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

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Posts for: June, 2017

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.






Primary teeth from children with autism spectrum disorders contain less of the essential nutrients zinc and manganese and more of the neurotoxin lead compared to those from children without ASD, according to a new study published June 1 in the journal Nature Communications

In the study, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden used tooth biomarkers to analyze primary teeth collected from 32 pairs of twins and 12 individual twins enrolled in the Roots of Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Twin Study in Sweden, according to a Mount Sinai news release.

“The differences in metal uptake between children with and without [ASD] were especially notable during the months just before and after the children were born,” according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the study. 

NIEHS said the scientists determined this by “using lasers to map the growth rings in baby teeth generated during different developmental periods.”


“We found significant divergences in metal uptake between ASD-affected children and their healthy siblings, but only during discrete developmental periods,” said Dr. Manish Arora, Ph.D., an environmental scientist and dentist at Mount Sinai. “Specifically, the siblings with ASD had higher uptake of the neurotoxin lead, and reduced uptake of the essential elements manganese and zinc, during late pregnancy and the first few months after birth, as evidenced through analysis of their baby teeth. Furthermore, metal levels at three months after birth were shown to be predictive of the severity of ASD eight to ten years later in life.” 

NIEHS said researchers also observed lower uptake of manganese in children with ASD, both before and after birth; children with ASD also had lower zinc levels earlier in the womb, but the levels then increased after birth, compared to children without ASD.

NIEHS noted that prior studies relating toxic metals and essential nutrients to autism have faced “key limitations, such as estimating exposure based on blood levels after autism diagnosis rather than before, or not being able to control for differences that could be due to genetic factors.”

“A lot of studies have compared current lead levels in kids that are already diagnosed,” said Cindy Lawler, Ph.D., head of the NIEHS Genes, Environment and Health Branch. “Being able to measure something the children were exposed to long before diagnosis is a major advantage.”

The researchers noted that larger studies are needed to confirm the connection between metal exposure and uptake and ASD.