Are Strawberries Good for Our Teeth? | Snohomish Dentist

There is nothing more delicious than a fresh strawberry on a warm Spring day. If it’s homegrown, it’s even tastier. But are they good for your teeth? Reports are conflicting. Some have touted a strawberry-baking soda paste mixture as a healthy, natural way to whiten your teeth. Some have said that the acidity in strawberries are damaging the tooth enamel. So, which is correct? Let’s take a look at the facts:

Strawberries are a sweet juicy fruit that have both citric and malic acids. These acids, when combined with baking soda, have been known to brighten your teeth. However, like lemons, the whitening agent the acidity brings can potentially erode tooth enamel. In fact, Ran Kwon, a tooth whitening researcher at the University of Iowa delved into this subject through a series of experiments.

Kwon first rubbed a mixture of baking soda and California-grown organic strawberries on 20 recently extracted human molars for 5 minutes, and then brushed the teeth gently. She repeated this procedure three times daily for 10 days, which is what the original recipe called for.

What resulted was that these teeth brushed with the strawberry and baking soda formula showed no real whitening, based on two color-measurement tests, and an examination with a scientific instrument that detects colors known as a spectrophotometer. Unfortunately, the mixture only removed superficial debris from the teeth. Why?

According to the American Dental Association, this natural concoction lacks hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide and it is these chemicals that make whitening products work.

To find out more about natural teeth whitening, 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.

 

Protect Yourself from Oral Cancer | Snohomish Dentist

Did you know that close to 50,000 patients are diagnosed with oral cancer every year? And that’s just in the U.S. If caught quickly, there is a good chance it can be taken care of, but prevention is key. Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a quick look at how we can stay on top of our health.

First there are risk factors to keep in mind. Excessive use of tobacco products is already bad for you, but if you have this particular habit, paying close attention to any sores or patches in your mouth. Alcohol use and poor diet also play into oral cancer signs. Physical trauma and exposure to infectious disease are also ways you may develop symptoms.

The best way to stay on top of your oral health is to give yourself a quick exam every month. With a bright light and a mirror, follow these guidelines:

  • If you wear dentures, remove them.
  • Look and feel the insides of your lips and front of your gums
  • Tilt your head and check out the roof of your mouth
  • Tug your cheek so you can analyze the surfaces and back of your mouth
  • Inspect all areas of your tongue
  • And feel your lymph nodes to make sure they aren’t getting enlarged and there are no lumps

You are trying to find any type of persistent sores or growths that may cause you to have issues eating, speaking. If you feel you may have symptoms of oral cancer, make an oral cancer screening appointment with your dental professional.

To find out more about oral cancer screenings, 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.

Now Offering ZOOM Whitening! | Snohomish Dentist

If there is anything we love, it is a bright white smile. In fact, we love it so much, 100 million Americans whiten their teeth in some form or fashion. And sure, there are lots of ways you can achieve these glistening grins – over-the-counter brands and good habits are the simplest, but what if there was a way to brighten our smiles in a single hour? It doesn’t get faster than that! We are proud to now introduce ZOOM! Whitening System into our office’s repertoire of services.

With ZOOM! Teeth Whitening System, whitening your teeth has now gotten both quicker and hassle-free. During your visit, our trained clinicians will place a protective barrier along your cheeks and gums. The Zoom whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. The secret lies in the one-two punch of gel used in correlation with the Zoom light, which gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. The gel is applied for three 15 minute sessions. This is the best part: during this time, you can relax, watch a DVD or listen to music while it’s all happening.

Once you have your magical smile back to new, the aftercare is straight-forward as well. No dark, red, spicy foods or drinks for at least 48 hours while the pellicle returns to protect your teeth from stains. After that, just continue to keep up with proper dental hygiene as you normally would. There are also take-home trays available to maintain your pearly whites in between visits.

To find out more about ZOOM! Teeth Whitening System, 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.

What You Need to Know about Teething Babies | Snohomish Dentist

Babies just don’t get any cuter. New to the world, unaware of anything but mommy, babies are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to their new surroundings. Everyone wants to hold them and comfort them in any way possible. Life is wonderful! Then around the sixth month, they begin to teethe…

The first real signs of the beginnings of teething happen between six and ten months. This is when their first little chompers start to show themselves. They begin in the front with the top and bottom central teeth, and then later incisors. It can be quite painful for little ones, so make sure you have frozen teething rings, tasty teething biscuits and soothing gels handy. Another tip: using a warm washcloth to sooth those sore gums as they come in. Coincidentally, this will also begin what will be their daily dental routine.

One their first year hits, so will their first molars. The canines, or “fangs”, follow suit within the first year or two. These will make it easier for them to bite down on some of the tougher foods. Tiny jars of baby food will be replaced by real food. And until they learn how to do it themselves, so will your kitchen!

Around the second or third year mark, your tiny human is going to finish up their set of baby teeth with the final molars. The final teeth are the largest ones in their mouth and will be painful coming in, but after they get settled, things will be A-OK.

Your child should begin visiting the dentist around their first year. To schedule baby’s first visit, 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.

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.

What to Do with Your Dental Emergency | Snohomish Dentist

rooth canalLife happens. Sometimes our teeth are the victims of an emergency. Cracked teeth are natural accidents that happen to the best of us. You made a dental appointment to fix it, but it isn’t for a couple of days. What do you do in the meantime? Here are the top three dental emergencies and how to handle them:

Toothache. If you find that you have a lot of pain around a certain tooth, you may have an abscess or exposed nerve from a filling or crown. If this is the case, try swishing with a warm salt water rinse and see your dentist as soon as possible. You may need to have a root canal or the tooth extracted entirely.

