Archive for the ‘dental health’ Category

Please, Don’t Pass This On!

October 23, 2013

“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 bribe your child.

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

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, your comfort is our primary concern!

Tooth Brushing Basics

September 26, 2013

Do You Know The Basics?

Recently the American Dental Association did a survey to see if typical Americans knew some basic facts about dental health. Here are some of the questions – play along and see how you do!

• What type of bristles should you have on your toothbrush – soft, medium or hard?

Most people chose either medium or hard, but the fact is soft bristles are best! Medium or hard can actually damage your sensitive gum tissue and wear your teeth!

• Sugar causes cavities – true or false?

Practically everyone answered “true” to this one, but the answer is actually “false!” But you may feel it’s a trick question. Cavities are caused by bacteria, but the problem causing organisms feed on sugar that is stuck to your teeth! We recommend limiting sweets and soft drinks, especially the sticky kind!

• Does The American Dental Association recommend brushing your teeth for sixty seconds after every meal, or for two minutes twice per day?

Again, most people got this one wrong! The ADA suggests twice per day for two minutes. Of course, if you want to throw in a few extra brushing sessions each day we won’t object – especially before you come to visit us!

• True or false – it is normal for your gums to bleed while brushing and flossing.

Okay – this one is a little scary. 35% of respondents answered “true” – but the answer is definitely false! Think about it – what would you do if your nose bled every time you sneezed, or your arm bled when you scratched it? Well, the same goes for your gums! Bleeding is a sign of gum disease and infection, and is certainly not normal or healthy!

So how did you do? Hopefully this little quiz was fun, and maybe you even learned something!

At Malenius Dental, we are here to answer any questions you may have, no matter how basic! Give us a call at 630-668-6180
and we will be glad to help you – or to set up an appointment for a dental examination, cleaning, to look at any dental problem you may be having, or even to brighten up your smile. Whatever it is – we can help!

Here are ten wild and crazy dental facts that will make you smile and improve your health as well.

February 16, 2012


1) The average human produces 25,000 quarts of saliva in a lifetime. That is enough spit to fill 2 swimming pools!


2) You should not keep your toothbrush near a toilet. The airborne particles from the flush can travel up to a distance of 6 feet. Yuck!


3) People who drink 3 or more glasses of soda each day have 62% more tooth decay, fillings and tooth loss than others. Put down the pop and sports drinks and pick up some nice fresh water instead.


4) In 1994, a prison inmate in West Virginia braided dental floss into a rope, scaled the wall and escaped. (We suggest that you use floss to clean between your teeth instead of climbing prison walls! If you don’t you are missing around 35% of your teeth’s surfaces.)


5) You should replace your toothbrush at least every three months, and always after you have an episode of flu, cold or other viral infections. Notorious bacteria can implant themselves on the toothbrush bristles leading to re-infection.


6) Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. However, we do not recommend that you use your pearly whites to open bottle caps!


7) The standard advice to “see your dentist twice a year” was actually invented by an ad agency for Pepsodent toothpaste! Your dental professional should recommend the correct schedule for your regular dental visits.


8) A recent poll has shown that health professionals (physicians, dentists and nurses) were among the most trusted people in The United States. The least trusted? Lobbyists and congressmen of course!


9) According to a recent survey done by Time Magazine, 59% of Americans would rather have a dental appointment than be sitting next to someone talking on a cell phone. Maybe some of us should take a hint!


10) Over three out of four people in the United States suffer from some form of gum disease. It is the leading cause of tooth loss in people over age 35. The good news is, in most cases gum disease can be prevented or controlled!

At the office of Dr. Malenius and Davis, we are here for you, and want to help you achieve the best smile possible. If you have any questions about your dental health or need to schedule an appointment, please give us a call today at 1-630-668-6180. We can help you!


Also – did you know that we are now on Facebook? Please go to and “like” us for more dental health tips, community news, contests, special offers at all kinds of other fun stuff!!

Solar Powered Dentistry

October 17, 2010

Found this article on the internet and thought it was interesting!!

