Dental Hygiene: What You Need to Know | Snohomish Dentist

October is National Dental Hygiene Month – and while we should always try to keep our smiles healthy and bright, this month is a great time to focus on your dental hygiene routines. There may be habits you have that aren’t exactly the best for your dental health.

How often are you brushing your teeth?

It is no secret that you need to brush your teeth at least twice a day, and for at least two minutes – in the morning to start the day with fresh clean breath, and before bedtime to prevent any remaining cavity-causing bacteria from settling in your mouth while you sleep. If you happen to have a toothbrush handy, brushing between meals is always a great idea as well.

What do you brush your teeth with?

It can be a bit overwhelming task, trying to choose the right toothbrush for your smile. After all, there is generally an entire aisle at the store dedicated to toothbrushes. How does one even begin to choose? It is a good idea to choose a soft-bristled one, so that it is gentle on your gums. Hard-bristled versions can wear at your gums, slowly causing future periodontal issues.

Is flossing important?

One of the more neglected dental tasks has to be flossing. But in actuality, flossing plays a very important part in our dental routines. Not only does it get stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

If you are seeking help to improve your saliva production, 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.

Why Do My Teeth Feel Sensitive After They’re Whitened? | Snohomish Dentist

rooth canalWhen you get your teeth whitened, do you ever notice your teeth feel sensitive? They look great but what about the whitening process makes our mouths feel this way? When we get our teeth whitened, we are polishing up enamel that has gotten a little dull. As our day-to-day lives cause tooth enamel to wear, teeth become increasingly prone to pain when drinking or eating certain foods. Receding gums can also play a major role in causing your teeth to become sensitive, causing the pain we feel.

I know what you’re thinking – but how do we make it stop? A study was published in the British Dental Journal stating 88 patients were broken into three groups prior to receiving a professional teeth whitening procedure: patients without chewing gum, patients with sugar-free gum, and patients with sugar-free gum that also included Recaldent, a product that helps strengthen tooth enamel by adding calcium & phosphate to its list of ingredients. After the procedure, those patients with gum were asked to begin chewing. Surprisingly enough, those that chewed on a piece of chewing gum had significantly less pain than the group that went without. Some think it’s because of the saliva production, other believe it’s because chewing gum is distracting enough to forget about the pain.

So, make sure to pick up a pack of sugar-free gum on the way to your next teeth whitening appointment. Not only will it help prevent cavities, tooth decay and bad breath, but it also helps relieve any sensitivity.

If you are seeking help to improve your saliva production, 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.

It’s National Smile Week | Snohomish Dentist

One of a dentist’s favorite weeks of the year is National Smile Week. Not only are smiles a sign of a happy human, but it also makes us happy to know we are helping to make your smile bright and healthy. In honor of National Smile Week, we’d like to take a moment to help make sure you are perpetuating a healthy smile until your next dental appointment. A healthy smile starts with dental hygiene, so keep your pearly whites their brightest with these:

Dental hygiene. Not only do we need to brush, floss and rinse twice daily, but it is also a great idea to brush between meals if you can. Tooth decay is caused by the development of bacteria in our mouths, so having a quick brushing a half hour after eating will help reduce bacteria from causing tooth decay. If you don’t have a toothbrush handy, pop in a stick of sugar-free gum.

Drink your milk. Calcium is one of the main reasons our teeth are as strong as they are. If you don’t have enough in your diet, is can cause your teeth to weaken, making your teeth prone to damage. Keep your teeth strong by having plenty of calcium-rich foods in your diet.

Get a second opinion. You may think you have fantastic dental habits, but only a dental professional can really sign off on that. Keeping your dental appointments is important. Make sure you are visiting a dentist’s chair twice a year for a check-up.

If you are seeking help to improve your smile, 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.

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.

Dental Crowns: Why They Are the Ideal Solution | Snohomish Dentist

When the goal is to have the best smile possible, there may be times we need some extra help to achieve it. Luckily, if our tooth is cracked or damaged, we have ways to fix it, namely a dental crown. So, what are their benefits? Take a look…

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.

One of the best reasons to get a dental crown is because they look extremely natural, so no one will ever know that you have had dental work done. The porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth.

For those of you who are consistent coffee drinkers, dental crowns are perfect because they are stain-resistant due to the porcelain used to create them, making dingy teeth are a thing of the past.

Another great point is that dental crowns can last up to 15 years so you don’t need to worry about them as long as you look after them.

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 seeking help to improve your smile and are interested in dental crowns 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.

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.

 

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.

How Do I Protect My Child’s Teeth from Halloween? | Snohomish Dentist

Children In Halloween Costumes Trick Or TreatingIt’s October…that one month of the year that children hold dear to their hearts. Sure, there is Christmas. We all know there’s no competing with Santa. But this is the month that holds something special that even Santa can do – bring them Halloween. It’s the one day of the year that everyone can be anyone or anything they want to be. And above all that, there’s candy. Lots and lots of candy given freely by just saying those three magic words: trick or treat. No need to be good in order to dodge the coal in the stocking. In fact, the ‘trick’ in trick or treat almost praises naughty imp behavior if candy isn’t received. But as your children are scouring the neighborhood for larger haul than the year before, you will need to ask yourself – how can I monitor my child’s oral health during this sugar-infused time of the year?

