Summertime Dental Tips | Snohomish Dentist

When school lets out and we head out on our family vacations, it seems likely our daily schedules relax as we begin to. Our diets become less healthy and thus, so does our dental routine. The problem is, after your fantastic getaway, you may have some dental issues arise. In order to keep your family’s dental health, follow these handy tips:

Make it fun. Kids are going to be the toughest fight when it comes to keeping up dental hygiene any time of year, but especially during the summer. Why not make it fun? Visual reminders are awesome for helping kids create consistent brushing habits. Post a calendar by the sink with space for two stars each day – morning and night. Each week, if they kept their brushing up, reward them. It may sound like cheating, but children love working for a goal. Just try not to make the reward bad for teeth.

Brush in time. It is important that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes, but for little ones that could be tough. Have a playlist or a dance video ready and dance, dance, dance your way to clean teeth!

Clean up the diet. Summertime is all about sugar. Try to minimize the sugary snacks. Replace popsicles and cookies with sugar-free snacks like nuts and watermelon. When you do enjoy sweets, Rinse with some water to prevent sugar from sticking around. Making your family’s diet healthier will always help your dental, and overall, health. Dental health isn’t just for tiny humans, it’s a family affair.

If you are seeking help to improve your smile during your vacation, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Is Ice Cream Good for My Teeth? | Snohomish Dentist

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Yes, we are smack dab in one sweltering summer and it seems frozen treats are the number one request to keep cool. The problem is, these chilly delights aren’t exactly the best for our teeth. And here are the reasons why:

Tooth decay. Frozen treats come in a variety of ways, but one thing is for sure – sugar is sure to be involved, whether you choose to indulge in an ice cream sundae, popsicle or a bit of “healthier” fro-yo. Sugar is needed for plaque to create cavities. In order to prevent tooth decay, make sure you practice proper dental hygiene.

Tooth Sensitivity. A huge issue some people face is tooth sensitivity, and this creates an obstacle when it comes to eating ice cream. If you find that it is difficult to consume chilly treats, chances are you have a dental issue. Make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. Tooth sensitivity is very treatable.

Calcium intake. You may be thinking – my teeth need calcium and ice cream is made from milk. So, ice cream is actually GOOD for us, right? Sorry, but it isn’t true. Yes, it does contain calcium, but not enough to keep your teeth healthy. You still need to drink your milk, kids.

We aren’t saying banish ice cream from your diet. By all means, please do. But be aware of just how much you are consuming. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

If you are seeking help to improve your smile during your vacation, call Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines proudly serves Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

February 9th Is National Toothache Day | Snohomish Dentist

In honor of National Toothache Day, it seems only fitting to take a moment to talk about these painful oral issues. After all, toothaches are some of the worst pains because we use our teeth on such a regular basis. When one of them is in pain, it’s hard to ignore. But what exactly is a toothache?

First things first, there are triggers that let you know you have a toothache – and they are just normal everyday things we all do. Biting down on something hard, sweets and/or hot and cold drinks are likely to send a shooting pain through you, signaling you may need to make a dentist appointment.

Not only will pain be involved in your achy tooth, but there are a few physical symptoms your mouth will use to let you know that your tooth is not doing so hot. A throbbing pain in your mouth, swollen painful gums, a headache or even a fever are all symptoms that something is wrong in your mouth and should get checked asap. It may not always be a toothache; but leaving it untreated will not only increase the issue, but may make things much worse.

Because the tooth pain is an issue within the soft center of the tooth, inflammation can be caused by various dental issues. Cavities, infected tooth roots and gums, broken teeth and damaged fillings are all issues that need to be taken care of in a dental office during your regular checkups in order to prevent a toothache from developing.

For more information regarding toothaches, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Teach Them Young | San Antonio Dentist

Boy brushing his teeth

We are born with a clean slate and our instincts aren’t all that great, but they are enough to get us by with the help of an adult. As we grow, we are taught things that will help us get by in life on our own. Along the way, we also pick up habits, both good and bad. The good ones keep us safe, successful and healthy – the others do the opposite. As parents, it is important that we start our children off successful when it comes to forming good habits.

It is a common misconception that a child’s teeth aren’t all that important because they fall out to make way for their permanent ones. Because of this thought process, children aren’t always taught about dental hygiene. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge leads to tooth decay and more dental visits. Thankfully, there is something we can do to prevent our child’s oral health from declining to that state – teach them young.

In 2013, there was a study done in Scotland that wanted to prove that implementing a nursery tooth brushing program nationwide would reveal a reduction of tooth decay in five-year olds. Each health service administrative board area would distribute a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, then supervise the toddler’s teeth brushing practices to teach them proper technique. Once taught, the children would continue the practice at home and over the next twelve years, their dental health would be monitored. Those that were taught in nursery school had a decrease in dental decay from 3.06 to 2.07 once they reached ages 10-12, thus proving that the earlier they are taught to take care of their teeth, the healthier their mouths will be.