Solar Powered Toothbrush Could Make Toothpaste Obsolete

by Yuka Yoneda, 08/16/10

solar powered toothbrush, solar toothbrush, Kunio Komiyama, shiken, Soladey-J3X, green gadgets, solar power, green design, eco design, sustainable design, green products

When we first saw this new gadget, we thought “Oh, a mechanical toothbrush powered by the sun.” But that isn’t what this is. Instead of using solar rays to charge itself up, the toothbrush uses them to catalyze a powerful chemical reaction that could leave your mouth way cleaner than regular old brushing does. “You see complete destruction of bacterial cells,” says Kunio Komiyama, the inventor of the device. Oh, and did we mention that no toothpaste is required? Watch out Colgate!

solar powered toothbrush, solar toothbrush, Kunio Komiyama, shiken, Soladey-J3X, green gadgets, solar power, green design, eco design, sustainable design, green products

Mechanical University of Saskatchewan dentistry professor emeritus Dr. Kunio Komiyama and his colleague Dr. Gerry Uswak are recruiting 120 teens willing to brush with a prototype light-powered toothbrush and sit in a dentist’s chair for a few extra inspections. The manufacturer, the Shiken company of Japan, is paying the researchers to investigate whether the brush, which causes a chemical reaction in the mouth, does a better job of eliminating plaque and bacteria than a conventional toothbrush.

Komiyama’s first model, which was described 15 years ago in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, contained a titanium dioxide rod in the neck of the brush, just below the nylon bristles. It works when light shines on the wet rod, releasing electrons. Those electrons react with acid in the mouth, which helps break down plaque. No toothpaste is required.

Now Komiyama’s back with a newer model, the Soladey-J3X, which he says packs twice the chemical punch compared to the original. Protruding from the base of the brush is a solar panel, which transmits electrons to the top of the toothbrush through a lead wire. It won’t work in the dark, though – the brush needs about as much light as a solar-powered calculator would to operate.


Read more: Solar Powered Toothbrush Could Make Toothpaste Obsolete | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World


3 Decay Promoting Drinks Americans Should Avoid

July 26, 2010

Tooth decay has become a chronic problem in the United States quite often due to the sugary, decay-causing drinks Americans consume. If you want to spend less time at the dentist, here are 3 drinks that you may want to avoid in order to preserve your teeth.


If you are trying to keep your teeth decay free, sodas are your #1 enemy! Soda is a cornucopia of harmful ingredients waiting to attack your tooth enamel. The main decay causing factors in soda are its acid content, phosphorus content, caffeine and sugar. Some sodas contain as much acid as a battery, and drinking sodas over a long period of time slowly breaks down the enamel of your teeth! The phosphoric acid and caffeine in soda are also culprits for enamel breakdown. Although phosphorus is a necessary element in your bones, too much phosphorus can lead to bone loss, and caffeine limits calcium absorption by your teeth.

The sugar in sodas attaches to bacteria and makes it stick to the surface of your enamel and fuels their metabolism which releases acid byproducts which can cause serious damage to your teeth. Limiting or eliminating sodas from your diet is good for your overall health, but especially good for your bones and teeth. Another helpful tip is to drink your soda through a straw to try and l keep these harmful elements off your teeth as much as possible. If you are experiencing extensive tooth decay due to soda consumption, be sure to get the professional dental care you need to address the decay and avoid more expensive and extensive treatment like root canals and crowns.

Sports Drinks

Different studies show multiple results regarding sports drinks and tooth decay. There are varying factors suchas when and how often you consume these drinks. The acidity and sugar of sports drinks are similar to soda in their affect on your mouth. However, the amount of saliva produced while you are drinking sports drinks will greatly alter the affect the drink has on your teeth. If you are sipping a sports drink at your leisure, during a sports activity, or during a bike ride, your teeth will experience greater affects of decay than consuming a sports drink with your meal. (The stimulus of chewing your food will increase your saliva flow, reducing the decay effects of these acidic and sugary drinks.)


White wine has a high acid content and wears away at tooth enamel, very similar to the way affect fruit juice affects your teeth. Although red wines are more apt to leave your teeth stained, they tend to be less acidic and damge your teeth less. Prolonged exposure of your teeth to wine (because wine is typically sipped), decreases the pH balance of your mouth and gives bacteria a favorable environment to grow. If you choose to drink wine, make sure that you eat at the same time and eat foods rich in calcium, such as cheese, to help counter the effects of this acid.

Removing these 3 drinks from your diet is a great way help keep out of the dentist’s chair as much as possible. However, if you already have cavities due to these drinks, you best not wait and get these problems fixed to avoid even greater expense.

