Things To Look For In Your Pediatric Dentist

First things first- the dentist that you choose for your child must be a certified one. Not every dentist in the world is certified to become a pediatric dentist. It takes two extra years of training to become a pediatric dentist. Having said that, once you do get a pediatric dentist, you must look for certain qualities to ensure that the dentist is just right for your kid.

Taking a child to the dentist’s clinic could be a tough job. Let’s face it! Even adults are scared of going to the dentist. However, to make sure that this fear doesn’t drip down to our children, here are 5 things you should look for in a pediatric dentist to ensure that your kid’s oral health never goes compromised:

1. Experience

The pediatric dentist that you choose for your kid must be experienced in the field for at least 3-5 years. Some of us may believe that young dentists are the best when it comes to treating little kids, which to some extent is true. However, older dentists still widely remain the best choice.

2. A preventive approach

Does the pediatric dentist have a preventive approach? A pediatric dentist with a curative approach would only provide dental treatment to the kid to fix a problem. A pediatric dentist with a preventive approach would also take measures to ensure that other problems don’t arise in the future.

3. Compassion

A pediatric dentist should not treat a kid like they would treat an adult. There should be a lot of care, compassion, and delicacy in the way the dentist treats the child. If your pediatric dentist does not show these traits, maybe it’s time for a change.

4. Playfulness 

Ideally, a pediatric dentist should not restrict anything on the basis of the clinic’s norms. Rather, the dentist should rather encourage a playful environment for the kid, somewhat like what’s shown in the picture below:

Child-friendly environment - Joyful Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

Does it even look like a dental clinic that a child would be scared of? What if you had a chance to take your child to this clinic? We can help you do exactly that! You can get here the best pediatric dentist in Tinley Park IL .

Milk, does it really “do a body good”?

As a pediatric dentist, I’m most focused on the question, “will milk do your teeth good”? Naturally, National Milk Day got me thinking about the benefits of breastfeeding when it comes to your child’s dental health. Most moms do their research before making this very personal decision for their baby. They find some of the most common benefits for the baby are:

Increase your baby’s ability to fight infections and reduce health risks like:
•Ear infections
•Childhood obesity

Lowering the mother’s chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer is a significant benefit for moms. Above the individual interests, there is a shared benefit shared by both the mother and the child. Breastfeeding can impact the dental health of both, and here’s how:

Could Improve bite

Recent studies, one in Pediatrics in 2015 and one in the August 2017 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, found that babies exclusively breastfed for the first six months were less likely to have problems such as open bites, cross-bites, and overbites than those only breastfed for shorter lengths of time or not at all.

Concluding that exclusively breastfed babies won’t need braces someday would not be accurate. Other factors that can affect alignments, such as pacifier use, genetics, and thumbsucking. Taking your child to a pediatric dentist who will monitor your child’s tooth eruption, the timing of new teeth coming in, and permanent teeth for the best outcome.

Reduces the Risk for Tooth Decay

When putting a baby to bed with a bottle – even ones containing formula, milk, or fruit juice it increases the chances of tooth decay because of the frequent, prolonged exposure of the baby’s teeth to drinks containing sugar. While breastfeeding can reduce the risk for tooth decay, it does not eliminate the threat as both breast milk and formula contains sugar. Properly caring for your baby’s gums and teeth from the start by wiping the gums with a clean, moist washcloth daily. After the first tooth erupts, brush twice a day. Use fluoride toothpaste about the size of a grain of rice and remember a healthy smile is a Joyful Smile!

The Values Behind Joyful Smiles!

ANY JOYFUL PATIENT EXPERIENCE is beholden to the wholeheartedness of a good team. We think this is especially true of creating a joyful experience for our valued patients!

Our team has fun planning how to provide you with the most enjoyable experience possible during your visit! Today, we’d like to share a few things we do during our team meetings to create a fun experience for you in our office and grow closer as a team.

Take A Look Into Our Team Huddle!

Aside from the daily production our team reviews prior to any patient care, we’ve incorporated a little daily inspiration to close our meetings. 

Our inspiration session is lead by Dr. McDonald, who daily prepares a motivational quote for the day with the team, who then shares their interpretation of the quote with the rest of the team. It’s just one of the small details we put into our service to build office relationships and improve practice culture, all in an effort to create a better experience for the patients.

We understand a little teamwork goes a long way!

We’re Blessed To Have Such Great Patients

Our team loves seeing your child’s joyful smile each time you visit our office, and we want to ensure we can help you keep smiling for the rest of your day! We plan for each one of our patients and try our best to provide you with the best experience possible. If you have any suggestions about how we can make your visit more fun or if you have any fun activities we can try in our next team huddle, let us know in the comments!

