Thanksgiving Dinner – The Best and the Worst Foods for Your Teeth

November 12, 2015

Your teeth have – hopefully – survived the sweet, sticky, sugar-coated event that was Halloween. Time for the next holiday to potentially put a dent in your dentin – THANKSGIVING!  We here at Malenius Dental have put together a list of the good, the bad, and the starchy foods of this all-American food fest.

Foods That Are Good  to Gobble

Turkey – Protein-rich foods, like good old Tom Turkey. can actually be good for your teeth. Turkey contains phosphorus, which can help foster strong teeth and bones when mixed with Vitamin D and calcium.

Yams – Yams are naturally sweet, so hold the gooey, sticky marshmallows, please. Served baked or roasted, yams are nutrient-rich and don’t stick to the surfaces of teeth. If you must sweeten them up, a touch of brown sugar or molasses will suffice.

Veggies – Vegetables like beets, broccoli, carrots and celery contain high amounts of Vitamins A and C which are instrumental in repairing gums from periodontal disease.

Pumpkin: Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin C and calcium, a great combination for strengthening bones and teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating Grandma’s delicious pumpkin pie, though.

Cranberry Sauce – Cranberry gets the Gold Star of Dental Health as far as Thanksgiving goes! Recent research has indicated that cranberries contain special compounds that disrupt the development of plaque-causing bacteria. Be sure to make your cranberry sauce with real cranberries and not the stuff that keeps the shape of the can…

Turkey Day Hall of Shame  Foods

Pecan Pie – A sticky, sugary, chewy disaster for teeth. At least pumpkin pie has some vitamins to offer!

Popcorn balls – The popcorn and caramel can easily get stuck in your teeth promoting tooth decay, not to mention discomfort!

White Wine – – Although it won’t stain your teeth like red wine, white wine has a high pH level and packs an acidic punch that can erode your teeth.

Stuffing, cakes, and rolls – That’s right. Pretty much all the good stuff! These carb-loaded, starchy treats are great for causing tooth decay.

Okay, we don’t want to ruin all your holiday fun. Go ahead and indulge – in moderation – in some of these forbidden treats. We won’t tell! Just be sure to rinse your mouth with warm water or, better yet, brush your teeth after your big holiday meal.

Bon Appetit!

As always, to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 630-668-6180. At Malenius Dental, we are here for you!!

Great Uses For Toothpaste

May 11, 2015


Brushing your teeth with an ADA toothpaste can help keep your teeth healthy and bright. But did you know toothpaste has some hidden magic? Here are afew other uses for this magical paste!


Fill wall holes.

Don’t have any spackle handy to fill in that small patch holes on the wallsleft by pins, nails, screws, etc.? It isn’t apermanent solution, but in a pinch, a dab of toothpastecan fill in those small holes.

Erase scuffs from shoes.

 Do you have scuffs on your shoes? Toothpaste works great for getting scuff marks off sneakers!

Remove crayons from walls.

  I think we all have had the budding artist that choosesthe walls as a canvas! Toothpaste will make crayon marks disappear. Spread it over the “artwork,” then rinse with water. The abrasives in the toothpaste will easily get your wall back to normal.

Need some help hanging art?

 Kids young and college bound, want to hang posters without damaging the walls? Use a dab ofbasic toothpaste with no whiteners or fresh strips, on the back corners to press lightweight posters, collages and other mementos intoposition! To help with hanging those framed pictures backed by teeth hangers or picture hooks, toothpaste can be helpful to determine where to position and pound the nail!

Treat pimples.

If you have been a teenager, you probably have gone to bed withtoothpaste on your face. But have you triedblending it with crushed aspirin? Aspirin is derived from willow bark, the same source for salicylic acid, a popular acne fighter. So the mixture dries thepimple up while decreasing inflammation!

 Brighten your nails.

  Whitening peroxide toothpastes can help restore luster to nails discolored and yellowed by dark polishes. Use a nailbrush or unused toothbrush to scrub the stains away. Follow up with a nice lemon juice soak.

Shine diamonds.

 Use toothpaste and a very soft toothbrush to clean your diamonds. After just a few minutes, the sparkle will return of your best friends.

Polish silver.

