What Is DIY Dentistry? | Snohomish Dentist

If you ask someone about what they think about going to the dentist, chances are you won’t hear a positive response. And while today’s technology can give a patient a quick and virtually pain-free experience, there are still many that believe in the stigma that going to the dentist is a terrible experience that should be avoided at all costs. With this comes the do-it-yourself mentality. Unfortunately, doing your own dental work is not going to be a great idea – ever. Here are a few of the more common DIY dental treatments you ought to avoid:

Fillings. This may sound absurd, but some think using wax or other household items can be used to fill in a cavity. Problem is, only a dentist can pinpoint where a cavity is so this will not fix the issue but may make it worse.

Whitening. Now, there are plenty of over-the-counter remedies and natural options you can turn to in order to whiten your smile, but these are generally best used in between dental treatments. Over-use can also cause your teeth to lose enamel, which is the part of your teeth that makes them look white.

Veneers/braces. Major dental procedures will never be a one-size-fits-all affair. Veneers and braces are no different. Having a dental professional fit your mouth for veneers or orthodontic appliances will not only look more natural but can also prevent other damage to your mouth. Don’t fall for the commercials!

Extractions. We’ve all seen the string tied to the tooth trick. And it may seem like an easy solution, but it could also cause dental issues in the future so it’s best to leave removing teeth to the professionals.

If you would like more information about DIY dental treatments, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Brush and Clean in Between | Snohomish Dentist

We are well into the new year and have begun to make our resolutions for a better, healthier us. But becoming better can truly be a family affair everyone can get into, even the little ones. In fact, February is known as National Children’s Dental Health Month. Let’s take a second to point out some basic dental facts that you may not know about your little one’s smile:

Baby teeth aren’t important. Just because baby teeth eventually fall out and get replaced by adult teeth, this doesn’t mean they should be ignored. In fact, your child’s dental health begins from birth and should be treated just the same as their adult varieties.

Baby teeth don’t get cavities. They may be disposable, but baby teeth are just like the permanent versions. Babies may not be born with the cavity-causing bacteria, mutans streptococcus, but they are still susceptible to cavities.

Kids don’t need a dentist. Wrong. Everyone needs a dental check-up, and children should have their first dental visit as soon as their first birthday.

Every dentist is the same. While all dentists have the same basic training, pediatric dentists have special training needed to care for those tiny smiles.

My child can brush their own teeth. This is the end goal, yes, but little one’s need help with getting used to brushing well on their own. That’s where you come in. Take the time to brush your child’s teeth so they can understand the basics, then let them have their turn. Eventually, they will get the hang of doing a good job at keeping their teeth healthy and bright.

If you would like more information about pediatric dental hygiene, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Start the Year Off with Good Dental Habits | Snohomish Dentist

Now that we are in a brand-new year, we are all ready to make the necessary changes to live our best lives. We hit the gym, we eat healthier and try to improve all of the other aspects in our lives that need help. But is your smile on that list?

Here is a list of healthy habits for the best smile possible. Take a look, and if you find you aren’t doing everything you can, consider adding these tips to your list of resolutions:

Proper dental hygiene. Keeping bacteria that causes cavities, gum disease and other dental issues is not only done in a dentist chair but at home as well. Brush, floss and rinse frequently – the longer bacteria have to nestle into your mouth’s crevices, the worse off your dental checkups will be.

Don’t judge a tooth by its color. Not having the brightest smile doesn’t necessarily mean that you have poor dental habits. Teeth come in lots of different shades. But avoiding over-consumption of foods and drinks that stain your teeth can have an effect if dental hygiene isn’t practiced.

Take preventative measures. It is important that you don’t skip out on your dental visits. Not only does your dental professional give your pearly whites a deep cleaning that they need, but they also check your mouth for any issues that may be developing, including an oral cancer screening. If caught early, treatment can be given to eliminate the issue, so make sure to keep your appointments.

If you would like more information about dental hygiene habits, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Sugar Awareness Week: What You Need to Know

As we try to stay on task with our new year’s resolutions of good health, chances are you are curbing your diets toward the healthiest items available and away from the ones that aren’t so good for us. For many of us, this includes sugary sweets. January 22-26 is known as National Sugar Awareness Week – let’s celebrate by taking a deeper look at our favorite candies and how they affect our teeth.

There are a multitude of ways to monitor candy consumption that can satiate your cravings without affecting your health resolve. The better you are about limiting the intake of sweets, the better your oral health will turn out.