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

A Christmas Diary: Reasons to Smile Joyfully!

It’s my favorite time of year! December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas!

We celebrate Joy all year long, but this is the season our community shares in the joy! Which is why it’s our FAVORITE time of year!

There’s the hype about a particularly prominent Christmas symbol making its grand appearance. I’m talking about the CHRISTMAS TREE and, of course, the dozens of pictures and snapshots of said tree that come along with it. The memories made hanging each decoration with care, finishing it with the perfect topping!

Who can resist smiling at the sight of a Christmas tree being lit for the first time?

The community coming together to spread great joy and generosity?

The parades with all the smiling faces anticipating every reason to be jolly!

The bright lights and colors in the city that seem to BOOST our happiness INSTANTLY!

The nostalgic shouts of “MERRY CHRISTMAS” to those we pass in the streets is a simple reminder that joy is something we all long for… and experiencing it should be part of every season.

At Joyful Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we attempt to capture a little bit of this season of Joy and sprinkle it throughout the year in serving our community of families as their dental home.

And here’s a look of us enJOYing the holiday traditions here in our community:

What Are Your Traditions?

We’ve shared our traditions with you, but we’d love to hear about yours! Is there a particular way you and your family exchange presents? Are there treats you make only at this time of year? Is there a trip you always go on? Whatever it is, we can’t wait to hear about it. Tell us about your favorite holiday traditions on Facebook or in the comments below, and have a fantastic season!

Wishing a Merry Christmas to all our patients!

Best Oral Health Treatment for Kids at Joyful Smiles Pediatric Dentistry

It’s true! Joyful Smiles is one of the #1 places for kids in Kankakee and Cook county. Imagine a fun and relaxing environment, toys, games, and friendly faces all around. This ambiance is what your child experiences when you bring them to Joyful Smiles. Not to mention our nurturing staff to provide the best and most comfortable treatment.

As a mom herself, Dr. McDonald believes having a kid-friendly environment is equally important to the parents. She understands the challenges parenthood can bring, so she wants to make that much-needed trip to the dentist seem like a reprieve.

Parents can check unread emails, see what’s going on in their social feed, or even take a photo or two as their child will most likely find themselves engaged with our brand new Touch 2 Play Pro tablets. Dr. McDonald recently installed these tablets in both the Tinley Park and Bradley locations. Loaded with 40 family rated games to make it the ideal waiting room game entertainment. Easy to play; it’s sure to be a joyful experience every visit.

Remember, your feelings toward dental visits may vary significantly from your child’s’. We recommend parents who have dental anxieties are careful not to relate those fears or dislikes to your child. A little moral support and staying calm will comfort your child as we examine them. Baby teeth don’t last forever, but memories do. That’s why we do our job to make it the best experience possible for you and your child.

Good oral health for kids is essential and can prevent issues that might otherwise progress into adulthood. It’s our goal to focus on preventative care to help each child grow a healthy smile that will last a lifetime. Read more – A guide to your child’s dental health care

Have questions or want to book an appointment here or give us a call at one of our convenient locations:

Tinley Park, IL : +1 708-794-9526

Bradley, IL : +1 815-401-9535

Are dental sealants safe for kids?

The word, “Sealants” is derived from the word, “Seal”, which is exactly what the primary function of dental sealants is. In other words, dental sealants are used by dentists to seal certain parts of teeth, especially in the molar and premolar region, which are prone to cavities. However, there has been a rising concern in parents regarding the safety of the process. So the question is, “Are dental sealants safe for kids?”

Although every dentist would happily address such concerns, a step by step explanation as to why sealants pose no threats to kids is necessary.

What are sealants made of?

Dental sealants are made of refined plastic, or clinically approved dental elements. These are the main components that make up dental sealants, and therefore, pose no threat to any child. Neither of these elements have ever been proven to do any harm to a child’s dental health.

Do sealants have BPA’s?

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), sealants in dentistry do have a slight amount of BPA, which does not have any possible side effects associated with it in any form (ADA 2016). According to a study published in the US National Library of Medicines, the highest ever reported BPA level in sealants is well below 0.05mg, which is the acceptable dose (Rathee, Malik and Singh 2012). Therefore, despite the presence of BPA, sealants are absolutely safe for kids, due to the negligible dose contained in them.

How do sealants work?

In the most simplest of terms, sealants work like a coat. There are grooves in the molar and premolar regions, and pits in the frontal region. Food particles tend to stick to these grooves and pits, thereby giving way to bacteria. These bacteria then release acids that create holes in the teeth, which are commonly known as ‘cavities’.

  • Sealants simply seal these pits and grooves.
  • They are applied after drying off an acidic gel, that makes the sealant stick to the tooth surface.
  • Once applied, they cover the pits and grooves in the teeth, and prevent any food particles from settling there.