Floss To Remember

May 12, 2010

Having trouble remembering to floss? It may be more than just trying to develop a good habit that will save your teeth! Thanks to Courtney “CoCo” Malenius, who brought to our attention a Channel 7/ABC report entitled “Floss to Remember,” research suggests that forgetting can be contributed to by gum disease.

It seems that staying away from gum disease bacteria keeps more than your teeth. The bacteria that causes gum disease triggers your body’s inflammatory process that can affect your systemic health including your memory! Researchers looked at men and women over 60, and those who scored lowest on tests of math and memory had been exposed to gum disease bacteria. These low score results were comparable to scores by those with early Alzheimer’s Disease. The inflammatory bacteria causes blood vessels to stiffen, which is linked to cardiac and memory problems.

More Reasons Not To Use Oral Barbells To Exercise tongue Muscles

April 27, 2010

More on Oral Barbells

Athletes who always seem to be health conscious can’t seem to understand the risks of oral piercings and jewelry. According to the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), oral piercing and tongue jewelry place athletes at risk for serious medical and dental consequences.

“For years, we have been urging athletes to wear mouthguards when they are playing,” says AGD spokesperson Bruce DeGinder, DDS, MAGD. “Now we have to tell them to take the barbell out of their tongues.”

The AGD published an article in the March/April 2002 issue of General Dentistry ( the Academy’s peer-reviewed, clinical journal), one out of every five oral piercings results in infection from contaminated puncture wounds. They found athletes are more susceptible than the average person to develop infections due to the increased blood flow and breathing rate involved in vigorous exercise, as well as the increased chance of bleeding from a contact injury, both of which can spread infection more quickly.

In a survey of pediatric dentists, 24% reported that they had treated patients with complications resulting from oral piercing. Common problems included bleeding, airway restriction, and chemical burns caused by post-piercing care products. Damage to the teeth and gums is of course another common problem.

According to Suzann P. McGeary, DDS, the risks and dangers of oral jewelry and piercings are even higher for athletes. “The athlete who participates in contact sports may be particularly susceptible to airway restriction because an impact may dislodge the tongue jewelry, which could be inhaled. It also could be swallowed, which could cause injury to the gastrointestinal tract.”

Damage to teeth by tongue jewelry is another danger intensified by participating in contact sports. “We have seen so many cracks and fractures in teeth caused by clicking, tapping or rubbing the jewelry on them that it has gotten its own name – the wrecking ball fracture,” says Dr. DeGinder. “The danger of this is much higher on the playing field.” According to Dr. McGeary, the jewelry can also injure the gums and other soft tissue, as well as interfere with proper salivary functioning, conditions that decrease the body’s defenses against infection and disease.

Dr. DeGinder’s first suggestion regarding oral piercing is, “Don’t do it.”

Mixing tongue jewelry and a mouthguard is a particularly bad combination, says Dr. McGeary. “The jewelry may interfere with the mouthguard and cause increased salivary flow and gagging or inhibit breathing or speech.”

“Remove the tongue jewelry – not the mouthguard,” says Dr. McGeary.
Info from the AGD

Researchers Find Tongue Piercing Could Lead To Gum and Tooth Problems

April 18, 2010

s …

As many of my patients have heard in my office, Why in the world would you put something in your tongue that can only cause you harm? Well I went searching for information to back this up and here’s some things that I found: A study in 2002 published in the JOURNAL OF PERIODONTOLOGY found that extended wear of tongue jewelry (barbell-type) could increase your chance of gum recession and tooth chipping.. Study Abstract *

Researchers at Loma Linda University School of Dentistry and Ohio State University College of Dentistry examined and surveyed 52 young adults with pierced tongues. They found gum recession in 35 percent of subjects with pierced tongues for four or more years, and in 50 percent wearing long-stemmed barbells for two or more years.

“During tongue movement, long-stem barbells are more likely to reach and damage the gums than short barbells,” said Dr. Dimitris Tatakis, professor of periodontology at the Ohio State University College of Dentistry and coauthor of the study. “Over time, this damage may cause the gums to recede, which can lead to more serious dental/oral complications.”

Additionally, 47 percent of young adults wearing either type of barbell for four or more years had chipped teeth. The prevalence of tooth chipping was significantly greater in those wearing short-stemmed barbells (1/4 inch – 5/8 inch) for four or more years.

Researchers believe tooth chipping is a result of habitual biting of the barbell. “A short barbell is possibly easier to position between teeth, which could be one reason why we are seeing more chipped teeth in this group,” said Tatakis. “Another factor that was not investigated could be the size or material type of the screw caps attached to the barbell.”