Both your overall and oral health are affected by your choice in sweets. When choosing the right kinds of candy to eat, it is wise to stay away from the sticky ones, especially if you have dental fixtures like implants or braces. This is because they tend to stick to teeth and are very difficult to remove. The longer they are stuck in the crevices of your teeth, the more harm they will do to your smile. Same thing with hard candy – because they take so long to dissolve, there is a lot of time for cavity-causing bacteria to find a place in your mouth to wreak havoc. If you have a sweet craving, grab chocolate bar. Not only is it consumed quickly, but dark chocolate actually has health benefits.

After all sweet indulgences, make sure to practice proper dental hygiene in order to remove the plaque that will begin to form from leftover residue. The more proactive you are, the healthier your smile will remain.

If you would like more information about the Tooth Fairy, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

‘Tis the Season for Candy Canes | Snohomish Dentist

It’s the holiday season and it seems that everywhere we look, there is another occasion to enjoy various forms of sugary sweets. It could be a chocolate, or an egg nog, but there is one candy confection that is the centerpiece of the holiday – the classic candy cane. Yes, the candy cane has been decorating our trees for centuries. In fact, they even have their own day on December 26th. But where did the candy cane come from? And why are they only enjoyed at Christmas?

While there are plenty of stories that date back as far as 1866 that included the candy cane, there really isn’t any documented proof of where and when the candy cane was created. But we do know that candy canes have been hung from Christmas trees as early as 1882. So, in honor of National Candy Cane Day, let’s take a moment to pay homage to these striped sweets with these fun facts:

  • The average candy cane is 5 inches tall.
  • While most candy canes are far from sugar-free, they do not have any fat or cholesterol.
  • Striped red and white candy canes were first introduced in 1900.
  • The first machine to make candy canes was invented in 1921 by Brasher O. Westerfield. Until then, they were made by hand.
  • Traditionally the flavor for candy canes is peppermint, but now there are a variety of flavors.
  • Alain Roby, Geneva pastry chef, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest candy cane, measuring 51 feet long.

If you would like more information about candy canes, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Too Much Sugar Causes Diabetes and Gum Disease | Snohomish Dentist

Sugar causes cavities – this isn’t a mystery to any of us. If we eat too much and don’t brush afterwards, we are sure to have a bad report card at our next dental checkup. But cavities aren’t the whole issue. Too much sugar can contribute to the development of diabetes. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, glucose is present in your saliva and when diabetes is not controlled, high glucose levels in your saliva help harmful bacteria grow, and more dental issues than just cavities. These bacteria combine with food to form a soft, sticky film called plaque. Some types of plaque cause tooth decay or cavities, while others cause gum disease and bad breath. This is why diabetics need to be extra careful – because they are prone to gum disease more than non-diabetics. Even further, when blood glucose is high, this gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

It can be said that overconsumption of sugar may be a major cause of two of the most prevalent diseases in the world, i.e., gum disease and diabetes. National surveys have found that the average American consumes around 85 grams of sugar every day, and the recommended amount is a fraction of that. Overconsumption of sugar leads not only to cavities and gum disease, but also can predispose you to prediabetes and even diabetes. So, while you are celebrating the holiday season, keep your sugar intake in mind. And if you find you are overindulging, make sure you practice proper dental hygiene after every sweet treat.

If you would like more information about the sugar consumption effects, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabo.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Let the Floss Be the Boss | Snohomish Dentist

I know – the title is misleading. Who wants floss to be the boss of anything we do? While flossing isn’t the most fun part of our dental days, it plays a pretty important role in our dental health. Still not convinced? November 23rd is National Flossing Day. How’s that for important? To celebrate, let’s take a moment to become a little bit more familiar with that sleeping hero we call dental floss…

Floss was said to be invented in 1819 by Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist in New Orleans, who advised to run a piece of waxen silk thread between your teeth to dislodge anything stuck that a toothbrush cannot get to, but it wasn’t implemented into our daily dental routines until the 1970’s.

It is recommended that you should floss at least once a day to loosen any particles stuck in our teeth and allow the fluoride in our toothpaste to do its job in all those crevices. It isn’t a difficult procedure, but it is one that most dread doing. Unfortunately, dental visits aren’t very fun without regular flossing, so it is important to make sure to take the time to do it in order to maintain a healthy smile and help combat gum disease and other dental issues from developing.

Cut yourself a piece of floss about 18 inches long and wrap both sides around your fingers. Pull it taut between your thumb and index finger and guide the floss in between each tooth in a gentle zigzag motion to gently scrub down all the space between your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. See? Not so difficult, and the benefits are worth it. Happy flossing!

