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.

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.

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.

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.

Fighting Periodontal Disease – Keeping Your Teeth Healthy and Clean

periodontal small

Gum disease hits almost everyone. Though, middle-aged adults are the ones who typically suffer from some form of it. In its earliest form, gum disease or periodontal disease will lead to swelling and bleeding gums. If left untreated for a long time, gum disease can and will lead to loss of teeth.

The point here is if you’d like to keep your teeth the way they are, complete and beautiful to look at, you better start taking better care of them.

What Causes Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease is widely recognized as the result of dental plaque build-up in your mouth and teeth. While plaque is a sticky substance that naturally forms on the teeth, its build-up can be prevented by regularly brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. If left unchecked, however, plaque build-up will cause your gums to start bleeding or swelling, an early sign of gingivitis. In worse cases, your teeth will slowly start becoming loose, a sign of severe periodontitis.

There are also cases where the plaque hardens or calcifies over time, turning into calculus or better-known as tartar. The tartar attracts even more plaque, which in turn causes your dental problems to grow even worse than it already is.

The Different Risk Factors Involved

While regular visits to the dentist on top of proper oral hygiene are both equally important, it’s also important for you to know the different risk factors involved in keeping your teeth healthy and free of periodontal disease.

  • Genetics – Some people are genetically predisposition and more prone to suffering from periodontal disease more than others. Though, practicing good oral care can help control and even prevent the disease.
  • Regular consumption of tobacco and alcohol – Smoking can either lead to periodontal disease or make it worse. The same goes for alcohol. Avoiding regular consumption of both substances, especially tobacco, can help keep gum disease under control.
  • Misaligned and crowded teeth – Misaligned and crowded teeth promotes plaque and tartar formation, something that we all already now know will eventually lead to gum disease. And, while orthodontics can help fix both problems, having braces and bridgework isn’t exactly all good news either as both procedures make it more difficult to brush or floss teeth. Consult your dental practitioner ASAP and ask for help on how to best brush and floss your teeth to prevent plaque buildup.
  • Stress – Stress weakens your immune system, making it less likely that your body can fight against bacteria. Living a stress-free of a life as possible is key to controlling and preventing gum disease.
  • Puberty and Pregnancy – Going through puberty or pregnancy can temporarily put you at risk of periodontal disease or make it worse. The same goes for menopause or basically, any other condition that makes your body’s hormone levels fluctuate.
  • Medication – Medicines with side effects that include dry mouth may make you more susceptible to gum disease. The lack of saliva encourages the formation of plaque, resulting in tooth decay. There are also certain medicines that cause enlarged gums, encouraging the production of plaque even more.
  • Diseases – Diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and HIV all are diseases that have been linked to increased risk for periodontal disease. Though, like with genetics, proper oral care and help from a good periodontist can help make periodontal disease more manageable, or even prevent it from happening.
  • Malnutrition – We all know that proper nutrition and diet is good for our overall health and oral health included. Also, the lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as in the case of scurvy, which is often the result of severe vitamin C deficiency, can cause bleeding gums.

 

Periodontal disease is preventable. Make an appointment today with Theodore Haines DDS for a check-up and cleaning to make sure your gums stay healthy. Call 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.

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