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.

Save Your Smile with Dental Crowns | Snohomish Dentist

As we say goodbye to summer and welcome in autumn, we have to adjust ourselves to the chillier weather and new back-to-school schedules. It is a great time to visit the dentist for a quick checkup. Thankfully, many of the issues that may be discovered during your checkup can be fixed by a simple dental crown. Here are the more common reasons:

It’s football season – if you have a player in your brood, there is a chance a dental injury may arise. Undergoing a dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or missing teeth because they look extremely natural. Because you will not be able to tell the difference from your crowns and natural teeth, so school pictures won’t be affected.

For those of you who are consistent coffee drinkers, dental crowns are perfect because they are stain-resistant because dental crowns are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration. Not only will your smile improve, but you can drink that second cup.

Due to the durable materials used for your dental crowns, they can last up to 15 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!

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.

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.

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.