Dr. Timothy Roberts from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York presented study results on 4,500 adolescents aged 12 to 21 and found that teens with body piercings are more likely to smoke cigarettes, use drugs and exhibit other types of unhealthy behavior. Study findings were presented at the Society of Adolescent Medicine’s annual meeting in Boston.

“Mouth piercings and smoking combined could cause a mouthful of trouble,” said Dr. Kenneth Bueltmann, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. “As a smoker, you are more likely than nonsmokers to have calculus on your teeth, deep pockets between your teeth and gums and loss of the bone and tissue that support your teeth. Combine these problems with gum recession from tongue piercing and you are on your way to having a serious infection called periodontal disease and not to mention a not so cool looking mouth.”

“Given this new information, I strongly recommend discussing potential risk factors with your dentist before mouth piercing,” said Bueltmann. “Additionally, anyone with a pierced mouth should receive a thorough oral examination of their gums and teeth to identify problem areas. Taking precautions now will increase your chance of keeping your teeth for a lifetime instead of needing dentures like many of your grandparents.”

In addition to periodontal diseases (serious bacterial infections that destroy the attachment fibers and supporting bone that hold your teeth in your mouth) tongue piercing may cause other complications such as t ongue swelling, difficulties with chewing, swallowing and speech, increase of saliva flow, localized tissue overgrowth and metal hypersensitivity.

A referral to a periodontist in your area and free brochure samples are available by calling 800-FLOSS-EM or visiting the AAP’s Web site at Thanks for this info from the site of the Periodontal association.

Bad breath, what on Earth can I do?

April 4, 2010

You Can Prevent Bad Breath:

Here are 10 tips to help prevent bad breath or halitosis that can easily be added to our everyday lives:

1. Drink plenty of water

Yes, it’s that simple. Anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that don’t use or need oxygen to survive) in the mouth break down proteins and sugars into volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that create the foul odors carried by your breath. Anaerobic bacteria love and thrive on dry conditions. By drinking water frequently, you create an unfriendly environment for these bacteria. Water also dilutes the concentration of VSCs. Consequently, the odour coming from your mouth may not be strong enough to be offensive. So drink water as often as you can.

2. Maintain a good oral hygiene

Good ORAL HYGIENE alone won’t stop bad breath, however, good oral hygiene sure helps. If you don’t already brush and floss two times a day, you should start. You need to start cleaning your tongue using a brush or tongue scraper. The back of your tongue is a resort for anaerobic bacteria. A clean pink tongue makes the living conditions unattractive for these bacteria.

3. Treat existing oral diseases

Existing oral diseases such as gum disease and candida infections may be the culprit causing your bad breath. If this is the case, you need to go see your dentist as soon as possible.

Furthermore, you should also make sure that faulty dental work isn’t negatively affecting your oral health and breath (see blog on examples of faulty work that can cause bad breath).

4. Use natural antibiotics

Nature provides us its own healing powers through herbs which have many antibiotic characteristics. Fresh Parsley, and Aloe Vera are effective in preventing bad breath.

Try chewing fresh parsley; it detoxifies your mouth and also contains abundant chlorophyll which sweetens your breath. Chewing also increases the flow of saliva which helps avoid dry mouth.

You can also make your own mouthwash by using ALOE VERA juice.. Buy diluted aloe vera juice at your local pharmacy or herbal store and mix two teaspoons of it to a tumbler of water.

5. Avoid commercial mouthwashes ESP with alcohol

Many commercial mouthwashes contain large amount of alcohol. Alcohol leads to dry mouth.

As stated before, DRY MOUTH creates the perfect condition for anaerobic bacteria to manufacture sulfur compounds — not to mention bad breath. In addition to alcohol, most commercial mouthwashes contain unnecessary ingredients such as flavoring and dyes to make them attractive to general public. This is why you see the same mouthwash in four different colors. Constant use of such mouthwashes could lead to chronic bad breath, which is a condition much harder to treat. Commercial mouthwashes have recently been linked to some other potential health hazards. Try using the ALOE VERA Mouthwash from tip #4 instead.

6. Chew sugarless gum

The chewing process increases saliva flow thus making your oral environment unattractive to anaerobic bacteria. Yes, chewing fresh parsley is good for you, but sugarless gum is much more flexible. It’s easy to pop in gum anywhere at any time. .

