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.

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.

 

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.

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.

Is Tooth Decay and a Cavity The Same Thing?

ThinkstockPhotos-464323669No, tooth decay is not the same as a cavity. However, tooth decay can cause cavities.

Tooth decay, or also referred to as dental caries, start as plaque, the sticky film that builds up on your teeth. The bacteria found in plaque produces acid that, if left unchecked, can destroy the surface of your teeth. The acid can eventually cause your tooth to decay, which can also lead to it creating a hole in your enamel and this is how you get a cavity.

Fortunately, decay and its effects are both preventable and reversible. Of course, that only is true if it is caught early enough, or if you practice good oral hygiene at home. The former requires the help of a dental professional, as only they can help stop the decay from progressing further and allow your teeth enough time to repair itself.

Tooth decay is often treated or prevented via any one of the following methods:

  • Fluoride gel or varnish may be applied to the teeth to help boost remineralization and help the affected teeth repair itself.
  • Powerful antiseptic gel or varnish may also be applied to reduce the levels of cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth, which can help slow down the demineralization process.
  • Liquid composite sealants can also help by creating a physical barrier between your teeth and the bacteria.

Unfortunately, once tooth decay has caused a cavity to form, the emphasis of treatment changes from prevention to restoration. This is because cavities are irreversible and the tooth simply just cannot repair itself anymore. The only option is for the dentist to repair the tooth by cleaning out the affected area and filling the hole.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

While dental technology certainly has come a long way over the years and dentists are now better equipped than before to handle tooth decay and cavities, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just allow yourself to have any one of the two.

Cavities, for one, are irreversible. Even though it can be treated via fillings, crowns, and root canals, having cavities puts you at risk of having a tooth extracted, which only creates even more problems for you to deal with.

As such, it’s important that you start taking better care of your teeth and gums by making sure that you do the following:

  • Brush your teeth properly. Do it gently, do not be overly aggressive and switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush at least twice a day, floss at least once, rinse after every time you brush and/or floss your teeth. Repeat.
  • Avoid going for many hours without brushing your teeth. If you’re going to go more than half a day without brushing your teeth, keep yourself hydrated and chew sugarless gum. Doing both helps stimulate saliva production in your mouth, which is your body’s natural means of cleansing itself of bacteria and plaque.
  • Visit your dentist every 4-6 months, not when you’re just feeling pain in your mouth and/or teeth. Doing so helps make sure that your teeth are properly and thoroughly cleaned often, as well as monitored carefully. Also, since you visit the dentist often, any possible dental problems are caught and treated early on, preventing any possible irreversible damage to your teeth.

Follow these tips and your teeth are sure to be well-protected from tooth decay and cavities.

If you feel that you may be suffering from a cavity or tooth decay,  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 Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.

 

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

close up smile red lipstick

Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the aesthetics of your mouth, specifically that of your teeth and smile. And, while cosmetic dentistry procedures aren’t really necessary, certain treatment options can also have restorative benefits.

Inlays and onlays are a good example of cosmetic dentistry procedures that have both aesthetic and restorative benefits.

What Is It?

Dental inlays or onlays are generally bigger than fillings, but much smaller than crowns. They can either be cemented or bonded into place, depending on what’s best for a particular case.

Inlays work similar to fillings, but are placed somewhere inside the chewing surface of your tooth. On the other hand, onlays are much larger and are usually used to replace cusps that have already decayed.

Both can be made out of composite resin, ceramics or even gold and are known to last for years, sometimes even decades.

The variety in longevity depends on the following factors: The material used, how many teeth are involved, how often you chew hard substances and how well you take care of your teeth.

Use, Preparation and Benefits

Inlays and onlays are used to restore damaged or decayed teeth to their original look.

During the procedure, the dentist will numb the affected tooth or teeth and the surrounding area with local anesthesia. Though, it is possible to ask to be given nitrous oxide instead, or opt for another type of sedation.

There are two types of inlays – direct and indirect. The former are made in the dental office and can be placed in a single visit. The latter is custom-made in a laboratory and will require more visits.

  • Direct inlays and onlays – The dentist will remove the decayed or dead part and shape the tooth. A soft material is then placed on the tooth and molded to fit. It is then removed and made to harden using a special oven. Once it’s ready, the dentist will cement the now-hardened inlay or onlay to the affected tooth where it will be polished soon after. It may also be necessary for your dentist to adjust its shape to better fit your teeth’s overall look.

 

  • Indirect inlays and onlays – Like with direct inlays, the dentist will clean out the affected tooth. But, instead of fitting a mold, an impression is made of the affected tooth and its neighboring teeth. A temporary filling is then placed on the affected tooth while the impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the inlay or onlay is made.

