New Year, New Me: Dental Hygiene Edition | Snohomish Dentist

ToothbrushHere we are…another year is upon us and with that, so is another list of new year resolutions. Yes, now is the time we take a step back to take a look at ourselves, so we can improve upon the things we feel we need work on. Why not throw our dental health in the mix? We should always try to keep our smiles healthy and bright, and now is the time to do it. Here are a few dental hygiene tips to help you brighten that smile and keep you on your dentist’s good side:

Brushing. The rule of thumb is pretty well-known – brush your teeth twice a day, for at least two minutes. Start your day off right with fresh, clean breath and wrap up your day with a quick brush before bed to prevent cavities from forming while you snooze. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in rounded strokes to keep your gums healthy as well.

Flossing. It’s one of the least favorite tasks on the list of dental hygiene tasks. The problem is, flossing not only removes stuff stuck deep between each tooth, but it also keeps your gums healthy by preventing bacteria from getting inside and causing infection.

Rinsing. Rinsing is not only a quick way freshen breath, but it also adds an additional layer of protection from plaque and cavities. We have been taught to rinse with mouthwash after brushing, but doing it beforehand can loosen any particles you may have, making your brushing more effective.

If you would like more information about dental hygiene, 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.

Nothing Says the Holidays like a Gingerbread House | Snohomish Dentist

Hansel and Gretel got themselves in a pickle because they couldn’t resist the temptation. And quite frankly, who can blame them? Gingerbread houses are not only delightful to look at, but are even more delightful when you gobble them up. The problem is, if you happen to get the pleasure of consuming one, make sure you have a toothbrush handy because these sugary shelters are jam-packed with cavity-causing confections. So, how do you properly celebrate this indulgent time of year while saving your smile from future dental issues? In honor of National Gingerbread House Day, let’s take a look at a few teeth-friendly tips to have your ginger “cake” and eat it too:

The structure. Gingerbread may be the original version of the house’s skeleton, but there are other ways to build a house. Try using graham crackers instead. Graham crackers are slightly less sweet than gingerbread and there are lots of flavors to choose from. There are also healthier recipes for gingerbread floating around on the internet if you can’t give up that spicy flavor.

The decorative details. This is where you not only add your personal touches to your home, but where most of the sugary culprits are located. After all, the more colorful the house, the more festive it looks. Instead of adding handfuls of sticky gumdrops or hard candies, get creative and go a bit healthier for some of the little touches. Dried fruits, slivered almonds, banana chips and pretzels are just a few options that can turn your candy castle into a cavity-free zone.

If you would like more information about healthy dental options, 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.

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.

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.

Dental Crowns: Why They Are the Ideal Solution | Snohomish Dentist

When the goal is to have the best smile possible, there may be times we need some extra help to achieve it. Luckily, if our tooth is cracked or damaged, we have ways to fix it, namely a dental crown. So, what are their benefits? Take a look…

Undergoing a dental crown procedure can improve the look of broken or cracked teeth. If you are suffering from a loss of teeth, dental crowns are the solution to replace any missing teeth.

One of the best reasons to get a dental crown is because they look extremely natural, so no one will ever know that you have had dental work done. The porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth.

For those of you who are consistent coffee drinkers, dental crowns are perfect because they are stain-resistant due to the porcelain used to create them, making dingy teeth are a thing of the past.

Another great point is that dental crowns can last up to 15 years so you don’t need to worry about them as long as you look after them.

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 seeking help to improve your smile and are interested in dental crowns 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.

Now Offering ZOOM Whitening! | Snohomish Dentist

If there is anything we love, it is a bright white smile. In fact, we love it so much, 100 million Americans whiten their teeth in some form or fashion. And sure, there are lots of ways you can achieve these glistening grins – over-the-counter brands and good habits are the simplest, but what if there was a way to brighten our smiles in a single hour? It doesn’t get faster than that! We are proud to now introduce ZOOM! Whitening System into our office’s repertoire of services.

With ZOOM! Teeth Whitening System, whitening your teeth has now gotten both quicker and hassle-free. During your visit, our trained clinicians will place a protective barrier along your cheeks and gums. The Zoom whitening gel is then applied to the teeth. The secret lies in the one-two punch of gel used in correlation with the Zoom light, which gently penetrates the surface of the teeth to break up stains and discolorations. The gel is applied for three 15 minute sessions. This is the best part: during this time, you can relax, watch a DVD or listen to music while it’s all happening.

Once you have your magical smile back to new, the aftercare is straight-forward as well. No dark, red, spicy foods or drinks for at least 48 hours while the pellicle returns to protect your teeth from stains. After that, just continue to keep up with proper dental hygiene as you normally would. There are also take-home trays available to maintain your pearly whites in between visits.

To find out more about ZOOM! Teeth Whitening System, 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.