Because baby teeth are only temporary, they aren’t as strong as our permanent ones turn out to be. This makes them more susceptible to developing tooth decay. If they aren’t looked after daily, the more frequent (and painful) the tooth decay will be, making this habit a top priority. Once they understand the basics, it is now imperative to keep them motivated enough to continue the process to form a habit. Consistency is key.

A study was done in Ponta Grossa, PR, Brazil in order to prove that it takes more than just the basics to develop a habit. 26 kindergarteners were selected and the presentation was broken up into three stages – zero knowledge, a motivational presentation once basic knowledge was given, and a thirty-day check-up to see if anything stuck. As they learned more about their dental health, they more they would make better choices when it came to their teeth.

It is never too young to teach our little ones about the importance of maintaining a good dental routine. In fact, these studies that have proven that stressing these good dental habits at an early age can not only set the stage for the rest of their lives, but will also decrease the chances of developing tooth decay.

For more information regarding pediatric dentistry, contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Snohomish, Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

Is Tooth Decay and a Cavity The Same Thing?

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669No, tooth decay is not the same as a cavity. However, tooth decay can cause cavities.

Tooth decay, or also referred to as dental caries, start as plaque, the sticky film that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria found in plaque produces acid that, if left unchecked, can destroy the surface of your teeth. The acid can eventually cause your tooth to decay, which can also lead to it creating a hole in your enamel and this is how you get a cavity.

Fortunately, decay and its effects are both preventable and reversible. Of course, that only is true if it is caught early enough, or if you practice good oral hygiene at home. The former requires the help of a dental professional, as only they can help stop the decay from progressing further and allow your teeth enough time to repair itself.

Tooth decay is often treated or prevented via any one of the following methods:

  • Fluoride gel or varnish may be applied to the teeth to help boost remineralization and help the affected teeth repair itself.
  • Powerful antiseptic gel or varnish may also be applied to reduce the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which can help slow down the demineralization process.
  • Liquid composite sealants can also help by creating a physical barrier between your teeth and the bacteria.

Unfortunately, once tooth decay has caused a cavity to form, the emphasis of treatment changes from prevention to restoration. This is because cavities are irreversible and the tooth simply just cannot repair itself anymore. The only option is for the dentist to repair the tooth by cleaning out the affected area and filling the hole.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While dental technology certainly has come a long way over the years and dentists are now better equipped than before to handle tooth decay and cavities, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just allow yourself to have any one of the two.

Cavities, for one, are irreversible. Even though it can be treated via fillings, crowns, and root canals, having cavities puts you at risk of having a tooth extracted, which only creates even more problems for you to deal with.

As such, it’s important that you start taking better care of your teeth and gums by making sure that you do the following:

  • Brush your teeth properly. Do it gently, do not be overly aggressive and switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once, rinse after every time you brush and/or floss your teeth. Repeat.
  • Avoid going for many hours without brushing your teeth. If you’re going to go more than half a day without brushing your teeth, keep yourself hydrated and chew sugarless gum. Doing both helps stimulate saliva production in your mouth, which is your body’s natural means of cleansing itself of bacteria and plaque.
  • Visit your dentist every 4-6 months, not when you’re just feeling pain in your mouth and/or teeth. Doing so helps make sure that your teeth are properly and thoroughly cleaned often, as well as monitored carefully. Also, since you visit the dentist often, any possible dental problems are caught and treated early on, preventing any possible irreversible damage to your teeth.

Follow these tips and your teeth are sure to be well-protected from tooth decay and cavities.

If you feel that you may be suffering from a cavity or tooth decay,  contact Dr. Ted Haines, DDS in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.tedhainesdds.com for additional information.

Dr. Ted Haines proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

 

Preventing Cavities | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

494183909Dreaded by patients young and old, one of the most common words associated with a dental visits is: cavities.

Cavities are holes in the tooth surfaced caused by decay. When detected early, the treatment is typically simple – the decay is removed with a dental drill, and the hole is filled with a substance such as composite resin, that hardens to a natural looking color.

Treating tooth decay is generally a simple procedure, but it’s better to prevent tooth decay from causing cavities in the first place. There are a number of simple things you can do at home to help prevent cavities:

1) Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, ideally after each meal to help remove food and beverages from your teeth. If you can’t brush after a meal, at least try to rinse your mouth with water. Also, clean between your teeth with floss.
2) Rinse your mouth. Plain tap water typically has fluoride added for dental health. If you are at a high risk of decay, your dentist may recommend you rinse your mouth with a more concentrated fluoride solution in the dental office.
3) Visit your dentist. Regular professional cleanings and exams will help prevent decay, and if decay does form, it can be handled quickly and easily before it becomes a larger problem.
4) Eat tooth friendly foods. Avoid foods that get stuck in the grooves of your teeth, such as chips and candy, and brush soon after eating them. Fresh fruits and vegetables can help dental health by encouraging saliva, and unsweetened tea can help wash away food particles in your mouth.
5) Avoid frequent snacking. When you have food in your mouth, the acidic conditions damage tooth enamel, so snacking (and drinking) throughout the day means your teeth are under attack.

Practicing these easy steps to help minimize tooth decay and keep your teeth cavity free.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for an appointment today. Keep those teeth healthy! Call 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.