Broken or chipped teeth. Chipping your tooth is unfortunate, so if this happens, find as many pieces of the tooth you can and rinse them (and your mouth) with warm water. If your mouth is bleeding, gauze may be necessary. If the pain is extreme, try using a cold compress on the area to help relieve any pain.

Missing teeth. Nothing is worse for your smile than knocking out a tooth. Fortunately, if you can find said tooth, there may be a chance to fix it. Pick up the tooth but the crown, as opposed to the root. Rinse off any debris, but don’t scrub it. If you can, try inserting it back into your mouth. If not, put it in a glass of milk or warm salt water until your appointment.

For more information regarding dental emergencies, 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.

5 Way to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally | Snohomish Dentist

489195623White teeth are one of the main keys to a great smile, but life will eventually begin to tinge our teeth to a shade of yellow. Dental whitening trips are ideal, but we can’t always have the procedure done. Thankfully, there are ways you can keep your teeth white longer without having to sit in a dentist’s chair.

Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. These two chemicals are antibacterial agents that will not only gently scrub away stains as a paste, but also cleans all of the germs when used as a rinse. Because baking soda is abrasive, you need to be careful the paste isn’t too gritty.

Oil pulling. An ancient tradition, oil pulling is used to balance out the pH in our mouths. Simply put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth, or add a few drops to your toothbrush. Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties great for protecting and cleaning your gums.

Apple cider vinegar rinse. makes sense that apple cider vinegar (ACV), which effectively works as a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, would also be able to remove stubborn stains on the teeth. ACV is especially helpful for removing stains due to common culprits like coffee and nicotine (smoking).

Save your citrus peels. Rubbing orange or lemon peels over your teeth is a strange, but effective option to whitening teeth. Citric acids can scrub away stains, but can also wear down tooth enamel if used too much.

A healthy diet works wonders. You may not know this, but strawberries are actually great to whiten teeth. Yes, their seeds get stuck in your teeth, but the acids inside are ideal to help remove stains. Smash 4-5 strawberries, apply it to your teeth, then rinse.

For more information regarding teeth whitening, 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.

Everyone Can Wear a Crown | Snohomish Dentist

crownsWhen we were kids, there was nothing cooler than the characters in our storybooks wearing a crown. They told people what to do, everyone looked up to them and so when we thought about future career choices, princess and king were always in the mix. Once we grew up we realized it was going to be tough to be royalty. We are, however, still able to wear a crown – a dental crown.

Dental crowns are just what you think it is – like a crown the royals wear, a dental crown is basically a cap your dentist uses to restore your damaged tooth’s shape, size and appearance. Any time your tooth is weakened by a root canal, is misshapen or discolored, has a large filling or just worn down, a crown will be suggested to fix it. The process is simple and virtually painless, but what are the benefits of having a dental crown? Here are the top five:

Undergoing a dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or cracked teeth. If you are suffering from a loss of teeth, dental crowns are the solution to replace any missing teeth.

Receiving dental crowns look extremely natural because the porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth. With dental crowns, you will not be able to tell the difference from your crowns and natural teeth.

For those of you who are consistent coffee drinkers, dental crowns are perfect because they are stain-resistant. This is because dental crowns are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration.

Due to the durable materials used for your dental crowns, crowns can last for many years. With dental crowns, patients can go about their daily routines without constantly worrying about their dental crowns falling out of place.

Dental crowns are restorative and preventive measures that improve missing or damaged teeth. Dental crowns also drastically decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more teeth.

If you are embarrassed of your missing or damaged teeth, dental crowns are the perfect solution to build your confidence!

For more information regarding dental crowns, 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.

Don’t Let Thanksgiving Ruin Your Smile | Snohomish Dentist

Happy Thanksgiving wooden blocks against a rustic wood background with pumpkins and autumn leaves
Happy Thanksgiving wooden blocks against a rustic wood background with pumpkins and autumn leaves

Thanksgiving is a holiday all about giving thanks and breaking bread with the people in your life. We stuff ourselves to the gills without any regard of what it could be doing to their waistlines. But what about our teeth? Unfortunately, we rarely consider our dental health when we celebrate these holidays but we really should. Our mouths are susceptible to much more because of it is where we ingest almost everything into our bodies, both good and bad.

So, what do we do to prepare ourselves for this gluttonous holiday? Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are celebrating:

Keep things short and sweet. We all know that this holiday is an all-day event. Between the pre-meal snacks and the post-meal desserts, it’s impossible to not fall victim to grazing the entire day. Keep this to a minimum. The longer you allow the acids in foods to hang out in your mouth, the easier it is for cavity-causing bacteria to invade your teeth and set up camp. Spend more time visiting with your loved ones than you do munching on snacks. And when you do snack, mix healthy snacks with the unhealthy ones to counter-balance any ill effects. Sticky foods, like cranberry relish and pecan pie do a number on your teeth. Keeping acidic foods, like tomatoes or wines, to a minimum will also help. The acid breaks down your teeth’s enamel, making them more susceptible to issues brought on by cavity-causing bacteria. Don’t deprive yourself of these holiday delights. It’s all about moderation.

Stay hydrated. As you consume your holiday meal, keep a glass of water handy. Staying hydrated will not only help with digestion, but drinking plenty of water will also wash away any food debris still lingering around in your mouth. Saliva is your mouth’s natural defender against the bad bacteria in your mouth.

Keep your routine. We can’t forget to pay special attention to our teeth during this delicious holiday. They work overtime for you during times like these. Make sure you brush, floss and rinse the way you normally would. Scratch that, pay more attention to them. Your teeth don’t know you’re celebrating. After the holidays, be sure to make an appointment for a quick dental check-up. You never know what your celebrating has done to your mouth. It’s always better to catch any issues before they turn ugly.

For more information regarding cavity prevention during the holiday season, 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.