As the process suggests, it is a completely painless procedure and does not even do anything close to dental harm to the kid’s teeth.

Is there a recommended age to apply sealants in kids?

Dentists highly recommend that sealants are applied to children belonging in the age group of 6-12 years old. This is because the first molars usually appear at the age of 6, while 11-12 years is the age when the milk tooth comes off and adult tooth replaces it. To the relief of a parent a dentist would examine the dental state and maturity of your child by himself, before deciding on whether it is the right time to apply a sealant to your child.

Is it clinically recommended for children?

Quite understandably, the American Dental Association (ADA) itself recommends that every child within the age group of 6-12 years receive sealants, even if they have relatively good dental hygiene. The ADA says that there are places where the bristles of the toothbrush cannot possibly reach, and flossing would cause more harm to the kids’ teeth than the harmless sealants. It is for this reason why the ADA recommends sealants as a cost-effective preventive measure against dental cavities in kids.

So as to conclude, sealants pose no risk at all to the dental health of a kid, and are rather highly recommended by dentists and the ADA alike.

Incorporate Good Oral Habits in Your Child and Stop Tooth Decay from Occurring

A child will follow whatever people around him/her would do, especially, the parents. Likewise, your good dental habits somehow influence them. It is quite essential to teach your kids how to maintain a great oral health right from an early age. This way, they won’t face complications later in life.

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems faced by children and today, we have spoken about how to prevent it. Every child deserves to lead a healthy life, but for that, few things must not be avoided.

Do Not Feed them Sugary Food Items Much: Most kids love gorging on chocolates and every kind of sugary food items. But an excessive amount of sugar intake can damage their teeth completely. Your little one might not be happy with your decision of not allowing them to eat sweets but you have to deal well with their tantrums. You can put a spoon full of honey into a bowl of cereal or make a date paste and it in smoothies to enhance the taste. These won’t affect the teeth at all.

Get Fluoride Toothpaste for Your Little One: When you have a kid at home, you must be extra cautious about everything and know about it’s causes. Therefore, make your child brush with fluoride toothpaste as it plays a great role in preventing cavities. It would be better if you also get a fluoride mouthwash for your little one.

Brush Together: Children do feel that brushing is a task and due to an improper procedure, their teeth get highly affected. But what if you brush along with them? This works most of the times, however, if you can, then try making it an exhilarating activity because kids love doing anything that excites them.

Make Them Eat Right: They say that eating right can not only ameliorate your body, but also the condition of your teeth. If children start having all the mouth healthy foods from the very beginning, then the chances of their teeth getting affected would be quite less. Hence, add a lot of kiwis, oranges, cauliflowers, raw carrots and so on to their diet.

Dental Checkups are a Must: Take your little one to a pediatric dentist every month in order to prevent a dental disease before its emergence. Being a parent, you must keep this in mind that your child’s oral hygiene will help them to live happily.

A child will never learn about dental health until and unless you take a step forward. Call us @(708) 794-9526 and we will tell you why it is important to have a set of healthy teeth right from childhood.

5 Substitutes of Sugar for Your Child Which are Equally Delectable

Every child has a sweet tooth and some cannot even pass their days without having chocolates. The more your kid gorges on sugary food items, the more you start worrying about their teeth. But would it be justified if you try to eliminate your child’s sweet tooth?

There are quite a lot of alternatives of sugar which taste delectable and are perfectly fine for your child’s teeth. They won’t lead to tooth decay and would not let your little one miss out on his/her favorite sweets.

Add Organic Agave to Their Food: Your children might feel like having pancakes one evening but you are not sure whether to make it for them or not. But did you know that adding organic agave which happens to be a raw syrup can turn out to be a great substitute for sugar? Add some to the pancake instead of sugar and present it in front of your kids. They will definitely love the taste of it.

Don’t Restrain Your Kids from Having Maple Syrup: Did you know that maple syrup consists of polyphenols? Therefore, it helps in preventing several diseases including cancer. Maple syrup is not made with any chemical substances and it is not even processed, unlike the other syrups which are available in the market. Hence, your children can easily eat their French toasts, cereals and so on with maple syrup. It won’t affect their teeth at all.

Choose Xylitol: It is a perfect alternative to traditional sugar. You can come across a bottle of xylitol in most grocery stores and it does not alter the taste of sugar much. So, add it to sugary food items and let your kids relish their desserts.

Try Some Mashed Fruits: Canned fruit juices are extremely harmful to the teeth because all the protein and the fiber get eliminated once they are liquefied. Hence, simply mash some bananas and use the paste instead of sugar while you bake cakes or make smoothies. You can also go for berries, apples and grapes.

