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.

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.