Palos Pediatric Dentistry

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Sealants: What They Are and Why We Might Recommend Them for Your Child

Girl at Pool | Dental Sealants Palos Heights IL

If you have children, you want to do everything you can to prevent them from developing cavities. To that end, your Palos Heights, IL dentist might recommend sealant treatment. What are sealants? And are they worth it for your child?

Let’s take a look at dental sealants.

What They Are

Essentially, a sealant is a plastic coat that is placed on the surface of the posterior (back) teeth. The sealant provides a buffer between the tooth and tooth decay.

Why They Are Placed

The molars in the back of the mouth have a lot of grooves in them, which are ideal places for bacteria to collect and decay to develop. Sometimes these grooves are quite ...

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What Parents Should Know about Fluoride Varnish

fluoride varnish | palos heights dentist

Get your child on the right track for healthy teeth and gums from an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises that children go to the dentist by the time their first tooth comes in or they reach the age of one year (whichever comes first). We invite you to make our pediatric practice a dental home for your child.

Tooth decay is one of the most common diseases, and all children are susceptible—some more than others. For that reason, your pediatrician might recommend that your child get a fluoride varnish treatment that can be repeated two to four times per year. The treatment recommendation is based on how high ...

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Back-to-School: Packing a Lunch for a Healthier Smile

baby with toothbrush | pediatric dentistry | palos heights IL

It’s tough for parents to plan every meal. A lot goes into planning something nutritious and tasty for the every member of the family. If you follow a few guidelines, however, it is easy to avoid the foods that can negatively impact your teeth.

Ditch the Juice

While juice may seem like a healthy alternative to soda, it contains high amounts of sugar and acid that can soften enamel, causing tooth decay. A thermos filled with water is the best choice for hydration at lunchtime. Not only does it wash away food particles after eating, it also promotes healthy saliva production to assist with preventing gum disease and decay.

Avoid the Sweets

Candy can ...

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The Role of Your Child's Diet in their Dental Development

children's dentist palos heights | kid's dentist palos heights

Kids are full of energy and need the proper fuel to grow. The same goes for their developing teeth and bones. Your little one’s diet plays a huge role in how strong they are, how their immune system functions, and in their oral health. 

Here are some ways that you can alter your child’s diet to make sure their smile gets a great start.

Sugar Plays a Major Part in Oral and Overall Health

Bacteria love sugar and so do kids. While kids may crave and ask for sweets, offering them a healthy alternative is always better. Fresh fruit, nut butters, or lean proteins make a great mid-day snack without the cavity causing ...

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3 Facts Parents Need to Know about Fluoride

children's dentist palos heights

When making decisions regarding your child’s health, it is important that you have the correct and the latest information. Many misconceptions about fluoride exist and we are here to help you make the best choice for your little one.

Fluoride is a mineral that strengthens enamel. Instances of tooth decay have dropped enormously since the widespread use of fluoridated water and toothpaste.

Modern diets are packed full of sugar and carbohydrates that rapidly convert to sugar. This poses a risk for the enamel covering your child’s tooth. Sugar provides fuel for bacteria and their reproduction emits an acidic by-product that softens enamel, allowing bacteria to enter the tooth and eat away the ...

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Reducing transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your baby

little girl in dentist chair | Kids' Dentist in Palos Heights IL | Dr Richard Facko

In a previous three-part series about cavities, we looked at the three essential ingredients for the initiation and progression of tooth decay.  These factors - bacteria, sugar, and time - must all be present in order for tooth decay to occur.  If we know how cavities form, we can develop prevention strategies aimed at minimizing each of the three essential factors for tooth decay.

It's important for everyone to care for their mouths and prevent cavities.  But in very young children, specific problems arise that we don't see in older populations.  First, cavities in very young children tend to occur in large numbers - often eight, ten, or twelve cavities all ...

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How Do Cavities Form? Part III: Time

toddler brushing her teeth | pediatric dentist palos heights | kids dentist palos heights

We’ve described two of the necessary factors for the formation of tooth decay, specifically sugar and bacteria.  The third factor, time, will be today’s subject.  All three are necessary for cavities to form.  The better we understand about the formation of cavities, the better we can make recommendations for prevention and treatment.

What does bacteria have to do with cavities?

Cavity-causing bacteria feed on the things we eat.  They grow best under sugary conditions.  A cavity forms when specific bacteria consume sugar.  The byproduct of their metabolism is acid.  This acid is secreted onto the surface of a tooth and does microscopic damage.  Over time, if these bacteria are left undisturbed, the ...

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