Give Your Kids Xylitol Gums: We have already mentioned that xylitol can be used instead of sugar. Some children love chewing gums but it can affect their mouth in many ways. Thus, buy a box of xylitol gums and hand it over to them, they are available in several flavors.

It is your sole responsibility to teach your children about basic oral hygiene. But for that even you should have an idea about the habits and the foods which could harm their teeth. Call @(708) 794-9526 to know what your children should follow to fetch a set of healthy teeth.

Is Usage of Mouthwash Safe for Children? Know How it Can be Risk-Free

Being a parent, you should certainly look after your child’s oral hygiene. It is necessary to have a healthy mouth right from a tender age or else an aftermath is bound to emerge when the kid grows up. Many of them get perplexed when it comes to their child’s dental care due to which they restrain their little one to use a mouthwash.

However, to break the confusion, we have explained how a mouthwash can be absolutely safe for your children. You just need to choose the correct rinsing liquid.

Consider Your Child’s Age First: You must know that your little ones are not eligible to use a mouthwash if they have not hit the age of 6 yet. It is a known fact that a lot of mouthwashes which are made especially for kids also contain fluoride. But it can lead to fluorosis for those children who have still not crossed the age of 5.

Choose a Therapeutic Mouthwash: A cosmetic mouthwash may keep your child’s mouth fresh and away from bad breath but the best choice would be a therapeutic mouthwash. Right from preventing gingivitis to tooth decay, it will help your child in fetching a healthy mouth. However, do not consider a therapeutic mouthwash as a substitute for flossing because it won’t wash away the rigid tartars.

Look for a Mouthwash Which is Kid Friendly: You will come across quite a lot of kid-friendly mouthwashes if you look around for them in the market. And they are certainly safe for children. Such mouthwashes are available in several flavors and have been designed keeping every child in mind. They also feature fabled cartoon characters to attract your kids and contain no alcohol. Thus, what can be better than a kid-friendly rinsing liquid for your little one?

Figure Out if it Has ADA Seal of Approval: You will be free of every confusion if you get a mouthwash for your kid which has an ADA(American Dental Association) Seal of Approval. And it’s great to opt for something which has been tested by the largest dental association in the nation.

Ask for the Pediatric Dentist’s Opinion: If you still have your doubts and don’t know which mouthwash to select for your children, then it’s better if you consult a pediatric dentist. He/she will prescribe the correct rinsing liquid for your kids and will also explain its merits.

Your little ones are indeed quite precious for you, therefore, you would not want to compromise on their oral health. Give us a call today @708)-794-9526 to know how to provide your child with a healthy mouth.  

6 Mouth Healthy Lunch Ideas for Your Children That are Scrumptious

It becomes much easier to prevent your kids from following unhealthy oral habits when they are not out of your sight. You may think that packing a healthy lunch for them will not affect their teeth in any way, but what if your kid finds it too boring to eat? He/she will then certainly share someone else’s lunch, which could have all the possibilities to cause dental problems.

Here are some mouth healthy lunch ideas for your child which taste quite good and are not bland at all.

Freshly Cut Watermelons: Watermelons are hardly disliked by anyone, especially children. They have the sufficient amount of nutrients and vitamins. So, cut some watermelons and pack it in your child’s lunchbox. He/she will definitely open their box with a smile.

A Fun Snack Made with a Lot of Cheese: Think of any quick snack which your child loves and add a lot of cheese to it while making the dish. It will not only enhance the taste of the snack but would also turn out to be healthy for the mouth. Cheese contains casein which builds up robust tooth enamel, it is also rich in calcium.

Let Them Have Some Crunchy Veggies: Children have a tendency of running away from vegetables but they might end up liking it if you make some crunchy veggies for them. You can also pack a cheese or a jalapeno dip with it, they will enjoy taking every bite of the vegetables for sure.

Hummus with Pita Bread: Hummus reduces the risk of cavities, thus a box full of it along with pita bread would be a tasty and a healthy lunch for your little ones. Hummus will also keep your child full for a very long time.

Yogurt with Some Berries: Yogurt is rich in calcium and also contain casein which definitely helps in ameliorating the state of teeth and gums. It fights away with the oral bacterias which give rise to several dental issues. Therefore, yogurt with some berries also sounds like a great mouth healthy lunch idea for your children.

A Fruit Salad: Fruits such as oranges, apples, papaya, kiwi and strawberries are extremely beneficial for the mouth. They prevent gingivitis and help in sweeping away the bacteria. Make an interesting salad with these fruits and put it in your child’s lunchbox.

Children throw a lot of tantrums when it comes to eating but you need have an idea about how to make something mouthwatering yet healthy for them. Call us @(708) 794-9526 to get tips on how to protect your little one’s teeth.