From tarnished picture frames to dingy jewelry, a thorough scrub with basic white paste, not gel, will let the tarnish to rub off your hands, blacken your brush and turn your polishing cloth gray!  Follow with a good rinse and buff dry.

Clean your toilet.

 In less than 30 seconds, you can shine up the inside rim and bowl of your porcelain throne.

Lighten grout.

Use some whitening toothpaste and a toothbrush to scrub that grout back to it’s original glory. Make it easier by using a battery operated cleaning brush like Rubbermaid’s cleaning tool, which comes with multiple brush heads to choose from!

Remove water rings.

 Someone forgot the coaster? Bob Villa recommends removing water rings on wood furniture bya gentle rub of white, non-gel toothpaste. Focus on the ring only, since toothpaste can potentially damage a wood finish.

Deodorize containers and hands.

 Toothpaste also helps to eliminate stinky food odors. It can be used for baby bottles, thermoses and other containers that may have picked up the wrong scent! Just scrub your items with toothpaste instead of dish soap. Toothpaste can quickly eradicate garlic, onion, curry and other potent food smells from your hands!

See clearly and prevent fogged goggles, even bathroom mirrors from fogging.

 Clean those goggles and mirrors with a paste, wipe it clean.

Which toothpaste to use? Becausetoothpaste is abrasive it is helpful fora lot of buffing uses.

That is why whitening toothpaste can also causesensitivity after awhile to teeth. Keep your pearly whites white by using the whitening toothpaste, butgive them a break from too much abrasion by switching on an and off with a basic, regular paste!


As always, it is our goal as well as our

mission statement to “Serve patients as a

knowledgeable, fun, and gifted team,

inspiring trust while making a difference with our

patients and each other.


Dr. Bob’s Corner: 10 Dieting Myths

June 4, 2014

Every year I am determined to start dieting. It seems there is always something that sabotages this desire each year. One has to beware of what you put on your plate. Here are 10 healthy food myths that can keep you from dieting Success!


Myth #1: Two-Percent Milk is Much Lower in Fat than Whole Milk. While 2% milk sounds like it would be much lower in fat than whole milk, in reality whole milk contains roughly 3 percent fat, not much of a difference. Registered dietitians advise that a low-fat food is defined by having 3 grams of fat or less per serving. Two percent milk has 4.9 grams of fat per serving. If you really want to lower milk fat intake, reach for nonfat milk.


Myth #2: Brown Eggs are Healthier. When it comes to eggs, the color on the outside has nothing to do with the nutrition on the inside. Contrary to beliefs, the nutrients found in brown and white eggs are essentially the same. If you are looking to boost the nutrient content of your eggs, choose brands whose packages say they are enriched in omega-3 fats (the hens’ feed is rich in these essential fatty acids). They cost a bit more also, but in this case you are actually getting what you are paying for.

Myth #3: Turkey Bacon has Less Fat and Sodium than Regular Bacon. Dietitians warn In xs; that though turkey is a leaner meat than pork, you have to be careful of what is added to make the turkey taste like bacon. Usually salt and fat are the same if not higher. You have to really shop around to find brands of turkey bacon that truly are lower in sodium and fat.


Myth #4: Fresh Produce is Always the Better Choice Over Frozen Fruits and Vegetables. There is nothing wrong with buying frozen fruits and vegetables, especially when they are out of season. When you buy out of season you pay more for produce that has been stored or transported long distances, which usually translates into nutrient loss. Frozen fruits and vegetables are actually a really healthy choice because they are frozen at peak ripeness. Look for brands without additives like sugar, and steer clear of vegetable mixes with sauces (butter or cheese). If our only option is to buy canned, pick the low-sodium versions for veggies and fruit packed in natural juices. Rinse all canned veggies under cold water before cooking to lower the sodium content.


Myth #5: Salad is Always the Way to Go. Sounds like a healthy choice to trade in that burger order for a salad. While it could be a healthy switch, there is no guarantee. A plain burger can have 250 calories and 9 grams of fat, while a Caesar salad with grilled chicken can have 380 calories and 23 grams of fat. If you choose crispy chicken, you are looking at a salad with 540 calories and 36 grams of fat. When choosing salads, dietitians warn to watch the salad dressing, which can really pack on the calories. Opt for low-fat dressings, such as balsamic vinaigrette or Italian, and avoid creamy dressings, like ranch or Caesar. Salads topped with croutons, cheese, bacon or anything crispy, will add even more calories!