If you would like more information about flossing, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo and Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.

Dr. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serve Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Lessen the Sweets, Lower The Issues | Snohomish Dentist

It is said that diabetes affects so many today, it is becoming one of the worst epidemics in not only the country, but the world. Because our diets aren’t exactly the healthiest at times, it is easy to develop diabetic tendencies without even knowing. The main component of diabetes is sugars in our system, and sugars are also the main causes of our dental issues, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that these two conditions are closely linked. November 14th is World Diabetes Day – let’s celebrate with knowledge.

We know too much sugar causes cavities. Glucose, or the sugars in your blood from diabetes, can cause pain, infection, and other problems in your mouth, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. If glucose levels aren’t controlled, bacteria have time to settle into the crevices in your mouth and wreak havoc. If your dental habits are poor, these bacteria develop into cavities or a more advanced form of gum disease. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, and high glucose levels can affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes, making this a cyclical progression as it worsens.

Overconsumption of sugar could be the main reasons gum disease and diabetes are so prevalent in our country. The average American consumes around 85 grams of sugar every day; the recommended sugar intake is 12 grams a day for children, 22 – 36 for adults. In order to not only maintain better overall health, but to prevent any future health conditions, stick to these parameters and practice proper oral hygiene.

If you would like more information about diabetes & dental health, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo and Dr. Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.

Dr. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serve Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

Creepy Crawlies: Your Guide to Halloween | Snohomish Dentist

As we prepare to visit our favorite Halloween haunts to collect a sack full of sugary treats, we need to take a moment to think about our dental health. Sure, not the first thought we have during this spooky season, but the bacteria hiding in your mouth can’t wait until you get home with your candy haul and overindulging your sweet tooth will result in a poor dental checkup. To prevent this from happening, let’s take a look at the effects various sweets have on your teeth. This may help when deciding which Halloween treat to choose:

Chocolate. Good news – it’s the best bet for health, especially if it’s dark chocolate. Not only does it have a health benefit, but chocolate is easier to clean off your teeth than other candy options, making it the one you’ll want to reach for.

Gummy candy. Many of these are made with fruit juice, but because of the stickiness, gummy treats are tough on your molars. Limit these, especially with dental work. Sticky candy can also pull off braces and other dental treatments.

Hard candy. Be particularly careful when enjoying these treats. Not only can they stick to dental appliances you may have in your mouth, but they can also chip a tooth if you aren’t careful. Try not to bite into these candies as you suck on them.

Sour candy. Your children are going to be particularly drawn to this type of sweet, but these have to be the worst culprit in your sack of treats. Not only can the sour coating dissolve the outer coating of your teeth, but if they are sticky as well, they can wreak havoc on those pearly whites.

If you would like more information about Halloween tips, call Dr. Haines, Dr. Cindy Du or Dr. Joseph Szabo in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.

Dr. Haines, Du & Szabo proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.

How to Care for Your Braces | Snohomish Dentist

When someone decides to straighten their teeth, it can be a very exciting time. Not only will they have a fantastic smile at the end of it all, but they will no longer need to feel self-conscious about smiling in general. But in the process, a lot of changes will likely take place in the day-to-day while they are being straightened. Directions will be given to properly maintain braces, depending on the type of braces decided on. In honor of Orthodontic Health Month, here are a few tips to ensure the best experience during this transformative time:

Keep objects out. A general rule of thumb for everyone is if it doesn’t belong in your mouth, don’t put it in there. Not only can they damage your teeth but can also damage your braces.

Wear a mouth guard. If you are an active person, wearing a mouth guard will not only keep your device safe, but will save your teeth and gums.

Dietary changes. A big change that will happen when you get braces – your mouth is going to be sore as your teeth begin to move. Stick to soft foods during these times. Once your mouth heals, it is important to avoid sticky or hard foods that can break off brackets or wires. Candied apples, popcorn balls and caramel chews are just a few of the Halloween treats you are going to need to refrain from.

Preventative measures. Accidents happen. If a wire snaps, have some dental wax handy to save your mouth from injury. If a rubber band snaps, know how to replace them.

Daily dental hygiene. Your dental hygiene will basically remain the same but will require special toothpaste or floss to keep your teeth clean.

If you would like more information about orthodontic care, call Dr. Cindy Du, Dr. Joseph Szabo or Dr. Ted Haines in Snohomish, WA at 360-568-8577 or visit www.duandszabodds.com.

Drs. Du, Szabo & Haines proudly serves Snohomish and all surrounding areas.