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.

Will Becoming Vegan Affect My Smile? | Snohomish Dentist

In this day and age, everyone is trying to keep their bodies in the best shape they can in order to last a little longer on the planet. And it is a great idea to be healthier, but it is important to know how a diet change will affect your body in the long run to make sure it is the right choice for you. Because November is  World Vegan Month, let’s take a look at how switching to a plant-based diet will affect your oral health.

The first thing one would think about having a plant-based diet is the loss of dairy – don’t we need calcium for strong bones and teeth? The answer is still yes, but you can get calcium into your system without dairy products. You can go the health store route and use supplements, but you can also get these important nutrients through nuts, fruits and vegetables. In order to get every bit of calcium you can, you also need fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K. Sound complicated? It’s not – and can also be handled by food.

Vitamin A. Vegans focus on beta-carotene to get their vitamin A. It can be found in supplements, but also in foods like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and squash.

Vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D is the good ol’ sun and soaking it in as much as possible is ideal, but if you are looking for a yummy substitute, choose the mushroom.

Vitamin K. Keeping our teeth bright and healthy is important and that is where the greens come into play. Get your salads out – it’s the kale, spinach and broccoli are the stars in this category.

If you would like more information about vegan dental tips, 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.

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.

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.