Myth #6: Low-Fat or Sugar-Free Cookies are the Smarter Dessert Option. If you are going to eat a cookie or a treat, go for a small amount of the real thing! Since sugar and fat satisfy the palette, a little goes a long way. The sugar-free varieties often leave you wanting more, setting you up to overeat. Besides, the sugar-free and fat-modified versions of your favorite treats don’t offer as big a calorie savings as you might think!


Myth #7: Margarine is Better Than Butter. The butter vs. margarine debate has been around for a long time. Margarine and butter have about the same amount of fat and calories. Depending on the type of margarine you buy, you may be spreading your toast with something more harmful than butter. Margarine that contain trans fat (hydrogenated oils) not only raise your bad cholesterol (LDL), but also lower your good cholesterol (HDL). If you prefer the taste of margarine, or can’t have dairy, use margarine made with plant stanols which research suggests may help lower your cholesterol levels.


Myth #8: Swapping Soda for Juice Saves on Sugar. True cutting back on soda is a good thing, but guzzling juice isn’t an improvement. A can of cola has about the same amount of sugar as a cup of unsweetened apple and orange juices. The fruit juice has many good-for-you nutrients, but drinking too much can expand your waistline and the acidic content can cause rampant tooth decay\k no more than 8 ounces of 100% fruit juice a day.


Myth #9:
Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter is Healthier. Reduced-fat peanut butter is not necessarily a better choice over the regular kind.

•* c7 In fact, more sugar and sodium are often added to make up for the lower fat content. So beware and read the fine print as many brands contain trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated oils. Go for the jar of pure, ground peanuts.

Myth #10: Swapping Ice Cream for Frozen Yogurt Saves Calories. Maybe, maybe not. Many people think because it is yogurt it is healthier and eat more of it. Some brands of frozen yogurt have almost double the calories of a light, slow-churned ice cream, which has 50% less fat. So read the labels and watch your portions!

Losing weight can be easier to achieve with a healthy mouth. You may find yourself energized from a healthy smile. More importantly, keeping that smile healthy will lower your chances of periodontal disease, which is linked to heart attack and stroke! Hope to see you soon. As always, it is our goal as well as our mission statement to “Serve patients as a knowledgeable, fun, and gifted team, inspiring trust while making a difference with our patients and each other.” Feel Free to call us at Malenius Dental at 630-668-6180 to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions!

Don’t Pass This On!!!

June 4, 2014

“She has her father’s gorgeous eyes!”

“He sings beautifully, just like his mother.”

“He’s so smart – must have gotten that from his Dad!” “Just like her Mom – a natural athlete!”

We love to brag about our children, and it gives us extra pleasure when we think they inherited their positive traits from us! But how about when they get something from us that might not be so good?

According to a recent study performed at Rey Juan Carolos University of Madrid, fear of the dentist may be associated with a similar fear in their parents – especially the father!

“Children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said study co-author Professor America Lara-Sacido. They went on to discuss that dental fear by either parent can set up their children for a lifetime of difficulty at the dentist.

At Malenius Dental, it is our goal to take dental fear out of the equation and make your dental visit as easy as possible. Our modern techniques and caring approach will provide you with the most pleasant dental experience imaginable. And if you have any worries at all, please feel free to discuss them with us.

Here are some tips from The American Dental Association on making your young child’s dental visit as easy as possible:

 ü Consider making a morning appointment when children tend to be rested and’ cooperative.

ü Keep any anxiety or concerns you have to yourself. Children can pick up on your

Emotions, so emphasize the positive.

  ü Never use a dental visit as a punishment or threat.

  ü Never bribe your child.

ü Talk with your child about visiting the dentist.

And remember – if your child is anxious about a dental visit, it may be because of you!! Please come in and discuss any dental issues you may be having, and we will show you how modern dentistry is more comfortable than ever – and maybe even fun!