Here are some oral hygiene tips to keep in mind as your little monsters return with their stash:

Limit the intake. Halloween has to be the coolest time of year for your child’s imagination. For one day, they have the freedom to munch on candy while “fighting crime” dressed as a superhero. Tiny humans live for this day. Depriving them of what some would call a major part of the holiday will not only make your child upset, but won’t make life in your place very peaceful for a minute. So instead of denying them the sweets, have them choose a set number of candies they want the most and let them have them. Whatever they don’t choose, throw it out or freeze it for later. Not only will you know that what they are eating is safe, but you can rest at ease that they aren’t sneaking it behind your back, unleashing the cavities while you aren’t looking.

In addition to the limitation of sweet treats, set up a time of day that your child will be able to eat that candy. Similar to snack time at school, having a time when your little one knows a snack is allowed teaches them that snacking isn’t an all-day event, making them less inclined to crave sweets all day.

Of course, the main defense against Halloween candy-driven cavities is good dental hygiene. Brushing and flossing before bed will prevent cavities from attacking while your little one sleeps. In case you aren’t sure if your child is brushing thoroughly enough, there are various disclosing products you can give your child to find out if their doing a good job brushing by coloring areas in their teeth that have plaque buildup. If they are fully against brushing, let them pick out their own dental stuff. Kids are often swayed by doing grown up things. The key is to make brushing less of a chore and more of a fun way to fight “cavity crime”. Not only will they continue to love Halloween, but they can be their teeth’s superhero all year ‘round!

For more information regarding cavity prevention during Halloween, 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.

I Want Whiter Teeth: Which Way is Best? | Snohomish Dentist

489195623If you ask most people what they consider a great smile, chances are they will say bright white teeth. The problem is, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Our diets and lifestyle choices can hinder your teeth being their pearliest. You can brush & floss every day, but your teeth may not keep its natural sheen. You can make appointments with your dental professional to have teeth whitening sessions, but that can get pricey. So how do you keep your teeth white in between dental visits? There’s always over-the-counter versions (i.e. Crest white strips) you can buy to do it at home, but how good are the results? Is there a better, more natural version? How do you decide which is best for you? Here is a breakdown of some ways you can do at home:

Whitening products sold over the counter in the form of strips, trays, or paste work by using the oxidizing agents to remove pigment on the surface of the enamel. Hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide are commonly used in these products and contain 3 to 10 percent hydrogen-peroxide level, as opposed to the 15 to 38 percent level dentists can use. The products are effective at removing surface stains but should be used in moderation.

So what about natural ways? You would be surprised by some foods that can actually help whiten our teeth while keeping us healthy. Of course, you can always make your own hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste. Known as an age old go-to product, this is the DIY way for you to replicate the manufactured products at home. But did you know that strawberries and bananas can produce similar results? Strawberries contain malic acid, and malic acid is fantastic at breaking down teeth stains. A couple berries and some baking soda is a great, and fruity, version of the peroxide version. Rubbing a banana peel over your teeth like a toothbrush will also shine up your smile. The minerals in a banana, like potassium, will absorb into your teeth and brighten it in a very healthy way.

Getting and keeping a bright smile may not be the easiest thing to do on a regular basis, but there are lots of ways to keep it up in between a thorough professional visit, so why not? Dr. Haines offers custom take home pre-filled bleaching trays with varying opalescence levels of 35%, 20% and 15%. Contact the office for more information.

If you would like more information regarding teeth whitening options, 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.

Enhancing your Smile with Teeth Whitening | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

177406608Patients looking to enhance their smile often ask dentists about cosmetic dentistry – procedures such as bonding can help correct gaps, braces can help correct alignment, and veneers can help adjust the size, shape, and color of teeth. While all of these procedures have their uses, one of the cheapest and easiest way to enhance a smile is simple tooth whitening.

There are a wide variety of options available for patients considering tooth whitening. Most use a similar active ingredient – typically hydrogen peroxide – as a bleaching agent to remove stains and provide a shiny white appearance. The nature of the product determines how strong the peroxide product can be – mild products can be used nearly every day, but the strongest whitening products must be used under dental supervision.

Here’s a quick guide to the type of whitening available today:

Whitening toothpaste is typically low risk, and contain a very mild whitening agent and a polishing agent to help remove stains from the surface of the teeth. They are typically capable of a few shades of whitening, but may take weeks or months to achieve a noticeable whitening change.
Whitening strips often use a peroxide gel to coat the teeth, and are typically worn for 30 minutes at a time, repeated several times for maximum impact. Strips will work faster and achieve more whitening than toothpaste, but are more time consuming for users.
Tray based whitening products are available either over the counter or by prescription from your local dentist. These products use a stronger peroxide product, and are typically used at home in longer durations than whitening strips (potentially 60 minutes, but some products may be worn overnight – check with the instructions for details). Because these often have a stronger peroxide gel, they tend to provide a better result than strips, but may be more expensive or require a dentist visit to obtain.
The most dramatic change will be obtained using in-office whitening procedures, where the dentist can protect the tissue around the teeth and use a much stronger bleaching product. Some of these products are light activated (a UV light or laser will be shone into the patient’s mouth to activate the whitening agent), others are chemical-activated (two gels that are mixed together to activate). The procedure generally takes about an hour, and the dentist will adjust the strength of the product and duration to match the level of staining present on the teeth and the whitening desired by the patient.

If you’re interested in enhancing your smile, talk to your dentist about whitening options. Whether you’re considering strips, trays, or in-office treatments, your dentist can help guide you into making an informed decision, and help set realistic expectations regarding the end result.

 

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on whitening make an appointment today at 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.