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.

How Saliva Saves Our Smile | Snohomish Dentist

We have all seen something and thought it was so fantastic it’s drool-worthy. Not that we literally have saliva dropping from our lips, but it has captured our attention so completely, we can’t be expected to keep our bodily functions intact. And if it’s that amazing, chances are it makes us smile. But, did you know that that drool-worthiness is HELPING our smiles? It’s true. Saliva is our front line of attack against cavity-causing bacteria.

Saliva is mainly produced in your mouth from three pairs of glands — the parotid, submandibular and sublingual glands. Now, saliva is pretty much just water, but it also contains some mucus, salt, enzymes, antibacterial compounds and chemicals that buffer acid. But that’s not all. In addition to providing lubrication and killing harmful bacteria, saliva helps to digest starchy and fatty foods. It is typically produced when we taste, smell or think of food, saliva can be released at all times of the day and night.

If you aren’t producing enough saliva, you can develop other health issues. Not only is the lack of saliva giving you dry mouth, but it can also cause bad breath, dental infections or even gum disease. To help this process along, make sure you are hydrated at all times. Sour fruits will produce more saliva than a sweet version, so enjoy a piece before a meal. Popping in a stick of sugar-free gum is also a great way to get those juices flowing. If these don’t naturally help, it’s time to see a dental professional.

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.

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.

Summertime Is No Reason to Ignore Your Smile | Snohomish Dentist

If there is any word that goes hand in hand with summertime, that word would be vacation. The weather is glorious and the kiddies are off school. Time to make a few memories with the ones you love most during this deliciously delightful time of year. We pack a few things and off we go…off to spend a few days being carefree.

But before you hit the road, take a few moments to prepare for an emergency we never really think about: an oral one. From BBQs to travel plans, summertime is definitely a time of year we throw caution to the wind and devour anything that tickles our fancy. Be cognizant of the amount of sugars you intake (carbs and alcohol are also sugars!), and drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep saliva production active. The more saliva you produce, the more protection you’re giving your mouth from cavity-forming bacteria and bad breath. Practicing your oral hygiene daily is a top priority when tasting all the delicious goodies at your disposal. No one wants to come home to a mouth full of cavities after a wonderful time away.

Carrying a dental first aid kit is a pretty smart idea if you are planning to spend lots of time outdoors. It’s also a great idea to have a local dental contact handy in case something major happens and immediate action is necessary. Being proactive on a vacation saves a lot of stress, and isn’t that exactly what you’re there to do?


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.

 

When Your Toothache Becomes a Headache | Snohomish Dentist

rooth canalThere is nothing worse than discovering a toothache. You take a bite of your favorite food and WHAM! A shooting pain overwhelms your entire mouth and you can no longer look at your favorite food the same. Sadly, it’s time to visit the dentist.

But what exactly is a toothache and how did we end up in this kind of pain? Well, there are lots of different ways a toothache can occur. It can be as simple as a cracked tooth, cavities or exposed roots; but it can also be something more serious, like your ears or sinuses causing the issue.

When it comes to pain, each one of us has a different threshold of pain tolerance. Some can work through a headache, some are taken out at the first signs of one. Because both headaches and toothaches are detected by the same trigeminal nerve in your head, there is no real way to crack the case without the help of your dental professional.

In the end, it is important to pay attention to the signals your body gives you when something is wrong. Ignoring the pain will only lead to more problems, so make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as you find headaches or toothaches are persistent. There’s nothing to be afraid of. The technological advancements in dentistry makes dental procedures easy and virtually painless. This is why it’s so important to take care of your teeth. Good oral hygiene is the best line of defense against a toothache.


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.

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.

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.

Save Your Child’s Teeth From Summertime Sweets | Snohomish Dentist

480865629It’s that time of year again…summertime. The kiddies are out of school, it’s tremendously hot, and everywhere you look, someone is touting the next greatest summertime snack craze. And there is nothing your child wants more. It’s the three months of the year that is a parent’s roughest. Sugary sweets are running rampant and your child’s teeth are their victims. So how does one keep an eye on the oral health of a little human during this sweetest of seasons? It takes some smooth talking, but it can be done.

First thing first: You have to water little humans. They all hate water, but it is the most important drink they can have during the scorching summer heat. They will ask for soda or juice. Do your best to keep it to a minimum, like during a meal so they have to finish it in one sitting. If they can’t carry it around with them, sugary bacteria won’t have time to cling on to their teeth to cause cavities. Chewing also produces saliva, which is your mouth’s natural superhero against cavity-causing bacteria, so meals is actually a great time to indulge in a sweet treat. Flavor up the water by adding different fruit combinations. Not only will it taste better, but it may also get everyone into the habit of drinking it more often.

When it comes to the sweet snacks, keep the same rule of thumb in mind. They don’t need a bag of candy they can munch on all day. Opt for a singular snack they have to eat at once, like a candy bar or an ice cream sandwich. When it comes to snacks, there are loads of options that not only taste yummy, but also help fight against cavity-causing bacteria. The act of chewing automatically produces saliva production, so handy snacks like popcorn or pretzels are great options when you just want to have something to nosh on. Fruits and veggies with high water content, like pears and celery, are also great at keeping our mouth’s healthy. Protein is also excellent at getting rid of the acids in your mouth so pack turkey sandwiches, cheese & nuts to your heart’s content. There are so many tasty options to divert their attention away from the junk food, at least for a moment. They are still kids!

When you think about it, it all comes down to balance. You don’t want to deprive yourself and your family of the magical food delights only this season can offer. But you also don’t want to deal with a ton of dental bills in the autumn. So make sure you are trading some healthy options into your family’s summer snack wheel. You CAN have too much of a good thing, so take the time and read the labels. Make sure what you’re giving your child isn’t the world’s worst option. Moderation. And remember: Summertime is the hottest time of year so it’s easy to dehydrate. Sugars also deprive your body from its necessary hydration. The more you dehydrate, the easier things can go wrong internally. So keep those sugary treats to a minimum. Enjoy the summer!

If you would like more information on family oral health care tips, 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, Woodville, and surrounding areas.