To make an appointment for any member of the family or to discuss your dental needs, please call us today at 630-668-6180. At Malenius Dental Care, your comfort is our primary concern!

A Sticky Situation?

May 12, 2014

Is gum chewing a healthy or dangerous habit? This is a question which we are asked quite often. And the answer is…..both! Here are some facts about gum chewing, and we’ll let you decide the answer!


Many gums contain sugar, which may taste great, but cause tooth decay (cavities) and other health-related problems. Why would anyone choose to smash sugar directly against their teeth?


Sugar-free gums don’t contain any ingredients which rot your teeth, and the chewing stimulates the flow of saliva, which may actually help prevent cavities.


Gum chewing can cause inflammation and discomfort in the temperomandibular joint (TMJ) – the joint which connects your lower jaw to your skull. This can trigger a syndrome which includes pain, headaches, earaches and toothaches!


Gum can help freshen the breath after eating stinky foods such as onions and garlic, and relieve dry mouth, which also can promote gross mouth odors. (Bad breath that is present on a constant basis is usually a sign of a more serious dental problem.)


Gum chewing can cause some unwanted and embarrassing problems at the other end! “Chewing gum can contribute to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, as excess air can be swallowed, which contributes to abdominal pain and bloating,” says Dr. Patrick Takahashi, chief of gastroenterology at St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. In addition to swallowing air, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol and mannitol can cause diarrhea in otherwise healthy people.


According to studies performed by the British Psychological Society, gum chewing increases blood flow to the brain and actually can help with alertness and memory!


While many think that gum chewing curbs the appetite, a recent study in the Journal of Eating Behavior reports that chewing minty gum makes one reduce the intake of healthy foods such as fruit, and increase consumption of potato chips and other junk food. (We wonder what a Doritos flavored gum would do!!)


Chewing sugar-free gum can actually reduce the amount of plaque on your teeth and neutralize harmful mouth acids, causing a reduction in cavities.

So what do you think? At the office of Drs, Malenius and Davis we feel that chewing sugar-free gum in moderation can be a healthy habit as long as it doesn’t cause TMJ discomfort or other side effects. Whether you should chew gum during your next job interview – well that’s your call!!

If you have any questions about this or any other dental issues, or would like to make an appointment for a dental exam

cleaning, or consultation, please give us a call at

. We are here for you!

Famous Dentists?

May 5, 2014

While you may not consider your next dental visit to be a brush with fame, there are some dentists out there who have achieved quite a bit of public attention. Here are just a few.

“Doc” Holliday

“Doc” wasn’t just a nickname – the famous gunfighter who was involved in the “Shootout at OK Corral” was a dentist who had a booming practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Unfortunately for “Doc,” he contracted tuberculosis, moved out west to heal, got involved in gambling and gangs, and the rest is history.

Edgar Buchanan

You may know him as TV’s “Uncle Joe” on Petticoat Junction, Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies, but before moving to Hollywood, Edgar was a successful dentist in Eugene, Oregon. He relocated his dental practice to California, joined The Pasadena Playhouse, and got a film role at age thirty-six. Bit by the acting bug, he quit the profession and turned his successful dental practice over to his wife. Hopefully she was a dentist too!!

Zane Grey

Before becoming one of the most prolific writers of Western novels in history, Zane was a practicing dentist in New York. He later revealed that he set up his practice in New York to be near the publishing industry! The multi-talented Dr. Grey also played professional baseball.

Thomas Welch

It may seem strange that the inventor of the sugar-laden Welch’s Grape Juice was a dentist, but it’s true! He never intended to be a juice magnate, but his invention of a non-fermented, non-alcoholic grape juice for his church really took off!

Miles Henry Davis

Miles Davis is one of the greatest and most influential jazz musicians in history, and as a small boy he was given his first trumpet by his father, Dr. M.N. Davis! Dr. Davis was one of the most affluent African-Americans of his era, not only being a dentist but the owner of several businesses. But the world is probably happier that instead of following in his Dad’s dental footsteps, young Miles’ mom, Cleota, an accomplished musician herself, encouraged the lad to study music from a young age.