If you have bad breath, you shouldn’t chew gums containing SUGAR. The sugar in most gums you chew is easily broken down into VSCs by anaerobic bacteria. Only chew SUGARLESS GUM.

7. Eat crisp fruits and vegetables

By eating crisp fruits and vegetables such as apple, celery, cucumber and carrot, your mouth is naturally cleaned. Plaque and food particles between your teeth and gums are removed during this process.

You also increase your saliva flow when you eat crisp food, not to mention, fruits and vegetable are good for your health and should always be included in your regular diet.

8. Switch to tea

Everywhere you look these days there seems to be a coffee shop of some kind. If you are having bad breath concerns, maybe it’s time to switch to tea.

Coffee creates a thin coating on your tongue. This thin coating blocks the oxygen supply to the lower levels of the tongue. This is a perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria, which thrive when there is little or no oxygen. On the other hand, tea doesn’t cause this coating and some research suggest it may also fight bad breath and other health problems as covered in other blogs we have written.

9. You can make your own toothpaste

As in commercial mouth wash, commercial toothpastes contain unnecessary ingredients such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) that may negatively affect your overall oral health. (SLS is a soap additive used to cause the foaming when used that has been linked to canker sores).

Mixtures of baking soda and salt were used as toothpaste long before commercial toothpastes were invented. It still works better than many toothpastes you see in stores. Baking soda helps prevent bad breath by neutralizing acids that aid the breakdown of VSCs–the culprit behind halitosis.

How do you make toothpaste?

  • Create a mixture of baking soda and salt in a 3:1 proportion.
  • Sprinkle this mixture on a wet toothbrush and brush your teeth as you normally do.

It’s simple and uncomplicated. You should see an improvement in your breath in a matter of days or weeks. You might also see whiter teeth as well.

10. Find the exact cause and attack it

For a long-term benefit, you’ve got to find the exact cause of bad breath, and then attack the cause with a good remedy. Otherwise, you’re getting nowhere. So stop blindly searching for a bad breath remedy.


Don’t let your bad breath hinder your social life. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix that cures your bad breath in a few hours or days. In order to get rid of bad breath, you need to develop a plan and work at it. Be persistent, and you will eventually succeed.

Information from the journal of Periodontics and articles by Dr. Katz.

When Should Kids Have Their First Dental Visit?

March 30, 2010

Two of the most frequently asked questions at Dr. Robert Malenius and Associates are:

“Do you see children here?” and of course the answer to this is an enthusiastic “YES! We love kids!”

The second question is “When should I schedule my child’s first dental visit?”   We agree with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,  which states that a child should be seen either as soon as their first tooth comes in or by their first birthday.

Many times a child’s first dental visit involves just a quick peed at their teeth, wiping the teeth and gums with a piece of gauze and giving them a ride up and down in the dental chair.  We let them spray some air and water, tell them how good they are and how much fun it is to see the dentist.  This positive reinforcement may be the most important part of the visit!

Studies have shown that many people avoid seeing the dentist purely out of fear-and we want to make sure that for the nest generation that is a thing of the past.  With so many modern ways to make dentistry more comfortable , there simply is no reason to be afraid!  But unfortunately, television shows and movies continue to depict things in a negative light.  In our Wheaton dental offices, it is our goal to let children (and adults) know that dental health is a comfortable, important, and even fun part of our overall well being.

Here are a few more easy and important tips to pass along to those with infants or older children:

  • Never nurse a baby to sleep or allow them to go to sleep with a bottle.  This can cause a very harmful and serious form of cavities.  If a baby must go to sleep with a bottle,  only water should be used.
  • Use a small-headed soft bristle toothbrush with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste to clean your child’s teeth.  Do it twice a day, and always before bedtime.
  • Even though they will be lost, “baby teeth” are very important.  Not only do they help children to speak and chew,  they also set a straight path for the permanent teeth to erupt.  If they are lost prematurely, the adult teeth can be compromised.
  • Sealants are a fast, easy, and effective way to prevent cavities.  Be sure to ask us if your child is ready for them

At  Dr. Robert Malenius and Associates, we strive to provide the best and most comfortable treatment possible for patients of all ages.  Should you have any questions about your children’s dental care – or anything else – feel free to give us a call at 1-630-668-6180 or visit our web site at or facebook at Malenius Dental | Wheaton