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

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Brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes may lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a new study suggests.

Previous studies have found a link between heart disease and periodontal disease -- a condition marked by gum infection, gum inflammation and tooth damage.

The new study, scheduled for presentation Saturday at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions meeting in Chicago, looked at whether a person's tooth-brushing habits were associated with their risk of having or dying from a heart attack, heart failure or stroke.  

Researchers asked 682 people about their tooth-brushing behavior. After adjusting for various factors, they found that those who said they brushed less than twice a day for less than two minutes had a three-fold increased heart risk, compared to those who said they brushed at least twice a day for at least two minutes.

The study's lead researcher said the findings suggest poor oral health, based on daily teeth-brushing behavior, is associated with poorer heart health. It's possible that longer tooth brushing might reduce this risk, but the new study was not designed to prove cause-and-effect. 

The science supports a potential connection between dental health and heart health. Gum disease is one of the diseases where the body may be in a sort of continual state of inflammation, and this seems to be a very powerful predictor of cardiovascular disease.  

A separate study, published last month in the journal Hypertension, found that gum disease appears to worsen blood pressure and interferes with medications to treat hypertension.

Poor dental health also poses a risk to people with heart valve problems because we know certain heart valve infections can be associated with poor oral health.

This latest research is a good reminder that the mouth is an important part of a person's entire health and simple, daily behaviors that improve health are incredibly important.

The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste.  It's a low-risk, low-cost option that we know has other benefits even beyond the scope of what this study is trying to investigate.  

25th annual JOHNNY APPLESEED FESTIVAL

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.

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.