Paul Revere

This Revolutionary War hero is known for yelling “The British are coming!” but before the war he may have been yelling, “Your wisdom teeth are coming – coming out that is!” A skilled silversmith as well, Revere was known for his talents as an early denture maker.

Wow – and you thought dentistry was boring, At Malenius Dental and Associates we may not have any famous dentists, but we are famous for caring about your smile! Let’s face it, beautiful teeth, healthy gums, fresh breath and a radiant smile, will make anybody just a little more famous.

Whether it’s time for your next examination and cleaning or you have a dental concern, we are here for you! Please call 1-630-668-6180
to schedule your next appointment.

We Would Never Do This!

February 10, 2014

At Malenius Dental, we truly care about your dental health – and we care about ours too! So we would like to share with you seven things we would never do when it comes to our teeth and gums.

  • Use our teeth to open a bottle cap, tear a piece of fabric, or for any other non-dental use.

Teeth have many functions, including biting and chewing food, smiling, aiding in proper speech, and more. But using them for things other than these can result in injury that can be difficult and expensive to repair!

  • Ignore any kind of dental pain or swelling

When your body is trying to tell you something, it is important to listen! While dental pain or swelling does sometimes temporarily go away, that doesn’t mean the underlying problem has resolved. Treating problems early on is always the best solution.

  • Think that bleeding bleeding are “NORMAL.”

If blood were coming out of the ear (or any other body part) most people would be concerned, but for some reason many people think that bleeding gums are normal. They aren’t! Usually gums that bleed, are sensitive, or swollen means there is an underlying infection which could lead to tooth loss. Remember – coming in for regular checkups means early detection of any gum or tooth problems.

  • Eat something and then go to bed without brushing.

The flow of saliva decreases during sleep, and yucky morning breath isn’t the only problem it causes! Nighttime is the right time for sugars, bacteria and food debris to wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Always make sure to give your mouth a thorough brushing before beddy-bye.

  • Play any kind of sport without a mouthguard.

It is estimated that up to 40% of dental injuries occur while playing sports, most of them involving the front teeth. Practically all of these can be prevented by simply wearing a mouthguard. It’s an inexpensive and easy procedure (as compared to the over $500 million spent each year repairing dental sports injuries!)

  • Make health care decisions based solely on insurance coverage.

While dental insurance can be great for offsetting some of your healthcare costs, coverage does not indicate which treatment is right for you. At our office we will work with you to maximize your insurance coverage, make comfortable financial arrangements, AND provide the best treatment possible! It is our goal to perform the highest quality dentistry in an affordable manner.

  • Never go a day without smiling!!

Smiling benefits your mood, boosts your immune system, makers you look younger, relieves stress, and is contagious. No wonder we would never go a day without it!

At Malenius Dental we are here for you. If you would like to discuss any of these points or are in need of a checkup, cleaning or consultation, please give us a call today at 630-668-6180. We also welcome the referral of your friends and family!

I Can’t Hear You – Open Your Mouth!

January 22, 2014

Dental research and technology is pretty amazing. Nowadays your dental team at Malenius Dental has fantastic ways to replace missing teeth, lower the risk of heart disease, give you a bright white smile and much more. But who would have ever thought that teeth could have a significant role in helping deaf people hear again?

Doctors at Oklahoma University have developed a way to transmit sounds through the teeth, allowing those who are completely deaf in one ear to hear much better!

Dustin Brown is a patient who lost his hearing in one ear due to cancer, causing what doctors refer to as “single-sided deafness.” Instead of surgery, Brown opted for a system in which a dental retainer-like device was placed over the lower molars and a small microphone put in his deaf ear. This then transmits the sound through his teeth into his unaffected ear.

Dr. Betty Tsai, a physician at Oklahoma University said, “Bone is actually a very good conductor for sound. In fact, sound travels more efficiently through bone than it does through air.”

Dustin and his wife say this technology has not only helped him hear again, but it has helped them communicate.

Jennifer Brown, Dustin’s wife, said, “It’s a lot less frustrating now. Before he would have to say, ‘huh’ or ‘what.’ It’s just so much better for us.”

Dustin said, “The most difference I’ve seen is when I’m driving down the road with my wife. I can actually hear what she’s saying now.”