 

  • Once the inlay or onlay is ready, the dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean out the tooth. The now-permanent inlay or onlay is then cemented and polished. Again, slight reshaping may be necessary to make it fit well with the rest of your teeth.

Maintenance and Care

Inlays and onlays require the same kind of maintenance as your original teeth – regular brushing, flossing, rinsing with mouthwash and of course, regular trips to the dentist.

You may want to avoid chewing hard substances such as ice or hard candy once you have inlays and onlays cemented in place. This is because chewing on such substances can cause the inlay or onlay to crack or even fall out.

Speaking of chewing, if grind your teeth regularly, especially while you sleep, you may want to ask your dentist for a night guard to protect your teeth and inlays or onlays from the constant pressure of grinding.

All in all, inlays and onlays are a great way to strengthen your teeth, restore it to its original shape and prevent any further damage from decay.

For more information on Inlays and Onlays contact Theodore Haines DDS at 360-568-8577. Learn more about the services he offers by visiting 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.

What You Need To Know About Root Canals | Snohomish Dentist

rooth canal

Root canals are procedures done to help save and repair badly damaged and infected teeth. This process involves removing, cleaning and disinfecting of the damaged area, the pulp. After this, the pulp is filled and then sealed to prevent further damage.

There are many factors involved as to why the pulp becomes damaged in the first place, such as cracked teeth, cavities, trauma, and even, repeated dental treatment.

Why do you need to get a root canal?

Root canals aren’t exactly very popular, mainly because many believe that they’re quite the painful procedure. While that’s true, most dentists attest to how it’s not that much more painful than getting a filling.

The main reason why you need to get a root canal is to alleviate the pain caused by the severe decay in your teeth. Though, the pain could also be caused by a crack or chip in your tooth, or periodontal disease in its advanced stages. Also, if the infection is left alone, it will spread and the pain will only grow worse. It may also go on to affect other teeth, which isn’t exactly good news.

Either way, root canals are one of the only two ways to help get rid of the pain.

Of course, root canals aren’t the only option. You can also opt for tooth extraction, though most dentists won’t really recommend this because it leads to a number of other problems that will require multiple procedures to deal with. Also, missing teeth can result in other complications which can negatively impact your dental health.

What happens during a root canal?

When it comes to root canals, the following things usually happen:

  • The dentist will need to take an X-ray to check if you really do need a root canal, as well as to help them pinpoint just exactly where the problem areas are.
  • Once the decay has been located, the dentist will proceed to administer local anesthesia to the affected area. This is so as to help remove the pain or, at the very least, make it more manageable.
  • The dentist will then make an opening and proceed to remove the tooth pulp.
  • Once the roots are open, they are then filled with material and sealed off with cement to prevent further problems.

What to do after a root canal?

Root canals have a very high success rate, so you can bet money that treated and restored teeth will last for a very long time.

Still, it pays to do a few things differently from then on, such as:

  • Improving your oral hygiene – Brushing teeth regularly just isn’t enough anymore. You also have to floss regularly so that you can remove any food particles lodged in between your teeth and gums.
  • Visiting the dentist more often – Chances are, the problems that led to you needing a root canal could’ve easily been prevented had you visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.

Visit Dr. Ted Haines today to see if your oral health is in tip-top shape, and if not, discuss with you what your possible treatment options are. Make an appointment by calling 360-568-8577. Visit the website at www.tedhainesdds.com.

 

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

Dental Drills | Snohomish, Wa Dentist

Close-up of dental tools

Many people associate trips to the dentist with the sound of the dental drill. While for many the sound is a source of anxiety, the drill itself is a highly advanced instrument that enables dentists to treat patients quickly and painlessly. Known by many dentists as simply a handpiece, these high tech tools have some interesting characteristics.

First, for health and safety, the dental drill is subject to sterilization after each patient. For safety, this means it’s heated to over 250 degrees with pressurized steam, and kept at that temperature for 15 minutes. This requires extreme engineering to enable – the constant heating and cooling is difficult on metals, but dental drills can withstand this punishment many times a day.

The drills spin at up to 250,000 RPM – more than 4,000 times each second. The heat created by this speed could easily crack a tooth or permanently damage the nerves within a tooth, but to prevent this, dental drills shoot a cooling mist of water as they spin. This cools the tooth, preventing damage.

Dentists will use both a high-speed drill and a low-speed drill – the high speed is often used for removing decay, where the low speed can be used for polishing teeth. While your dentist will use a modern, high speed, high tech handpiece, the original dental drills were first used over 9000 years ago. Hopefully knowing a bit more about the drill may make the sound less disturbing, but if you’re ever worried about the noise, consider asking your dentist about options to minimize anxiety, such as music, earplugs, or television.

Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on sedation or to 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.