumption of all foods, not just soda.

Together these cellular and brain studies may explain why people who consume sweeteners still have a higher risk of obesity than individuals who don’t consume these products.

As this debate on the pros and cons of these sugar substitutes rages on, we must view these behavioral studies with a grain of salt (or sugar) because many diet soda drinkers are already overweight and may turn to low-calorie drinks, making it look as though the diet sodas are causing their weight gain.

These findings signal that consumers and health practitioners all need to check our assumptions about the health benefits of these products. Sweeteners are everywhere, from beverages to salad dressing, from cookies to yogurt, and we must recognize that there is no guarantee that these chemicals won’t increase the burden of metabolic diseases in the future.