Not only can Dustin hear better, but just for saying that he wins Husband of the Year!

To find out what other great technology dentistry has to offer, or to schedule a cleaning, examination, or consultation, give us a call at 6306686180. At Malenius dental, we are here for you!!

Nutritional Healing and Immunity Boosting Foods, Spices, and Beverages

December 9, 2013

The Holidays are just days away. Every year many of us spend countless hours in preparation of grand meals and desserts only to end up with our celebrations cut short with an upset stomach. If you find tummy troubles, here are some helpful foods that you might want to stock up on that can offer you relief from an irritated stomach.

is often used to treat digestive problems such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and heartburn. Papaya’s natural digestive enzyme, papain, breaks down foods that may be irritating to the stomach. Just a half of a thinly sliced piece of this fruit will do the trick to

calm symptoms.


are not only fall favorites, but are good for fighting a queasy stomach because they are rich in enzymes and the soluble fiber, pectin, that help to break down stomach irritants from other foods. And as a bonus, also lowers cholesterol. Apples are best baked if you have a particularly sensitive stomach.

is a spice that can treat a number of tummy problems from morning sickness to diarrhea gas. It stimulates the digestive system, which moves foods along the digestive tract smoothly. You can simply make a plain cinnamon tea by adding
‘/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder to one cup of hot water and let stand for five minutes before drinking.

has been a go to tummy helper for a long time. Ginger ale has a history of being the remedy to settle an upset stomach. Why? Ginger is believed to reduce nausea and inflammation. If you don’t like the “fizzies” that come with the carbonation of ginger ale, try ginger tea or fresh ginger soaked in hot water for a few minutes.

Mint and thyme
are two herbs that stimulate digestion and move food smoothly through the digestive tract. Each of these can be used to make a simple tea to ease stomach cramps and relieve pressure caused by gas and bloating. You can also chew on mint leaves for relief.

Fennel or caraway seeds
can work wonders to improve digestion and to
ease gas and bloating. Add one teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds to one cup of boiling water and
cover and let steep for ten minutes. Strain, and

drink three cups a day on an empty stomach for best
results until you are feeling better. You can also
chew on the seeds after a meal to prevent stomach upsets.

Plain crackers work great to settle an upset
stomach because they are low in fiber and easy to digest, unless, of course you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity.

And you can continue to feel good all year long with these foods that can help boost your body’s immune system, keeping you from getting sick.

Broccoli. Two cups a week and your white blood cells could attack invading flu viruses as
vigorously as they did when you were a kid. Sulforaphane, a chemical found in broccoli,
switches on genes that strengthens your immune system.

Two six-ounce servings of seafood weekly can cut the lifespan of viruses by 42 percent. Seafood is packed with selenium and zinc, both immunity boosting nutrients.

Pink grapefruit can cut your risk of the flu as much as 20 percent. Pink grapefruit contains double the antioxidants of white grapefruit, and are packed full of antioxidants that kick-start the

growth of virus-killing immune cells.

is a herb packed with 70 sulfur compounds that fire up infection-fighting antibodies within 48 hours. One clove a day can do the trick. For best results, let chopped garlic sit on the cutting board for 10 minutes before cooking as the air allows the garlic’s sulfur compounds into their most active flu-fighting form.

Sweet potatoes are nature’s richest source of betacarotene, a nutrient that strengthens the respiratory tract lining so that even aggressive flu viruses have trouble sneaking through! Munch a half a cup daily and you can cut your risk of illness by 33 percent!

Mushrooms help energize sluggish white blood cells, doubling your ability to fight off flu viruses. And any mushroom will do the trick!

Greek Yogurt Your digestive tract produces 70 percent of your immune cells, making it a keyline of defense against the flu. Greek yogurt
contains the healing bacteria your digestive tract needs to function at its peak, but none of the immunity-weakening sugars found in regular yogurts. To cut your infection risk as much as 48 percent, enjoy one cup of Greek yogurt daily!

All of us here at the
Malenius Kingdom
wish all your celebrations

this year are full of great family, friends and lasting memories. As always, it is our goal as well as our mission statement to “Serve patients as a knowledgeable, fun, and gifted team, inspiring trust while making a difference with our patients and each other.” If you need us you can always contact us at 1-630-668-6180.


Holiday Travel Tips and Alzheimer’s Discovery

November 25, 2013

The Holidays are around the corner. Every year many of us spend countless hours in preparation and travel to celebrate and reconnect with family and friends. If you are the ones traveling, don’t let long lines, flight delays, lost luggage, traffic jams, crowds and other travel woes take away from the love and joy of this special season. So before you put on your hat and head out the door, you might want to consider a few travel tips to make your visit a great experience!

Get a Good Night’s Sleep the Night Before. Set a daily schedule so last minutes tasks like wrapping presents and packing bags aren’t keeping you up late. You may even want to consider shipping presents ahead of time. Seven to nine hours of sleep will result in a happier mood and less susceptibility to stress. You will also be less susceptible to contracting an illness on the plane or train because your body’s systems will have regenerated during sleep. If you do snooze on the trip, limit naps to 40 minutes at the most so you don’t end up in a groggy fog!

Avoid Heavy Baggage. Before you pack, lay out everything you are planning on taking and then step back and reconsider exactly what you will really need. Often people can cut down at least a third of the original pile. You don’t want to wrench your back, neck or shoulders carrying an overly heavy bag, or stress out about whether you can hoist it into an overhead compartment. Bring what you will be most comfortable in, and just get down to a basic wardrobe.

Bring Your Own Healthy Snacks. Don’t wait until you are starving, cranky and desperate for something to eat at an airport, train station or rest stop. Besides satisfying your hunger, eating regularly keeps your blood sugar levels steadier so you will be less anxious and irritable while traveling. Bring along snacks such as fruit or nuts. Stay away from dehydrating coffee or cola, and drink enough water to keep you well hydrated (at least a cup or two every three hours), but not so much that those restroom stops, stop you from reaching your destination. While we are on the subject, you might want to also avoid anything with red dye 4 also known as carmine or cochineal. The red dye is made from white boiled cochineal bugs, a type of beetle, that exudes a bright red color when it is crushed. So you might want to rethink that Skittles, Good n* Plenty, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and even ice cream!

Bring Along Your Own Entertainment. Why not take that book you have been eager to read, or an iPod or MP3 player with a soothing play list to help you mellow out along the way. Music can help dissipate any anxiety and tension, not to mention wearing earphones can help you tune out any unwelcome nearby noise.

Bring a Necessity Bag. Fill a small cosmetic bag with go to helpers such as hand sanitizer, tissues, gum or sugar free hard candy, nasal drops or decongestant, a pain reliever, compression stockings and anything else you might need to make your travels comfortable as possible. You may want to bring along a small tube of hand lotion with a soothing scent. For example, lavender aroma is known for it’s calming and relaxing affects.

Make Room for Downtime. It is smart to plan on getting to the airport or train station early so you are not racing against the clock to make your departure in the midst of long lines and crowded conditions. If you end up with some free time, even better. You may end up with time to take in a massage or take a brisk walk around the terminal to stretch out those legs and then actually relax during your trip.

Once you arrive at your destination you may find all that effort and hard work can provide you with the energy to truly enjoy the people and celebrations.

Speaking of your loved ones, especially aging parents that you only see a few times a year, you may notice changes, especially with memory. It can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between the normal changes that occur with aging and the signs of something more serious like Alzheimer’s disease. The Alzheimer’s Association has an updated list of 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s that you may find helpful. 1) Memory loss that disrupts daily life. 2) Challengers in planning or solving problems. 3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks at home, at work or at leisure 4) Confusion with time or place. 5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. 6) New problems with words in speaking or writing. 7) Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. 8) Decreased or poor judgment. 9) Withdrawal from work or social activities. 10) Changes in mood and personality. If you have concern speak with your family doctor to learn more about Alzheimer’s and its treatment.

All of us at the Malenius Kingdom wish your Holidays are filled with smiles, laughter and great memories.


s always, it is our goal as well as our mission statement to “Serve patients as a knowledgeable, fun, and gifted team, inspiring trust while making a difference with our patients and each other.”

If you have questions about this article and information, as well as any other dental issues, feel free to call us at 630-668-6180 or email us at .